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Anne Kawala
(France, 1980)   
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Anne Kawala

In the work of Anne Kawala, the performative dimension is key. The written version of her texts has something of the musical score or libretto, and a different realisation in each recital. As in contemporary art installations, Kawala often writes or adapts texts specially for an event or a location. The choreography of gesture and voice, sometimes numerous voices, creates countless new meanings. 

Readers of her work on paper need to find their own way among the different story lines and heterogeneous elements. Starting with Kawala's first collection, F.aire L.a F.eui||e (f.l.f) (2008) many texts initially appear to be illegible visual compositions: illustrations with text behind, through and around them; typographical experiments; and borrowed image and text fragments here and there. About this Kawala says: "I ask those who read to start with the different elements and create a context, a form of understanding, to make their own montage. There is more than one way of reading […] Linearity is not the only option."

Since Anne Kawala often crafts her work in prose or even in booklength form, it is difficult to talk about individual poems. This does not mean that the conceptual dimension of the work leaves no room for poetry: the 'Song of the hunter-gatheress' from Le déficit impensable (2016), for example, toys with the tradition of oral lyric. Half rhyme, word association and a play on words all occupy important positions in a text such as '006'. In addition, Anne Kawala investigates and questions the world, but, as she writes, "understanding is a whole, not a dichotomy. It is a basket: it has eggs inside it, but also next to it."  The performance and/or the reader dictate which pieces of the historical, social and literary mosaic finally make it into the greater whole.

© Kim Andringa (Translated by Christiane Zwerner)


F.aire L.a F.eui||e (f.l.f), Editions Le Clou dans le Fer, Reims 2008
Le cow-boy et le poète (book + CD), Editions L'Attente, Bordeaux, 2011
part &, coll. extractions, .d. Joca Seria, Nantes, 2011
De la rose et du renard, leurs couleurs et odeurs, Le refuge, Editions cipM, Marseille, 2012
Le déficit indispensable (screwball), Editions Al Dante, Marseille, 2016
Au coeur du coeur de l'écrin, Editions Lanskine, Nantes, 2017
Screwball (the indispensable lack)  English translation by Kit Schluter, Canarium Books, Marfa, forthcoming 2017



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