On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 6pm, collective reading of L'Opoponax (1964) by Monique Wittig at CRAC Alsace, in collaboration with Librairie Mille Feuilles in Altkirch, as part of the closing of the exhibition OTTILIA, open until September 17, 2023. 

To participate, please contact Maria Gamboa at m.gamboa@cracalsace.com or by phone at 03 89 08 82 59.

In 2019, we read aloud Les Guérillères by Monique Wittig (1969). This late summer, we invite you to plunge into Wittig's past, following the course of her childhood memories poured into L'Opoponax, her first novel (1964). 

"Monique Wittig—who was born in 1935 in Dannemarie, a town just a few kilometers from CRAC Alsace, and passed away in 2003 in Tucson, Arizona—is part of the art center’s political and affective territory, so much so that we set out to read the entirety of her work over five years ago, to see how this experience would affect our program. In the course of collective readings, projects and residencies, the books—La Pensée straight (The Straight Mind), Le Brouillon pour un dictionnaire des amantes (Lesbian Peoples: Material for a Dictionary), Le Corps lesbien (The Lesbian Body), ..., Paris-la-politique—were passed from hand to hand until Les Guérillères* reached the top of the pile in 2019, eventually becoming the bedside book of the group exhibition Le couteau sans lame et dépourvu de manche (The Knife Without a Blade That Lacks a Handle)**, then that of the exhibition OTTILIA.  Inspired by this book, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz turned it into an experiment in cinema in Puerto Rico, then at Altkirch, last summer at CRAC Alsace, where she worked together with a group of artists, teachers, students and children close to the art center. What happens when Beatriz’s ideas are thrown into Wittig’s native Alsace? It makes the film Œnanthe. It’s sweet and tastes like Opoponax".

—E.T., 2023.

"What's the book about? It's about children. Ten, a hundred little girls and boys who bear the names they've been given, but who might as well exchange them for new pennies. It's about a thousand little girls together, a tide of little girls coming at you and submerging you. It is indeed about that, a fluid and vast, marine element. A whole harvest, a tide of children carried by a single wave: because, first of all, when the book begins, they're very, very young, they're in the depths of an endless age "***.

—Marguerite Duras, 1964.

* Monique Wittig, trans. David Le Vay. Les Guérillères (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971).

** Le couteau sans lame et dépourvu de manche (The Knife Without a Blade That Lacks a Handle), a group exhibition at CRAC Alsace with Meris Angioletti, Tarek Lakhrissi, Candice Lin, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Liv Schulman, Marnie Slater, P. Staff, Lena Vandrey, October 13, 2019–January 12, 2020.

*** Marguerite Duras, "Une œuvre éclatante", France Observateur, 15e year, n°757, November, 5, 1964, p. 18-19.