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Matéi Visniec
Illustration Joèla Visniec
Actes du théâtre n° 92.[ imprimer ]
They're from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, Irak, Lybia, Mali, Algeria, Morocco, Haiti and many other places where life is no longer compatible with the idea of a future. There are millions of them. How many million? No one knows. They're called "migrants" and they have only one thing on their minds: the desire to reach Europe.
In the space of just five months Europe panicked. Political authorities and public opinion understood that there are about 80 million people on the planet living in war-torn regions and they have the right, in principle, to ask for international protection and thus political asylum in Europe. Borders began to close, the symbol of barbed wire rose up from the nightmarish depths of history. Europe didn't know what was happening to it, didn't know what to do, and the temptation to repudiate its values was great (freedom of movement, human rights, an open society, etc.) and to stop the millions candidates for exile on the way.

"War has never been pretty, and migration has never been joyful. But the migratory Tsunami we are witnessing is heinous on both sides of the border. Anything goes - whether organizing a Barbed Wire Show, deciding to display the worst situations in the media to discourage supplicants, or cleverly measuring out humanism and border protection. The absurdity, ludicrousness and enormity the playwright is so fond of are beyond limits here because the subject is so huge and revolting. Matéi Visniec's treatment is brilliant, simple and straightforward in this play that you read in one breath and, not ending, it prompts a sense of dread and rage."
Christophe Mory, preface to the publication

Scheduled to open in October 2016. Director: Gérard Gélas.
On July 14th at 11 a.m., a reading of the play will be held at the Théâtre de Halles, and the book just been released by L'Oeil du Prince will be presented.

Characters : 6 women - 6 men -
Editions L'Œil du prince


Three girls in very sexy outfits are jumping rope.

GIRL 1 Hello.
GIRL 2 Welcome to this inaugural year…
ALL THREE OF THEM … of the Barbed Wire Show!

We only now realize that the ropes the girls have been jumping look a lot like barbed wire.

GIRL 1 We're offering a wide range of anti-immigrant barbed wire that's reliable and cheap.
GIRL 2 As you have noticed, the era when borders were innocently opened is over.
GIRL 3 Today, people are putting up fences and walls everywhere.
GIRL 1 Look at that hideous thing on the Greco-Macedonian border …

Projection: two rows of fences and barbed wire with a passageway in the middle where military vehicles are patrolling.

GIRL 2 This is Europe?

Projection: horrific fences on the Serbo-Hungarian border.

GIRL 3 These are our aesthetic values?
GIRL 1 Is this the image we're projecting around the world?
ALL THREE OF THEM Shame on our leaders! And shame on us all!
GIRL 2 Where is our creativity?
GIRL 1 Where is our appetite for insolence?
GIRL 3 Never mind!
GIRL 1 Our company "Steel and Sweetness" …
GIRL 2 Is offering a new and totally revolutionary product ...
ALL THREE OF THEM … barbed wire with a human face!


GIRL 1 Designer barbed wire!
GIRL 2 Smiley barbed wire!
GIRL 1 In a cheerful green color, this barbed wire has strong ecological overtones.
GIRL 3 When installed it looks like a green wall.

The girls drop the jump ropes and climb onto the machine that installs the barbed wire. The director may reuse the whole range of lewd gestures from the "hostesses" at the auto show.

GIRL 1 And here's the tool that comes with it … The fastest barbed wire installing machine in the world.
GIRL 2 Look at this really comical prototype … It looks like a gigantic hippopotamus …
GIRL 3 Speed of barbed wirish moving-installing-fine-tuning: twenty-two kilometers per hour.
GIRL 1 The hippopotamus leaves behind a quadruple barbed wire fence four meters tall, nearly impassable, and staggeringly beautiful to boot …
GIRL 2 Aesthetically, it's as merry, friendly and endearing as can be. Seen from afar it looks like lace vegetation, a well-trimmed and well maintained hedge of trees or shrubs. It's only when you get within one meter that you realize it's a barbed wire structure.
GIRL 3 We hope that you'll admire the craftsmanship in this work of art. There's nothing mean, threatening or ideological about this kind of fence. You could see it rather as a work of environmental art, a kind of open-air installation worthy of great artists like Christian Boltanski or Anish Kapoor. There's also a monumental art aspect in this way of installing a fence. It beautifies the landscape and fits in with the natural environment. And if you add a few wind turbines it comes close to perfection …
GIRL 1 We're even thinking about having a picnic by that hedge whose color quietly changes every two or three kilometers …
GIRL 2 Absinthe green that turns into almond green that turns into apple green that turns into lime green that turns into pistachio green that turns into forest green …

The girls recreate the tableau from Manet's "Déjeuner sur l’herbe".

GIRL 3 Come, come with us for a lovely picnic lunch, a déjeuner sur l’herbe.