Closing night - Klonaris / Thomadaki : L'Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes

Focus #15

Sun 17 October 202117.10.21
5 rue des Ecoles
75005 Paris
Single price: 5€
UGC/MK2 and CIP cards accepted

Programmed by Frédéric Tachou - Presented by Katerina Thomadaki

This film-performance directed by Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki in 1977 is the second part of the “Tétralogie corporelle” (bodily tetralogy), inaugurated in 1976 by Double Labyrinthe. With this feature film, designed for multiscreening and the addition of projected fixed images, the directors develop an aesthetic of Super 8 and an engagement of the body in a political perspective. Special Jury Prize at the Hyères film festival in 1977, this film has not been shown in public since 1985. Katerina Thomadaki revisits it today as a tribute to Maria Klonaris, who was at the origin of this project. She conceived a new technical setup “to fit it in a present finally disrupted by the policies of bodies and genders”.

L'Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes (Expanded cinema performance, new version 2021)
Maria Klonaris et Katerina Thomadaki

Super 8 and 24x36 slides digitized, live text

Klonaris/Thomadaki - L'Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes

L’Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes, was created in 1977 by two brilliant young women from Greece who moved to Paris in 1975. They had acquired at the University of Athens and at the School of Fine Arts of Athens a solid theoretical and practical background in theatrical scenography, plastic arts, literature, aesthetics and philosophy. It is at Saint-Charles, where Maria Klonaris completed her studies in Aesthetics and Art Sciences, that the link was established with experimental cinema. The two young women quickly developed a creative device that synthesized their skills by combining film art, performance art and visual arts.

Unlike many of the young filmmakers who were their contemporaries, Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki build around their artistic work a discourse with strong aesthetic and political stakes, structured around the notions of “political dimension of the female identity” and of a “bodily cinema”. With constancy and rectitude, they never deviated from their discourse, refusing to be assimilated to this School of the body which does not exist, to support the perverse mechanisms of the juries of festivals, prizes and various postures made to seduce.

In 1976, Double labyrinthe, shot in Super 8, inaugurates a “corporal tetralogy” of which L’Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes is the second part. Defined by its authors as “an action for film, slides and texts” or “film/action”, then later “screening/performance”, it was a mix of slides, super 8 screenings and oral creations. First shown at the Saint-Charles film club in May 1977, the film was selected in Hyères in a context of heated debate, with Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki refusing the Special Jury Prize awarded to them by a jury composed of Raphaël Bassan, Dominique Noguez and Dominique Chateau. The film was then shown a lot, until the 1975-85 Klonaris/Thomadaki retrospective organized by the J&J Donguy gallery in Paris in 1985. It was never shown again.

Katerina Thomadaki, now alone, agreed to revive this mythical work as a tribute to Maria Klonaris for the closing night of the festival from digital media from Super 8 film and slides.

- Frédéric Tachou

L’Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes - Resurgence In tribute to Maria Klonaris

With Double Labyrinthe (1975-76), our first film made in Paris, we set up what we called Cinéma corporel (bodily cinema). It is through this performative co-signed film that we met, in Italy at first, the movement of the women. An encounter which ignited the already conscious politicization of our bodies and made tangible that of our processes of creation (” double author/woman “, ” acting “, ” inversion of the roles of filming/filmed “…). In 1977 we realized L’Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes from a project of Maria marked by its intense report to the childhood and its passion for the soul of the objects. Her project is mainly declined in the first two parts: Je(u) une enfance funèbre ((Ga)Me, a funereal childhood) and Action Inceste I (Action Incest I). The third part, Action Inceste II: Artemis et Kyvéli, translates our meeting into images.

Like all the works of the Tétralogie corporelle (Corporeal tetralogy) (1976-1979), L’Enfant qui a pissé des paillettes is autobiographical. But for us, biography is far from being the account of the events of a life. It is the direct inscription of their impacts - living traces, emotional charges, sensations - in the body of the images. While not adopting the formulas of militant cinema and claiming loudly and clearly “the political dimension of poetic language”, this film/action was carried by the feminist energy of the 70s. Presented to large audiences, it gave rise to passionate debates. However, the obesity of the technical equipment required for its presentation put an end to public screenings in 1985. The CJC’s invitation to present it in 2021 joined my desire to revive this work, which bears Maria’s mark and the energy of her presence. I therefore undertook its technical transformation in order to reinscribe it in a present that has finally been overturned by the politics of bodies and gender.

- Katerina Thomadaki, July 2021