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A new season is about to start! It’s exciting in all directions: the program, changes we’re undertaking in the house, new collaborations. We wonder how the chemistry of the whole thing will develop. The sensation of the unknown is delicious. Our Fall program contains proposals and spaces exploring relations, conversations and togetherness. It’s not a theme. It’s more an overall state of mind that nurtures and contaminates the season and the theater. Our approach is not isolated in the art field. It echoes also a long history of political ecology as well as more recent movements. Indeed my summer readings led me to re-read Tools for conviviality, written in 1973 by Ivan Illich, who proposed the total liberation of the individuality of each person and the rediscovery of well-being. The theater is a space for well-being. It includes meeting others (directly or mediated through the artwork) and informal hangouts that encourage conversation. We propose a collectiveness that allows for individuality and stimulates subjectivity, the singular, the non-standard, the sideways. Well-being does not mean comforting; the experience can be discomforting or questioning, but in any case there is a meeting point. It’s interesting to consider this together with some of the ideas developed in Maintenant (Now) the latest opus released a few months ago by The Invisible Committee, an anonymous collective of French radicals. Making the observation that we live in a fragmented society because of the isolation generated by GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), The Invisible Committee focuses on links and the importance of relationships between people. “To love is never to be together but to become together”. Behind what might sound like sentimental words, laudable intentions emerge: what if we take the chance of love, of collective arrangements that enable us to organize existentially and sensitively. And what if we think in terms of “becoming” – something in constant motion – rather than in terms of “being”. Black Box teater is a dynamic space where we value relations. In this period of wounds and breaches of our ideals, a dialogue in Chekhov’s Platonov springs to mind: “What’s to be done Nikolay? Bury the dead and repair the living!” For the latter, we should be creating opportunities where the immaterial, the unproductive, the impalpable can be deployed, where it is possible to collaborate and at the same time to oppose, where sensibility and perception are stimulated. We are working on making Black Box teater one of these spaces. Artists from here and elsewhere will visit us for the first time, together with artists with whom Black Box teater has faithful links. We believe in the virtue of these long-term collaborations that allow the public to journey through bodies of work over the years. The fall program also offers formats that invest differently in generating dialogues and exploring time and space. We should be a welcoming space. Our transformed foyer invites all forms of real and intangible conversations, including a peculiar bookshop. Our redesigned brochure and website are part of this move. Together with you, we join the call for engagement and relations. Our pace is soft and our enthusiasm radiates.

Looking forward to welcoming you!

Anne-Cécile Sibué-Birkeland