Aujourd’hui nous vous présentons Jacob Wren, directeur artistique de PME-ART. Il est écrivain et metteur en scène né en 1971 à Jérusalem, Jacob Wren est l’auteur de Unrehearsed Beauty (Coach House Books, 1998), de Families Are Formed Through Copulation (Pedlar Press, 2007), de Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (Pedlar Press, 2010), et de Polyamorous Love Song (BookThug, 2014). Ses deux premiers livres sont parus en français au Quartanier, dans une traduction de Christophe Bernard. Jacob Wren vit à Montréal, où il est directeur artistique de la compagnie de théâtre PME-ART.
What are the recurrent sources of inspiration that act upon your creative process?
The work of PME-ART has so many aspects and facets but if I had to choose just the top two I might say:
– The paradox and vulnerability of being yourself in a performance situation. Of dealing with the actual situation of being in front of people who are watching you without the armoring of a character or of technical virtuosity. Of seeing how much togetherness and community such a way of dealing with a performance situation may or may not create. For me this is also always a political aspect to our work: undoing some of the hierarchy between performer and spectator. In politics there is always the essential aspect that anyone should be able to become part of the political process and have some say in the rules and decisions that affect their lives.
– A long period of research into a chosen theme (i.e. translation, criticism, the public sphere, family, hospitality, etc.) Both research in a more conventional sense: reading books and articles, watching films and listening to music, asking around. And research in some more personal sense: asking ourselves how we might each individually best engage with the theme. What it means to us when we start and how that meaning might change over the course of the collaborative process. Also: how our individual understandings of a given theme might come together within the push and pull of our ongoing collaborative work.
If you could choose only three words to define your work, what would these be?
Paradox. Vulnerability. Politics.
To paraphrase Simone de Beauvoir, is one born an artist or does one become an artist?
There are so many different ways of looking at this question. In one sense everyone is an artist, in that everyone is creative. We can see this most clearly in children. And society would be so much richer, more complex and braver if it gave all people greater daily opportunities to be artists and to be creative. But it’s another questions altogether to dedicate oneself to art completely. It’s a kind of inconvenient obsession that perhaps not everyone has. As Richard (our General Manager) sometimes says: being an artist is great, the only problem is trying to make a living from it.
In your wildest dreams, in what improbable location would you like to present one of your works of art (and what would this work be)?
There was a mysterious, giant crater that opened up in Russia. At first scientists has no way of explaining it. It was like a gigantic hole in the earth. I would like to start an artist residency at the bottom of this crater. It would be a good place for artists to think about the environmental catastrophes that capitalism is currently generating for us.