What would a contemporary civic ritual look like in France today and of whom would it be constituted? Might it be possible to delineate the contours of this civic renewal in Toulouse, a multicultural city much in the image of contemporary France? Borrowing its title from Serge Gainsbourg’s reggae remix of the French national anthem La Marseillaise, “Aux Armes, et cætera”, etcetera: un rituel civique will differ the call to arms and reorganize instead this “everything else” (the French translation of the Latin locution “etcetera”) into an “everybody else” to create the conditions of emergence of this contemporary civic ritual.
A 2-part, 2-year participatory public project, etcetera brings together artistic practice and civic society and forms a rich ceremonial complex comprised of diverse forms of public address including art and movement as well as sound and food. The first part, in the fall of 2016, dubbed repas-performance harmonisé inaugurated the project with moderated debates over food and to the sound of a musical performance while the second part, to take place in fall 2017 will unfold as a multi-stop, city-wide, day-long performance.
For this second and last part of etcetera, a series of networked sites throughout the city of Toulouse articulates scenes of displacement and dispossession even as members of temporary communities engaged in cooking, construction-building, role-playing, loitering, masking and other laborious tasks and playful activities test what might constitute contemporary forms of civic rituals during the span of one September day.
Two years in the making, etcetera stems from the collaboration between the artistic team composed of curator Claire Tancons, artist Mohamed Bourouissa, musician and composer Christophe Chassol and dancer and choreographer James Carlès; the commissioning and producing non-profit art organization Printemps de septembre and nearly thirty associations and organizations including community centers and learning institutions, dance schools, sports clubs and restaurants.