“The World as it unlocks. For the stage and the radio (2001-2021)”, by Jean-Charles Massera, Verticals, 414 p., €23, digital €17.
A good twenty years ago, Jean-Charles Massera marked the literary panorama with a series of works whose titles announced their interventionist character, France user guide for United Emmerdements of the New Order (POL, 1998 and 2002). Coming from art criticism., he was adept at pervasive tinkering with ordinary language in its ongoing confrontation with format, tinkering that was more likely to be devastating than restorative.
Although Massera had not published anything for twelve years, The world as it unlocks brings together in three successive parts the very numerous “monologues”, “dialogues” Y “polologists” written over the last twenty years in the context of performances, radio commissions (Arte Radio, France Culture) or a fruitful collaboration with the National Dramatic Center of Dijon. AN “Secretariat of State for Suburban Conditioning” or your representative wants “Reconcile community development” from “the old lady who keeps looking behind her curtains” Y “Young man riding a moped in front of his house until 1 am” ; an “rower” professional invites us on a boat trip to the island of the great man, wondering if there is an island of the great woman; Three guys are having a heated debate about how hard it is to achieve “fair kiss” ; Massera himself argues with Massera, one in voiceover, the other already on set.
What is at stake here, in short, is a return to the book of what had come out of it to be displayed in public: this installation art does not aim so much at the invention of a language as at the invention of ephemeral forms. .provoking the confrontation of languages that condition our existence in the depths of individual thought. Over the years, Massera has also adopted a spelling close to orality, at the risk of disturbing the reading: “As soon as I think of something I have to do, I have to do it immediately, otherwise I think about it all the time and I can’t do anything else. What blocks it? »
If the mechanics in motion, destabilizing the relationship of domination, demonstrates its power of revelation, the resulting anthology also gives us a measure of the continuous evolution of what is commonly called the spirit of the times: certain pages are strangely dated and accurate because of its very wording. Like so many freeze frames of the ordinary use of the different levels of language and belief registers that we try to debate between on a daily basis, be they intimate, family, sociological or ideological, as it is more often in this centrifugal order that they play out here .