Le Printemps des Laboratoires is a collaborative research project initiated by Dora García, Alexandra Baudelot and Mathilde Villeneuve, co-directors of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervillers. The programme unfolds all year long, through public workshops and events (film screenings, round-table discussions, performances, etc.) tied to particular problematic, relating to art yet exceeding it.

Over the course of the year, the project constructs a ‘concerned’ audience (everyone is invited to participate: local residents of Aubervilliers, students, amateurs, experts) in order to exchange and share perspectives and experiences. The project concludes during the spring with a public event with an international dimension,  offering a global presentation and analysis of the work carried out over the year.

The Printemps des Laboratoires is a collective work platform that privileges experiences of art and politics over their representations, and the circulation and confrontation of ideas over authoritative forms of transmission. It is a site for the transversal and critical development of various projects conducted by the artists working with Les Laboratoires d’Aubervillers. It offers, moreover, the possibility of observing and reflecting on current social and political issues from within an artistic context.

The first edition of the Printemps des Laboratoires (2013) titled “Commune, Commun, Communauté”, engaged with the question of the commons. The second edition (2014), “Ne travaillez jamais!”, explored the relationship between art and work, while the third edition (2015), “Performing Opposition” investigated how art relates to the ‘polis’, in opposition to instituted powers, paying particular attention to the notion of performing public space. For its fourth edition (2016), The Psychotropification of Society, we set out to explore the exponential rise in the use of medication in the treatment of mental health disorders, to reflect among other things on the effects of standardisation and control, and to explore more broadly society’s relationship to illness and madness.

The fourth edition opened up a far-reaching field of inquiry which we hope to continue to investigate during the upcoming season. In the fifth edition of Le Printemps des Laboratoires, titled ESP (Extra Sensory Perception), we will be pursuing our reflections via fortnightly reading workshops, the monthly ‘Care practices and collectives’ seminar, and other public events scheduled between October 2016 and June 2017.

This new edition will investigate how to accommodate multiple and contradictory voices in our lives, how to make a space for a non-singular “I”, the narrative centre of gravity, to non-human entities and other invisible worlds, and how to fill oneself with these voices without being assailed by them. We will be investigating what contemporary mysticism might look like and in what kind of hallucinated, illuminated, visionary history we wish to locate ourselves today. We will try to identify the methods of de-individualisation in order to share these visions and make them collective and inhabitable.

We will proceed by exploring texts crafted in revolt and hallucination, by engaging with older and current revolutionary works and by meeting with collectives who are active in the healthcare sector, and with marginalised populations who, in the sites where they are located, devise diverse modes of syncretic care. This programme presupposes that we reflect on new adjustments for an ecology of attentions and declare our renewed faith in art and poetry, as ungovernable sites, animated by a power for disorder, disobedience and for envisioning new political fictions.

The fortnightly reading workshops which, every year, are an integral part of the groundwork leading up to Le Printemps des Laboratories, will begin on Thursday 6 October 2016.

In addition to these reading workshops, the second season of the “Care practices and collectives” seminar organised and facilitated by Josep Rafanelll i Orra, will begin on Thursday 27 October 2016 and will take place every last Thursday of the month.


This project is supported by Adagp and Copie privée.