Uncertain and confused, saturated with threats, our era is a dark one in which we move forward without knowledge. Through ultra-rapid changes, profit and its deleterious religion, and the return of nationalisms and tyrants, a poison is spreading, trickling down, and infecting minds. The race to the bottom is made up of lies and a peculiar indifference, as if escaping the negativity were pointless. Oppositions are becoming organised of course, voices are being raised, but they are drowning in the corruption of discourse and the demoralisation of will.

While the theory of trickle-down economics is eminently debatable, that of a toxic contagion, on the other hand, is much less so: the viral proliferation of egotism, the open fertilisation of short-term interests mortgaging the future, the stranglehold of sophism over reflection, the concession given to the logic of numbers erasing that of humans, contamination from top to bottom, from the head down to the toes...

And yet... nothing is done.

There are rumblings everywhere, and art, in its many functions, certainly has a role to play as an antidote in this dark constellation: that of a star with magnetic light that pulls our expectations elsewhere, differently. Every work is understood by the fantasmatic and critical movement that it provokes, the emancipations that it encourages: that is the meaning and opening that the shows display throughout the festival.

Regardless of their impact on the real, the imaginative stage forms that create singular worlds preserve the sensitive and keep the mind awake. While art cannot cure, and even if it conveys its own poisons, it unlocks doors, clears paths, and announces beginnings that save us from all the twilights.

Dawn, like a promise...

Patrick Bonté
General and artistic direction

Image (c) Chantal Michel