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Françoise Janicot

Born in 1929 and initially an abstract painter, Françoise Janicot has been photographing her fellow travelers, experimental poets and performers Julien Beck, Julien Blaine, William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Jacqueline Cahen, François Dufrêne, John Giorno, Charlotte Moorman, Esther Ferrer, Christian Prigent, Jean-Jacques Lebel, since the 1960s. Burroughs, John Cage, Jacqueline Cahen, François Dufrêne, John Giorno, Charlotte Moorman, Esther Ferrer, Christian Prigent, Jean-Jacques Lebel, and began working as a performer in 1969-70, while also making numerous films and videos devoted to sound poetry performers, particularly the poetry of her husband Bernard Heidsieck, and to her own performances.



by Françoise Janicot (1972, 20 min)

In 1972, “Encoconnage”, “passe-partout” n°9, a text composed by Bernard Heidsieck, inspired one of Françoise Janicot’s major performances.
Against a background of sound recordings, she wraps a ribbon of string around her body. Françoise Janicot stages the confinement of women and their self-liberation: “L’Encoconnage was the realization of the state I was in, i.e. tied up in my work as an artist, by the impossibility of being in communication. I had to show that I was tied up, completely caught up in existence, that it wasn’t possible.” “The need for a strong image to get out of the difficult situation of being an artist, mother and wife at that time” (remarks collected by Fabienne Dumont)
“This work, at once beautiful and distressing, symbolizes, beyond self-enclosure, the oppression of women in general.” (Diana Quinby)


Les diables de Brion (Brion’s devils)

by Françoise Janicot (1974, 20’)

From a Letter to Brion Gysin, this videotape is dedicated to the magical incantations of Beat Generation painter and writer Brion Gysin, inventor with William Burroughs of the literary cut-up. In 1974, Brion Gysin underwent cancer surgery in London, and Françoise Janicot, Bernard Heidsieck and a group of poet and musician friends decided to send him this “sonorous” letter. “Produced on Heidsieck’s famous revox A 700, it pronounces Gysin’s first and last names in several voices, interfering and answering each other. Sending in the original sense, a tribute, a special dedication, what else can be said but the name of its recipient, disgorged, catapulted into a single breath of multiple energies. A polyphonic piece, this letter is a vital score pulsating with friendship. Brion Gysin knew how to hear it, and had a ten-year remission.
The stroboscopic repetition of words, their infinite psalmody and the poet’s ghostly presence make this tape a classic of psychedelia.
Soundtrack featuring improvisation by Françoise Janicot, Bernard Heidsieck, Laurence Lacina, Ricki Stein, Ariel Kalma (saxophone, flute), cats and moog synthesizer.

Carrefour de la Chaussée d’Antin (Chaussée d’Antin crossroads)

by Françoise Janicot (1972, 33 min)

Based on a text and sound montage by Bernard Heidsieck, passe partout n°10 to 21

“An astonishing theater of the spoken word, Carrefour de la Chaussée d’Antin takes a jubilant, lucid look at a society and a language of consumption.
Le Carrefour de la Chaussée d’Antin is one of action poet Bernard Heidsieck’s landmark works, commented on, indirectly reputed, but paradoxically still little-known, in which – as always for this poet – sound makes sense, interacting with the score. That’s why it’s impossible to imagine presenting such a piece solely on paper.

Bernard Heidsieck examines the genius of a place – the crossroads of Chaussée-d’Antin, the district of department stores and Haussmanian boulevards – to express (in the sense that Ponge speaks of expression) its sonorous and meaningful atmosphere (…).
The astonishing montage provides a playful, poetic way of seeing and hearing a consumer society where the din of profit remains king.”

Le carrefour de la Chaussée d’Antin is an “attempt at a sonic topography of a Paris hot spot”, “an argued survey of a place, a crossroads, in the center of the city, where the Parisian microcosm intersects and mingles, in complementary or contradictory ways, in a kind of ‘chaotic coherence’: numerous banks, insurance companies, but also the opera, stations, cafés, prostitutes, boutiques.”

This text is composed of a series of mixed quotes on consumer society taken from the books:
Les désillusions du progrès by Raymond Aron
Consumer society by Jean Baudrillard
Michel Crozier’s La société bloquée
The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord
Daily life in the modern world by Henri Lefèvre
The pitfalls and contradictions of the present by Jean Maillé
One-dimensional man by Herbert Marcuse
L’abondance à quoi bon? by David Riesman
Traité de savoir-vivre à l’usage des jeunes générations by Raoul Vanegeim
Vive la société de consommation by Jean Saint-Geours
Future shock by Alvin Toffler

with the participation of René Bertholo, Renée Beslon, Alain Buffon, Suzanne Combard, Lourdes Castro, Armelle Deakin, Jean Degottex, Lola Dupuy, Antoine Esquillat, Ruth Francken, Paul-Armand Gette, Turid Gette, John Giorno, Emmanuelle Heidsieck, Charles-Hervé Heidsieck, Nathalie Heidsieck, Françoise Janicot, Lawrence Lacina, Geneviève Moubarak, Eric Ollivier, Jean-Loup Philippe, Mimo Rotella, Pierre de Russy, Dany Simon, Etienne Szabo, Marianne Szabo, Robert Tchoudoujné, Christine Tsingos / shot on super 8 January-December 1972 transferred to digital video in June 2003.


Portrait-Minute – A Apollinaire

by Françoise Janicot, en collaboration avec Renée Beslon (1968, 2’50’’)

Performance by Bernard Heidsieck, inventor of action poetry (poetry carried by the voice and said “standing up”) and one of the co-founders in 1959 with Henri Chopin of the effervescent and cosmopolitan “sound poetry”, one of the most influential poetic currents of the second half of the twentieth century, through their use of the tape recorder and simultaneous, live improvisation at the microphone.
Heidsieck’s performance “La scissure de Rolando” was created in 1968 as a tribute to Apollinaire, on the occasion of the Apollinaire exhibition at the I.C.A. in London.


Sortie de secours (Emergency exit)

by Françoise Janicot (1987, 9 min)

Françoise Janicot’s performance during a workshop led by Nil Yalter on “Mediatizing contemporary art”.