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CE QUI ROULE - That which rolls
(Early forms of rollin’rock) Rainer Ganahl

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Rainer Ganahl has spent several years developing works related to bicycles. "My bike," he explains, "isn't only the way I get around, it's also a pair of spectacles through which I see the city. It's sort of an extension of my ears and eyes, an interface with urban society. I'm also exploring a major aesthetic technology." The artist's exploits include endangering life and limb by riding the wrong way down large and small arteries in New York (2006), Hong Kong (2005), Damascus (2004) and Tirana (2003). He also throws his bike off balance by filming as he rides, making a splash and a video at the same time. In other words, he gives others a new way of seeing the city. His interest in the bicycle is historical, political, and social, as well as personal.

Rainer Ganahl was artist-in-residence at the Laboratoires from 2007 to 2008. He based his own artistic inquiry on the life and work of Alfred Jarry. The project, entitled That-Which-Rolls (early forms of Rollin' Rock) focuses on Jarry's passion for bicycles and his vision of the disciplinary machine as manifest in his writings and biography. The project included a play staged at the Laboratoires on June 10th and 11th, and a film screened from November 7th to December 5th.

The play was inspired by Le Surmâle, a novel written in 1902, and a short text entitled La Passion Considéréé Comme Course de Côte. In the first, we attend the "ten-thousand mile race," which pits a high-speed train against cyclists doped with a performance-enhancing drug called Perpetual-Motion-Food. This same drug is behind the Surmâle's "uncanny" powers: the ability to have sex for a whopping 24 hours, a feat unparalleled in literature.
In the second text, Jarry pokes fun at his own religious upbringing and casts Jesus Christ as a cyclist who meets his demise on the hill of Golgotha.

The film looks at some of the schizo-poetic disorders that Alfred Jarry dreamed up and suffered from. A collection of anecdotes, historical events, poems and stories, it describes an historical and, at the same time, imaginary poet. More than a biopic of Jarry (who is played by Rainer Ganahl himself) the film is a playful amalgam of literary sources and pure invention.

Avec le soutien du Conseil général de la Seine-Saint-Denis
(accueil en résidence 2008)
Avec le soutien du Forum Culturel Autrichien


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