Spaces to work hysteria

La Ribot’s wonderful work Llamame Mariachi, inspired me as to the technique I wanted to use for my work on hysteria.

She films movement from within, she dances with the camera and the effect is one of convulsion, but also joy.




So, since my PhD, I have changed the space I work in, from a crowded artist’s studio, with papers, notes, images, computers and sketchbooks to an empty dance space.


It is here that I rehearse the movements of hysteria, its body practice, like the famous arch of hysteria (remember La Grande Hysterique I wrote about a few weeks back), in which you may recognise the high arch prone of contemporary dance and which some of you may know in the guise of Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture. In hers, the hysteric is a man.




For hysteria is a body practice and, moreover, a choreography.

Look at Charcot’s movement classifications, from his attitudes passionelles (passionate attitudes, the seduction in hysteria), to the clownisme, epileptoide phase and delirium. All pervert (exhibitionist) phases too, I think.