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A man goes by; his gaze sweeps the space and settles nowhere. Unseeing eyes, total indifference – as if for him the rooms are empty. Is he looking for some otherworld? Pharaoh crosses the desert. And (in a silent film she described to me) Felicia Atkinson plays for the giant cacti of the Saguaro desert. Overlaid impressions. Slight vertigo. Three girls go by, seemingly in a hurry. White skin. Clothes, hair, eyeliner and black tattoos, fabulously elegant. As if sprung from the 2000s – or the future. My vision turns cloudy. Images of a half-destroyed museum, vitrines shattered, floorboards torn up. Rubble. White dust powdering everything. Amid the debris I can make out visitors helping people. Some of them are freeing bodies, others sculptures or fragments of sculptures. Where is this? Aleppo, Kobanî, Raqqa, Ankara? I’m having a nightmare. Then my head clears. The wind outside. Night is falling, darkening the caryatids and the cobblestones. I’m on my way. Behind a door decorated with wood panelling and hiding a second door of painted plywood, a man is freshening up, bent over a small washbasin reserved for the staff, his hands cupped conch-like to his face.

— Célia Houdart, December 2016

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Profile for La Criée

Célia Houdart, "The Scribe is a sphinx"  

Futuristic short story instead of the usual season programme "While I was also listenig […]" at La Criée centre for contemporary art, from J...

Célia Houdart, "The Scribe is a sphinx"  

Futuristic short story instead of the usual season programme "While I was also listenig […]" at La Criée centre for contemporary art, from J...

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