Vilar who?

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The 2004 archive


Vilar who? © DR


The 2003 Festival would have marked the end of an era while giving a foretaste of a new direction. Last year, La Maison Jean Vilar organised an exhibition which drew a certain amount of attention because of the very events that led to the cancellation of the Festival. Indeed, it put into perspective the four management teams which succeeded Jean Vilar, the Festival's founding father. Encouraged by the public's interest and spurred by the year gone by which has been rich in new developments, and having a substantial body of material from 2003, La Maison Jean Vilar, has decided to extend its analysis of the socio-political contexts which have led French governments to set down, or to try to set down, cultural policies which, since André Malraux, preserve a certain type of freedom or exception.All through this stroll back in time through the Avignon Festival and through France, we hear, sometimes quite clearly, sometimes indistincly, the voice of Jean Vilar; at some points though, we can't hear him anymore at all ! In the same vein as Thomas Ostermeier, this revamped exhibition puts forward a necessary review of the situation and hopes to provoke, yes, provoke, common reflection to define better the responsibilities of our theatre and, more broadly, live performance in a world that is in the process of violent change.

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Maison Jean Vilar © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon