Kharms is very little known in Europe, let alone in France. In Russia, it is another matter: he is, in the culture, alongside Mayakovsky.
But, let’s say it without any chauvinism, but as a statement and indeed a point of departure, we are French. (That said, and this is a paradox not to flee, Harms hated everything that was French or related to France. No matter, the paradox precisely that we like).
By proposing a vision of Kharms, there is also the desire to discover it. Because he is biting, funny, bitter, sincere, anarchist and mystical. Because our time needs it. Because, unfortunately, she is the mirror of the 30s.
Because there are enough good feelings in art.
Because Kharms recalls the strength of the uncensored unconscious.
Of course, there have been stagings (note that of Robert Wilson in 2014); this year, while we were working on Harms as we have done since 2015, we were able to discover with joy its staged texts. It was at the Gérard Philippe Theater in Saint-Denis (France). It was exciting because the gap was important with what we were maneuvering. It demonstrated on stage how Harms is rich in interpretations, possibilities, different nonsense.
In cinema, in video … nothing. This is my tool. But it is a tool that lends itself well to Harms. Or the opposite. I’m not going to release a banality like “Harms is very cinematic”. I will just think that the images come to me in a rather fluid way and that the video makes it possible to explore his world, although it is only a tool.
What matters are the situations. And especially their “sliced” side: sliced for short and as cut with a knife, and sliced because virulent, sharp. That’s why the video, divided into small puzzle pieces, seems ideal. The scene forced to find a long form: Wilson adapted the only long short story from Kharms “La Vieille”, and Gérard Philippe opted for an assembly of short texts compiled in 1h30.
The video allows me to try to make the aspect parcel, fragmentary, incisive, which I like so much in the texts of Harms.
In the same vein, I do not want to artificially create a formally linked link between videos: basically I do not want them to be all shot in the same way to “set a style”. I prefer to search for each text what transpires. The result should therefore be, I suppose, quite heterogeneous. Finally I try to work in the urgency, even a certain disorder. I do not make a school but a playground. A sandbox what. I want to find something of the unfinished, the rough, the intuition of Kharms.
And that in video.
Will it work? Will the result be good, great, or even worthy of interest?
I do not know and do not try to find out. Surprise is in itself a joyous prospect. And I look forward to sharing it with you.