"Everyone has practices — be they intimate or collective, spiritual or physical, original or dull; invented practices, learned practices; pleasant, fastidious practices, social practices, invisible practices. Gradually, habits establish themselves as rituals — doing the washing up, sewing, praying, going shopping, boxing, shaving, redering, taking public transportation, posting videos, photographing cans on the street, listening to reggae, wandering around in construction sites...
My own practice entails collecting practices. With the Encyclopédie Pratique de la Ville d’Aubervilliers, I hope to create an extensive corpus of practices of the town inhabitants and regular visitors of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers that will be published in book and serve as material for a choreographic piece".
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For her residency at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers beginning January 2017, Lenio Kaklea is proposing a project anchored in Les Laboratoires site itself and in the specific context of the town of Aubervilliers near Paris. She will be concerned with interrogating the social body by working on an Encyclopédie Pratique — A Practical Encyclopedia — and more specifically by collecting a set of physical practices connected to Aubervilliers, to its residents, and to regular visitors of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers.
A Practical Encyclopedia is a site-specific project in progress the artist/choreographer has been working on since 2016. The project has a real anthropological dimension and draws more specifically on Marcel Mauss’s famous text Techniques of the Body, published in the original French in 1934. In the text, the French anthropologist suggests that utilitarian gestures are as diverse and multiple as languages:
“I call technique an action which is effective and traditional (and you
will see that in this it is no different from a magical, religious or
symbolic action). It has to be effective and traditional. There is no
technique and no transmission in the absence of tradition. This
above all is what distinguishes man from the animals: the
transmission of his techniques and very probably their oral
__ Marcel Mauss, Techniques of the Body, 1973 (1934) - .
Through her project, Lenio Kaklea hopes to begin an inquiry to better grasp and reveal the great diversity of movements in human culture, among other things through a catalogue of our bodily practices in human culture. She also hopes this research will be an opportunity to bring into relief the contemporary relationship to food, decoration, technology, love, sex, nature, spirituality, the economy, work, death, entertainment, (health)care, housekeeping, etc.
An initial version of the project was produced and presented as part of another artistic residency, À Domicile, in September 2016 in Guissény (a village in Brittany with a population of 1886). The project took shape as a collection of 48 practices. As part of her residency at Les Laboratoires, Lenio Kaklea intends to pursue this research and the attendant collecting work in the town of Aubervilliers, which has a much larger population, which will therefore enable her to establish a far greater collection. The artist’s objective is to gather between 300 and 800 portraits.
The work process will be organised into 3 stages. The first phase, which will involve gathering practices among the town’s inhabitants and regular visitors of Les Laboratoires, will entail wandering the area in order to seek out practices to be gathered. During the second phase, the responses collected will be used to put together brief texts/portraits — a writing-up phase that will be carried out by Lenio Kaklea, Lou Forster and Oscar Lozano. The texts will then be used as raw material for a choreographic piece which will be an exploration of this social bodyscape.
Finally, the research and collection project will lead to the publication of a text in several languages that will provide a sort of portrait of Aubervilliers, as well as the production of a choreographic piece — a solo work that will be performed by Lenio Kaklea and shown at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers.
Encyclopédie Pratique, collecte d'Aubervilliers is a project of Lenio Kaklea created in collaboration with :
Lou Forster (researcher curator)
Oscar Lozano (assistant of research)
Agnès Henry/extrapole (administrative care)
and Anne Becker/bureau PLATÔ (production and diffusion).
and supported by the Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis
(1) Les Techniques du corps is lecture done by Marcel Mauss, the 17th of May 1934 in the presence of the Société de Psychologie, and published for the first time by the Journal de Psychologie, vol. xxxii, no 3-4, 15th March-15th April 1935. Marcel Mauss studied the notion of the « technique du corps », and its difference between cultures.