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Petit Pois



An open letter to the French people of the world

The time has come to make a stand, to stop revelling in the past glories and wishing for a return to 1912 or 1968; the time has come to make a new declaration of independence. You the people who gave the world liberté, égalité and fraternité have disappointed in the recent past...

We must build on certain aspects of your character, namely I would suggest your audacity, and to restate certain fundamental foundations for a modern, serious and intelligent culture. We must also seek to challenge the French propensity for Idealism in both its senses.

The first step is the gesture (as you know the slogan has been le/la gesture du jour), this must occur outside the system, it can not take place within as the system requires clarity; the gesture of the artist is a short cut bypassing clarity...

Performance uniquely deals with issues of authenticity in a visceral way. The authenticity of the body is a check and balance against the delusions of the mind.

To this end we have commissioned a number of artists/ activists/ performers to contribute and collaborate with the Centre of Attention in Petit Pois, in what amounts to a theatre of crudité.

The gesture is the lightning rod that focuses desire; is a call to arms; a catalyst. The gesture is a wedge into the world's systems that will become a manifesto of deeds. 'De l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace !!'

the Centre of Attention, April 2006



Petits Pois


14 June: The House of O'Dwyer anxiety dream at the Barbican
4 July: Theo Cowley The Harlequin Sits with the 7 Sins and a Character with No Character at Tate Modern

14 July: Rachel Brooksby untitled (singing) at the Camden Arts Centre
19 Sept: Relâche (hommage to Picabia) at the Whitechapel Gallery
28 Sept: Eileen Perrier at the Photographers Gallery

26 Oct: Children at Bischoff / Weiss

31 Oct: Julie Wells at the V&A
18 Nov: Anthony Schrag at Carter Presents
23 Nov: Ben Cummins at Anthony Reynolds


Petit Pois is organised by the Centre of Attention in collaboration with Sophie Kaplan and part of Paris calling, a season of contemporary art from France

Paris Calling

Societe Generale