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A tale as a tool
Sandrine Teixido / Aurélien Gamboni

[Installation and programme of public activations]

"Guanabara Bay: Hidden Waters and Life", Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Niterói, 6.8 – 30.10.2016
"Living in the End Times", G-MK, Zagreb, 6 – 29.10.2016
"A tale as a tool", Centre de la Photographie, Geneva, 7 – 17.9.2017
"L'école renversée: faire surgir l'inédit possible", Centre d'art Parc Saint-Léger, 3.3 – 6.5.2018
Festival Indeterminacy, Buffalo, 14 – 20.5.2018
LiveInYourHead, Geneva, 15 – 30.3.2019

Since 2011, Aurélien Gamboni and Sandrine Teixido develop a long-term investigation based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe "A Descent into the Maelström" (1841). Considering this tale to be a powerful conceptual tool, they have collected narratives and testimonies that profoundly resonate with Poe's story, allowing to challenge the perception of environmental changes.

Following its different paths, the investigation has been addressing various issues in the past years, such as the major floods that impacted the city of Porto Alegre in the 1040s, the current controversies regarding the development of the oil industries in the Norwegian Arctic, the more recent tragedy of a landslide in a community of Niteroí (in the state of Rio de Janeiro), as well as the water politics in the highly contaminated region of Buffalo/Niagara Falls. In these contexts, it shed light on a multiplicity of responses to the emergence of new environmental risks, as they manifest in the various testimonies collected.

What are the signs of the changes ahead? What kind of equipment (intellectual, emotional and political) are required to face what is coming? Taking place on several continents, A tale as a tool consists of an itinerary assembly of investigation narratives, taking the form of an installation conceived to host various public activations. Conferences, debates, interpretation and (re-)scripting workshops, performances and reading sessions are organized in the middst of this evolutive archive, like so many attempts to build shared knowledge and resist these times of growing threats on the biosphere.

Litterature professor Yves Citton, philosopher Emilie Hache, theoretician Tomislav Medak, choregraphers Christiane Lopes da Cunha and Anani Sanouvi, theoretician
Gene Ray, historian of science John Tresch and curator Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, among others, have been invited in this context to experiment the interpretative potential of Poe's tale, often collaborating actively with the public to further extend the investigation.

More information on
> the investigation in Niteroí
> the programme at CPG
> the investigation in Buffalo


> investigation: Into the maelström
> projects: Hellsegga Talks, LeCommun, Geneva
MALSTRØM 68N/ part.1, and MALSTRØM 68N/part.2, Théâtre de l'Usine, Geneva
Surfando no Dilúvio (maelström Porto Alegre), 9e Bienal do Mercosul
L’assemblée maelström, Festival Les Urbaines, Lausanne

Into the maelström, Swiss Art Awards, Basel
> texts: Un lieu inaccessible
Le maelström par Grégory Quenet


"A tale as a tool" at Centre de la Photographie in 2017 Photos: Dylan Perrenoud
Interpretation workshop with Yves Citton at CPG Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
"A tale as a tool" at the Contemporary Art Museum in Niteroí in 2016, with public readings and performances Photos: Denise Adams
The tragedy of "morro do Bumba" photographed in April 2010 by Dimitrius Borjas
Gathering of the Bumba community at the « Rancho Verde » of Seu Hernandez in 2016
Sharing knowledges on environmental mutations, on board of the "Spirit of Buffalo", in May 2018 Photos: Petros Chytiris
Re-scripting workshop of Edgar A.Poe’s maelström, with Nikolaus Wasmoen in Cass Project, Buffalo
Investigation in Buffalo: industrial heritage and the Love Canal tragedy, the testimony of Mary Nichols Photo: Petros Chytiris
Sound installation in March 2019 at LiveInYourHead Photo: Raphaëlle Müller