Friday, March 1

9h30 - Reception and coffee 

Opening of the Symposium

Sally Bonn, Lise Lerichomme, Julia Ramírez-Blanco 

The Familistère of Guise, a counter-space 

Frédéric Panni, Director of the Familistère 

10h30 – 13h - Counterfactual Temporalities

Moderation: Sally Bonn & students of the UPJV 

Clémentine Henriot (Landscape Architect, Lecturer in the École d’architecture de Marseille-Luminy) & Sylvain Maestraggi (Philosopher, Photographer, Marseille) 

Inhabiting the Great Void

Between 1913 and 1937, in Marseille, the so-called "behind the Stock Exchange" district, a working class district in the city centre, was razed to the ground. The vacant land resulting from this operation will last more than forty years, until the construction of the Labourdette towers, then a shopping centre housing the Marseille History Museum. In their book, mais de quoi ont-ils eu si peur? [but what were they so afraid of?] (Editions Commune, 2016), Christine Breton and Sylvain Maestraggi resurrected the repressed memory of this disappearance through the eyes of three witnesses who visited Marseille on 8 September 1926: Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch and Siegfried Kracauer. The work has given rise to several utopian suites, including an installation and several walks designed by Clémentine Henriot for the residents' association les labourdettes domiciled on the "Grand Vide" [Great Void]. 

Florent Perrier (Researcher and Lecturer, Université Rennes 2) 

Illicit grafts on the existing: entering Utopia on a piece by piece basis 

After the Second World War and the disappearance of the statue of Charles Fourier from its Parisian base, the latter, this quadrilateral stone base with faded inscriptions, has remained unchanged, most often without any sculpture to display. André Breton, René Schérer, Simone Debout-Oleszkiewicz, important personalities who passionate about the work of the sublime dreamer, wished to see this void filled, but without success. It was clandestine collectives that briefly succeeded in this, raising on the desert cube ephemeral works in tribute to the utopian in 1968-1969 and 2007-2008. What utopia was thus reinvested or replayed when these artists, these anarchists and situationists, these anonymous people driven by the desire for another world, made sensitive, again but differently, the lost representation of an ideal that had never happened? Which grafts were attempted here in a city that is so hostile to the possibilities that for more than fifty years it never considered placing a sculpture in the orphan plynth? And what resonances were then brought to light by this tension between an element of the past torn apart and a present being built, a real utopian reality? By confronting these attempts to illegally install works in the Parisian urban space, we question the potential reconfigurations of the utopian landscape tempted by these artistic gestures that are destined to become fictions, homeless spectra. 

Anne-Valérie Gasc (Artiste, Chercheuse, ENSAMarseille) 


I put forward the hypothesis that the emergence of an architecture with an "immaterial" appearance over the past twenty years would be a project already driven by modernity which, for lack of technological means, would have had to wait until digital design was able to materialize it a century later. From then on, this gap between utopia (now obsolete) and technological innovation produces what I call "homotopias" or "constructed dystopias": spontaneous ruins. This presentation, exclusively devoted to my current research, will combine this reflection with a cycle of two solo exhibitions programmed at the Les Tanneries art centre in Amilly, in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The first exhibition Les larmes du prince - monuments[The Tears of the Prince - Monuments] took place in the Petite galerie du centre d'art, from October 2018 to January 2019. It presented a selected set of experimental works, elements of anchoring and plastic development of this research. This first exhibition was conceived as a prefiguration for the contextual installation Les larmes du prince - vitrifications [The Tears of the Prince - Vitrifications], the highlight of this project, which will be held in its finalized form in the Great Hall of the art centre from June to September 2019. 

Madeleine Sallustio (PhD candidate FNRS, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains, Université Libre de Bruxelles) & Maïté Maskens (Lecturer, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus UCharleroi) 

Anthropology and immanence: Apprehending Utopia by temporality 

While utopias are still often associated with notions of unreality or naivety in many social spaces, an increasing number of individuals are committed to making them happen on a daily basis. It is these people, their actions and the meaning they give to their existence that we focus on describing in an ethnographic way. From the exploration of one of these "realized utopias" and more particularly by studying the relationship that French "neo-peasants" have with time, we can determine according to which internal logic their project of returning to the land is organized and what moves them on the everyday. This is the case, for example, of the desire to develop slower rythms of life and work, escaping the logic of capitalist rationality, but also of the desire to bring about, here and now, an alternative form of life, outside the schemes of classical struggle. It is therefore a matter of embracing, with cynicism and hope, a form of saving epicurean presentism. 

15h30 – 17h00 - Counterfactual Corporalities I 

Moderation: Lise Lerichomme & students of the UPJV

Alex Martinis Roe, (Artist, Researcher, Canberra, Australian National University) (in English, through skype)

To Become Two: Propositions for Feminist Collective Practice

The book to become two offers a narrative of artist Alex Martinis Roe’s research into a genealogy of feminist political practices in Europe and Australia from the seventies until today. These practices include those of the Milan Women’s Bookstore co-operative; Psychanalyse et Politique, Paris; Gender Studies (formerly Women’s Studies) at Utrecht University; a network in Sydney including people involved in the Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative, Feminist Film Workers, Working Papers Collective, and the Department of General Philosophy at Sydney University; and Duoda – Women’s Research Centre and Ca la Dona, a women’s documentation centre and encounter space in Barcelona. Drawing from their practices and experiences, Martinis Roe’s research forms a proposal for a transgenerational approach to feminist politics. 

Annie Metz (Director of the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand, Paris 

Women, Feminism and Representations in the Photographic Collections of the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand 

Ever since 1897, the date of the foundation of her feminist daily newspaper La Fronde, Marguerite Durand (1864-1936) began to collect and archive "visible traces" of women's activity in all fields and their struggles for equality and emancipation. In 1932, she donated all her collections to the City of Paris, creating the first official feminist library in France. The visibility of women and their struggles is a major issue for feminism, and is at the heart of the constitution of iconographic collections and their enhancement. In 2010, the library organized the first exhibition of its photographic collections, with a selection of more than 200 portraits, "documentary" photographs and art photographs. We will present here some of the corpora that have constituted this exhibition: full sources for women's history, and not only text illustrations, they also allow us to question the construction of the codes of femininity and their transgression.

Thomas Bouchet (Historian, Unil, Lausanne) 

Evanescences 1832 

The study of the Paris of other times, which is still being repeated in the archives, comes up against a major obstacle: most of the inhabitants of past times remain out of the reach of yesterday's and today's eyes. To intertwine the resources of history and those of fiction is to try to reduce this feeling of helplessness with hope in mind: through such a way, can't previously fleeting and fuzzy silhouettes take on a certain shape? Engagement or idleness, illness or injury, pleasures or sorrows are a daily feature of Adelaide, Emilie, Louise and Lucie's lives throughout 1832. My impression is that all four of them are indeed part of an urban space that they help to shape, even if, real and unreal at the same time, they are constantly oscillating between the true and the false. 

17h00 – 17h15:Coffee Break

17h15-18h45 - Counterfactual Corporalities II 

Justine Pluvinage (Artist, Lille)


Through the practice of divination applied to blues, the artist will rely on a personal collection of blues to evoke the place of his body in her practice. She will share her research on an ongoing sapiensproject, a film project in a naturist environment, which therefore puts the naked body back at the centre of reflection. But is the artist naked when she films? "Justine Pluvinage's intimacy encompasses all meanings, physical and psychological: the "strictly personal", the "kept secret", the naked body, the carnal contact, the desire for someone... Everything becomes a subject for documentary reflection and film experimentation. "Alexandrine Dhainaut. 

Rachele Borghi/Zarra Bonheur (Geographer, Paris Sorbonne IV ) 

Embodying Words, Incorporating Research, Giving it (its) Body: A Hacking Experience of Knowledge Through the body 

Getting as close as possible to the texts, overcoming the inhibitions that authorship imposes, overcoming modesty, not letting oneself be overwhelmed by the frustration that so-called scientific knowledge arouses in many people is not easy and requires courage. This courage is built collectively. Sharing texts, sharing words, spreading the word is what Zarra Bonheur has been trying to do since 2012. How can words be inscribed, incarnated in individuals, going so far as to produce a collective body? 

"Once upon a time there was a university-polytopic-queer-feminist, activist, sexual-dissident researcher. One day she realized that her creativity does not necessarily have to be relegated to scientific articles. She then decided to free research subjects, reflections, theories and practices from printed paper as the only accepted and legitimate expression of scientific communication and transformed her research on gender, sexuality, the body and dissent into collective performances. Zarra Bonheur was born, a polytopian-porn-activist-queer-feminist -militant-sexual dissident-performer-researcher, the result of the contamination of do it yourself and the love spread by her friends. Zarra Bonheur translates her scientific research into performance. 

Theater of the Familistère, Guise 

19h30 - Plenary Session - The Coming Hospitality  

Sébastien Thiéry, Political Scientist, co-founder of PERU - Pôle d'Exploration des Ressources Urbaines 

A Cartograpy of the 36001th Commune of France 

Considering in Calais the buildings erected, the relationships woven, the destinies established, the dreams cultivated. Considering all around, from city to city, the ordinary hospitality, the daily fraternity, the care given to each other. Considering what is being affirmed and invented on the path of those among us who seek refuge, we declare the existence, today in France, of a territory of avant-garde, sprawling, breathable, habitable at last. Here at home, "migrants", "carers", "exiled", "inhabitants", "refugees", "activists", "volunteers" and many others live and build society together, despite violence, intimidation, expulsions and destruction, placements and displacement. So let us constitute the archive of this 36001th commune of dissident, insistent, proliferating and fervent France. 

Auditorium of the Familistère, Guise

Saturday March 2

9h30 - 11h00 Counterfactual Territories

Moderation: Julia Ramirez Blanco & students of the UPJV 

Caroline Ibos (Political Scientist, Université Rennes 2) 

Long Live the Dead Queen. Mary Sibande and Counterfactual Domesticities 

In 2010, in Johannesburg, during the football World Cup, nineteen photographs of Mary Sibande, printed on huge tarpaulins, were displayed on the walls and facades in the city centre. These images of resin sculptures, taken from the Long Live the Dead Queenseries, represent the alter ego of the artist, Sophie, a black servant and superheroine. Sophie always keeps her eyes closed on her dreams: dressed in the traditional uniform of South African maids, she rides horses, conducts an orchestra, wears the necklace of Bantu kings or Queen Victoria's crinoline, commands an army of soldiers to victory. I will present this work of Mary Sibande, who deploys the dream as "the seed of active resistance of the lower classes"[Gramsci, notebook 8] in a counterfactual performance: If Sophie had not been a black woman, she would not have been a servant; if she had not been a servant, she might not have had those dreams of glory; if the artist's mother, grandmothers and great-grandmothers had not themselves been servants, Sophie would not have ruled majestically for a few days over Johannesburg. For a few days, the centre of Johannesburg, luxuriously renovated to host the World Cup from which the poorest classes were excluded, became Sophie's kingdom. 

Joëlle Zask (Philosopher, Université de Provence) 

Domestic, Public, Private 
Based on a review of some aspects of Olivier de Serre's Théatre d'agriculture and the description of the courtyard kitchen of a house in Yaoundé, the talk will focus on the relationships and boundaries between the domestic, private and public spheres. To social utopias that often tend to abusive functionalism, I will oppose an experience, social (for example A Night Standing, Joseph Albers' contribution to the black mountain college) or artistic (such as the Group of Four Trees in Dubuffet, New York) that is so because it creates its own place of operation.  

Binna Choi (Curator, Casco, Utrecht), Yolande Van Der Heide (Curator, Casco, Utrecht) (in English)

From Grand Domestic Revolution to Working for the Commons 

All encompassing ecological crisis can been seen from the angle of domestic and re- productive labor: more precisely the separation between production and reproduction, the public and the private, and ultimately culture and nature, led humanity to the current extractivist mode of living and working. Learning from organizing its own Grand domes- tic revolution as an art project, Casco Art Institute came to dedicate itself to broaden the understanding and practicing of the commons. Here we propose to approach the com- mons beyond a common resource co-managed by an autonomous community as the practice for new way of thinking, doing and being that under the modernist hierarchal binary like above, including the subject and object relation. Commoning in all various forms of practice is only a way to let our lives thrive again and in common. 

11h00 – 11h15:Coffee Break 

11h30 – 13h30 - Counterfactual Territories II 

Fabienne Quéméneur (ANPU, Agence Nationale de Psychanalyse urbaine, Rennes) 

Introduction to Urban Psychoanalysis

L’ANPU (Agence Nationale de Psychanalyse Urbaine) [National Agency of Urban Psychoanalysis], founded in 2008 comprises a whole team of researchers and artists artists who are concerned with urban planning and psychoanalysis and who have succeeded in developing a new process to heal cities: urban psychoanalysis. Urban psychoanalysis can be considered as a kind of poetic science of a new kind whose research method consists essentially in highlighting the unconscious at the origin of urban planning in a city or territory. Their method consists of putting cities on the couch, detecting urban neuroses and proposing appropriate therapeutic solutions.

To date nearly 100 cities and territories have been on its couch. 

Eugénie Denarnaud (Artist, Landscape Architect, Researcher, Paris, École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage) 

Pirate Gardens and the Link to the Land. Landscape as an Experimental Material

The reading of landscapes through the meticulous observation of the "ways of being in the world" constituted by gardening or landscape practices leads to an approach conducted as part of my doctoral research in landscape studies. These ways of gardening are forms of utopias. The practices observed in the pirate gardens of Tangier, Morocco, or in the gardened interstices of San Rafael, Veracruz State, Mexico, are utopian not in the sense of the unrealistic but in a sense that designates a non-place, or s moving, not fixed place. The piracy associated with these areas makes them privileged observation sites that question current territorial governance and the dualism between nature and culture. These ethnographic landscape dives, combined with the materials used in landscape studies (hydrography, botany, geology, among others), feed my artistic project. They give rise to a modeling that becomes my way of bringing these landscapes and their challenges to the eyes of a wide audience. Through the presentation of recent works, I will explain the models and terrains, which, in addition to existing models, serve to create a project whose material is made of landscape. 

Suspended Spaces, Eric Valette / Daniel Lê (Artist Collective, Paris) 

Some Days in Fordlandia 

In summer 2018, the suspended spaces Collective organized a residence on a boat that sailed on the Tapajos River in Brazil, between Santarém and Fordlandia. Literally "Ford city", Fordlandia is a project that the American industrialist Henry Ford set up in the heart of the Amazonian forest (1928) to develop an intensive rubber cultivation from which he hoped to extract the rubber necessary for the manufacture of his car tyres. The poor assessment of agricultural, geographical and human conditions was be responsible for the failure of this modern project: Fordlandia was thus abandoned and became a "lost city" that arises melancholic expectation. The residency of suspended spaces brought together twenty artists and researchers who stayed there and worked with the remains of factories, machines and houses, memories and stories, fantasies and perhaps some ghosts. They documented the places, sometimes produced works, recorded gestures in situ, left traces and carried out workshops for the children and teenagers of the village, working in dialogue with the inhabitants and collecting their testimony.