A Rousseauist Walk

A Rousseauist Walk emerged during the creation of the performance Le verrou (The lock), which opens on the reconstruction of Fragonard’s eponymous painting, painted in the late 1770s. The piece leans more or less towards the rhetoric of de Sade but it is Rousseau who guides this walking/writing workshop offered by Alice Roland with Gaëlle Bourges.

What are our dreams made of, those moments of « delicious drunkeness » cherished by Jean-Jacques Rousseau? To answer this question, the participants follow in the footsteps of the author of « Dreams of the Solitary Walker », accompanied by Alice Roland and Gaëlle Bourges, passionate about the collection of plants and who saw literature as a walk and there found inspiration to write.

In the first instance, during a one-hour walk, punctuated by sensory aspects, each walker is invited to explore the interior and exterior landscapes and contemplate nature (that which is outside, manufactured, invented by the human hand and eye; that which is inside, made up of sensations and thoughts that walking generates.

A second phase is consecrated to writing: each participant constitutes the first page of an herbarium of personal impressions, from what he/she has experienced on the walk – we will put together the result of a gathering of perceptions rather than plants.

Between the search for a precise description (like a botanical garden of sensations) and abandoning one’s self to « delicious drunkeness » to dreaming and writing developed in a « coming and going of detail to the whole and from the whole of the detail », this dual movement that art historian, Daniel Arasse evokes to explain the pleasure that we feel in contemplating a landscape.

Cover Photo: Herbier de Linné