La Folie Elisa (The Madness Elisa)

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La Folie Elisa: four women, four artists, leave the stage and flee. What can art do in times of distress? What refuge is there to find?
La Folie Elisa (The Madness Elisa) © DR


January 2015-January 2016. Four women leave the stage and flee: Emy Manifold, an English rock star, Irini Santoni, a Greek sculptor, Sarah Zyglaski, a Berlin dancer, and Ariane Sile, a French actress. Great lovers and “foolish girls,” as Duras said of Lol V. Stein, they don't know each other but are connected by an enigmatic graffiti, SMA. They find refuge in a house, in clear bedrooms where they can rearrange the figures of their lives, in a dark room where resonates the fury of the world. What to do when one carries within oneself ruins and rubbles, and the earth is sprouting walls and barbed wire? What refuge is there to find? How can one build a hacienda?

Gwenaëlle Aubry was born in 1971. A student of the École normale supérieure and of Trinity College in Cambridge and a doctor in philosophy, she works as a research director at the CNRS. She writes essays and novels which have been translated into a dozen languages, among which Le diable détacheur (Actes Sud, 1999), L'Isolée and L'Isolement (Stock, 2002 and 2003), Notre vie s'use en transfigurations (Actes Sud, 2007), written during a residency at the Villa Médicis, Partages (Mercure de France, 2012), Lazare mon amour (L'Iconoclaste, 2016), Perséphone 2014 (Mercure de France, 2016). She was awarded the Prix Femina in 2009 for Personne (Mercure de France). Her latest novel, La Folie Elisa, was published in September 2018. During the festival Paris en toutes lettres, she gave a musical reading in the studio of the Opéra Bastille on 13 November, accompanied by guitarist Seb Martel and Judith Chemla.


With Gwenaëlle Aubry, Judith Chemla, Marianne Denicourt, Marie-Sophie Ferdane, Céline Sallette
Music Sébastien Quencez
Direction Baptiste Guiton


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