Pocket Oxford Dictionary: Oxford / Catherine Contour: CC


Oxford: between assegai and assemble. Action, manner of assembling; assemblage resulting from a combination.
CC: A temporary organisation of heterogeneous elements in a place.
Gilles Deleuze: What exactly is an assemblage? It is a multiplicity that contains a large number of heterogeneous terms and that establishes links, relationships with each other, through different ages, genders, reigns, natures. Thus the only unit of the assemblage is to co-operate: it is a symbiosis, a “sympathy”. What matters are never filiations, but alliances and alloys (…). In an assemblage it is as though there were two faces or two heads at least. States of things, states of bodies (bodies penetrate each other, mingle, transmit affects): but also statements, statement speeds: signs are organised in a new way, new formulations arise, a new style for new gestures… And then there is another axis along which assemblages must be divided: this time, according to the movements driving them and that fix them or carry them away, that fix or carry away desire with its states of things and statements. There is no assemblage without territory, territoriality and reterritorialisation that comprises all kinds of contrivances. But nor is there an assemblage without a point of deterritorialisation, without a vanishing line, that lead to new creations, or to death?  


Oxford: between assist and assistant. Action of assisting someone. 1/ The fact of giving help to someone – 2/ The fact of helping someone – 3/ Help.
Peter Brook: What is a public? In French, out of the various terms used to refer to those watching - the public, the spectators - one word stands out from the rest: “assistance”. “J’assiste à une pièce, “assist”: in French the word has two meanings, one active (assist/help) and the other passive (attend/be present at), and one of these two meanings supplies the key. An actor gets ready and enters a process that may become sterile at any moment. He gets ready to capture something, to give it life.


Oxford: between self-pity and self-possessed. Portrait of him/ herself by a drawer or painter.
Louis Marin on Philippe de Champaigne: The way in which one can represent oneself would be a kind of paradox between the desire to reveal a “truth about oneself”, something essential belonging to you, and the paradox of being in a form of alteration or alienation from oneself as soon as one is represented (…). Thus the question of the portrait is at the same time the mask and the revelation.
Larys Frogier on CC: What dominates in Catherine Contour’s self-portraits is her quest of what she calls a “body fabrication” process: panoplies (masks and clothes) to experiment, visual, textual and audible elements to explore, various materials (cotton wool, food, etc.) to handle. Such combinative and open-ended actions constitute an initial fundamental experimental phase in which the notion of self-portrait refuses to be a simple figurative and finished representation of the artist. It should be stressed that this phase of action and corporal experience gives importance to the specificity of the place of action. Moreover, body fabrication produces movement, material, sound and affects the spectator over and beyond a simple scopic activity, unlike painted, sculptured and photographed self-portraits. However nor is it a danced self-portrait in the sense of a predefined stage design and choreography whose form would be solely spectacular.


Oxford: to forage between for and forasmuch. Loot; plunder. 1/ Said of bees that visit flowers to seek food for the hive. 2/ Gather.
CC: From one place to the next, a harvest of miscellaneous materials that will be transformed into artistic proposals, just like bees that gather and transform nectar and in so doing play an essential role in the pollination of numerous plants.
Foraging offers us the joys of an enriching collection through all the means at our disposal and that we come across every day When guided by a very clear aim, foraging becomes precise and rapid amidst the flow of data with which we are confronted. It supplies both food and flavour!


Oxford: between colleague and collection. 1/ Unite by a collection. 2/ Gather by moving from place to place.
CC: gather items while travelling around over variable periods of time. The compilation of the Panoply is a form of collection in the long-term: the collection of words on landscape took one year…


Oxford: between conscious and conscript.
Richard Shusterman in Conscience du corps – Pour une soma-esthétique (Body Consciousness – A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics): In English “awareness” forms the counterpart of “consciousness”, but can also designate a different mode of consciousness, a reflexive intensification of consciousness. We can thus say that we are only “conscious” of a bodily sensation but also that we are “aware” to suggest such demultiplication of the levels of consciousness. There is only “consciousness”. Likewise, the term “mindfulness” does not appear to possess an exact equivalent: one whose meaning may go beyond simple attention or even attentive examination, in particular in the context of meditation disciplines.  
In their latest works, Alain Berthoz and Stanislas Dehaene develop the idea of an extended consciousness, covering the two fields of Freudian conscious-unconscious. This continuum steers the conscious attention outwardly or inwardly.


Oxford: between appalling and appparel. What prepares. 1/ Way in which the parts and components of a device are set out; the actual mechanism. 2/ Set of means laid out according to a drawing.
Michel Foucault: A resolutely heterogeneous assembly, comprising speeches, institutions, architectural layouts, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral, philanthropic proposals, in short, the said and the unsaid. The actual apparatus is the system that can be established between these elements.


Oxford: between expensive and experienced. Try out something. 1/ The fact of testing something, considered to be an extension or an enrichment of knowledge, know-how, aptitudes. 2/ The practice we have of something, considered to be a lesson learnt. 3/ Set of mental acquisitions resulting from the exercise of our faculties (in contact with reality, life). 4/ The fact of provoking a phenomenon with the intention of studying it.
Robert Filliou: (…) Finally, it would be necessary to provide each individual, from their childhood, with a variety of experiences that mobilise the mind, not so much as a memory of information transmitted but rather as a person in conversation first with him/ herself and secondly with the other considered as another him/ herself.


Oxford: between evoke and evolution. 1/ Action of calling up spirits, demons, by magic, occultism. 2/ Action of recalling something that has been forgotten, of bringing it to mind. Representation. The evocative power of a word.
CC: Through working by evocation, I call on this capacity in us to bring to mind via spoken words, gestures, movements. The person receiving the artistic proposal is called on through his/ her own capacity to make things happen from evocations worked on with precision.


Oxford: between factorise and factotum. 1/ Way in which something is fabricated. 2/ Medium-sized or non-mechanised establishment designed to convert raw materials or semi-finished products into manufactured products.
Monique Mosser/Hervé Brunon: Term borrowed from the landscape painter’s vocabulary and designating, as from the 17th century, any small construction in a garden.


Oxford: between fathomless and fatstock. 1/ State resulting from excessive functioning of an organ or organism and that results in a decrease in functional capacity. 2/ Boredom, weariness, bother. 3/ What causes fatigue. 4/ Deformations, changes in states undergone by a material or a mechanical part.
Roland Barthes: Fatigue as work, play, creation (…) Fatigue is not an empirical time, a crisis, an organic event or a muscular episode – but an almost metaphysical dimension, a sort of corporal (non conceptual) idea, a mental cenesthesia: the touch, the very tact of the Infinite (…) The game is not only social: we can not only “play on our fatigue” but also “play our fatigue”  (…)  The right to fatigue is thus part of what is new: new things are born of weariness – of having had enough. Goodbye fatigue. (…)


Oxford: between heterodyne and heteromorphic. 1/ Rare. What is of a different nature. Heterogeneous elements of a body. 2/ What is made up of elements of different natures. 3/ What has no unit.


Michel Foucault: The first principle is that there is probably not a single culture in the world that fails to constitute heterotopias (…) The second principle is that a society, as its history unfolds, can make an existing heterotopia function in a very different fashion (…) The third principle is that the heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible (…) perhaps the oldest example of such heterotopias that take the form of contradictory sites is the garden (…) The fourth principle is that heterotopias are most often linked to slices in time (…) Opposite these heterotopias that are linked to an accumulation of time, there are those linked, on the contrary, to time in its most flowing, transitory, precarious aspect, to time in the mode of the festival (…) The fifth principle is that heterotopias always presuppose a system of opening and closing that both isolates them and makes them penetrable (…) The sixth principle and last trait of heterotopias is that they have a function in relation to all the space that remains. This function unfolds between two extreme poles. Either their role is to create a space of illusion that exposes every real space, all the sites inside of which human life is partitioned, as still more illusory (…)  Or else, on the contrary, their role is to create a space that is other, another  real space, as perfect, as meticulous, as well arranged as ours is messy, ill-constructed and jumbled. This latter type would be the heterotopia, not of illusion, but of compensation  (…) The ship is the heterotopia par excellence.


Oxford: between horizon and horizontally. 1/ Nature of what is horizontal. 2/ Dominance of horizontal lines (in architecture, decoration).
Yves-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss in L’informe: mode d’emploi (Formless: instructions): the work of what is formless is identified in four modes of connected action: horizontality, base materialism, the pulse, entropy.
CC: A position that opens up to perceptions of the body and the environment, offers a point of view, a posture acting at other levels, from the psychanalytical system, to napping and to non-violent demonstrations when bodies are stretched out on the ground to mark their presence.


Oxford: between improvise and imprudent. 1/ Action, art of improvising. Imagination. 2/ What is improvised, composed immediately.  
CC: A way of throwing oneself in at the deep end, of letting oneself be borne by the currents while knowing how to swim.  
Jean-François Billeter in Leçons sur Tchouang-tseu (Lessons on Tchouang-tseu): “To swim”, by this you must understand the art of letting oneself be borne by the currents and eddies in the water and being sufficiently at ease in this element to perceive at the same time everything going on.
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in Mille Plateaux (A Thousand Plateaus): (…) We rush in, we risk an improvisation. But to improvise is to rejoin the World, or merge with it, we leave home to the tune of a light-hearted song.


Oxford: between garble and gardener. A piece of ground, normally enclosed, for growing flowers, fruit or vegetables.
M. Mosser/H. Brunon: An organised and normally enclosed space (in opposition to the park), independent or associated with a building, sheltering useful or decorative plants. Created from a greater or lesser modification of a natural site, the garden that satisfies practical or decorative functions is characterised by its line, its relief, its plant cover and its treatment of water.  Architecture and sculpture play an important role.
CC: The garden as a self-portrait of its creator who speaks to us through time, an initiatory place, a place of knowledge to which all the senses are invited, a place of representation, a laboratory…, a heterotopia.


Oxford: between gardenia and garfish. 1/ Culture of gardens. 2/ Method of forestry consisting of removing at certain places, besides old trees, a few healthy trees intended for trade.
CC: Gardening provides a special viewpoint in that we have to relate to various time scales (the day, the season, years, etc.). It is a sequence of precise actions at the service of a project bound by its very nature to be transformed.
Gilles Clément: I finished by accepting that movement and only movement - taken in its physical and biological acceptance - made it possible to solve a difficult dilemma: the gardener's ability to welcome what is alive without the changing forms in his expert hands ever being a source of distress.


Oxford: between clothing and cloudburst. 1/ Cluster of water vapour condensed into fine droplets suspended in the atmosphere by updrafts. 2/ by analogy, a cloud of smoke, dust, etc. 3/ Aged. What prevents us from seeing, what obscures, blurs our vision, intelligence. 4/ Something that announces a danger, is threatening.
CC: Multitude of water droplets in suspension, movement, transit, with an unstable outline.
Hubert Damisch: Through the effects of texture to which it lends itself, the cloud contradicts the very idea of outline and delineation, and through its relative inconsistency, denies the solidity, permanence and identity that define shape, in the conventional sense of the word.


Larousse: between pannier and panorama. 1/ Array of instruments, of accessories necessary for an activity. 2/ Set of possible actions available in a given situation; A panoply of aid devices to help people give up smoking (arsenal, series). 4/ Collection of weapons laid out on a board: A panoply is found above the fireplace. arsenal, assortment, battery, collection, samples, set, batch.
CC: The artistic process encompasses the compilation of a vast panoply – comprising materials, accessories, clothes, objects, small items of furniture – linked to the notion of collecting. The panoply is added to by the offerings of the places passed through (new acquisitions, loans or occasional misappropriations) and by orders with artists.


Oxford: between perform and perfume. 1/ Calculated result obtained by a race horse, an athlete, on each public showing. 2/ Feat, success.   
Laurence Louppe: Today performance is making a spectacular return to the art scene. The current urgency to raise the issue of the body and to renew creative processes has united visual artists, dancers, musicians, video artists, etc. in a field of shared activities (…) At the same time as new analysis tools are being developed that explore the notion of performing as an intermediate practice between the individual and his/ her social environment, between Michel Foucault’s “technologies of the self” and the use of contexts, today’s performers insist on the problem of a sexed body, how it forms part of the art system and, beyond this, of the political world.   Concerns that already haunted the founding experiences of the 60s-70s and that today continue to be exacerbated.


Oxford: between proceeds and procession. 1/ Set of phenomena, conceived as active and organised in time. Evolution. 3/ Process of growth, development, extension.
Other: 1/ Sequence of phenomena leading to a specific result: The fermentation process (course, development, running). 2/ Continuous series of operations consisting of how to produce, to make something: A fabrication process (procedure, technique).
CC: I am pursuing a search into the close link between the artistic process and the hypnotic process (a natural process that we can develop).


Oxford: between respray and restaurant. 1/ Cease carrying out a tiring activity; abandon a painful position to eliminate a feeling of fatigue. 2/ Term used for the earth that is left uncultivated deliberately to restore its fertility. 3/ Be idle, inactive.


Oxford: between witless and witter. I- Testimony. Call someone to witness. II- Person who testifies, who makes a testimony.
1/ Person who certifies or can certify something, who can testify to it. 2/ Person in the presence of whom something took place and who is called on as a witness to testify to it before a law court. 3/ Person who bears witness, asserts a belief or attests a truth through his/ her declarations, acts or existence. 4/ Person who is present at an event or act and who perceives it. Spectator. III- What is used as proof, attestation, manifesto. 1/ Testimony, proof. 2/ Something that, by its presence or existence, attests, is a means of noticing, verifying.  
CC: A revealing and catalysing partner, an active fermenting agent in the artistic process. Another point of view.
Carole Bodin: To testify, is to speak from this experience which is particular to me. My testimony gives out no “truth”, provides no instructions. It is engraved in no certainty. It does not pretend to be “objective” but rather claims a fictional nature. It is what you are seeking or what you can find. It has a missing part. It is confrontation, a mirror, correspondences, in the moving mosaic woven by the testimonies of all those who, like myself, have been witnesses. A mosaic that tends to encircle but never fix the borders and the scope of the potential essence of the experience of the witness.