A coedition a.p.r.e.s éditions / Centre national des arts plastiques
An artist, Nil Yalter, who can conceive of art only as a political commitment.
Or an artistic development marked by themes of confinement and liberation.
Or a composite installation, La Roquette, prison de femmes (1974-1975), acquired
by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques as soon as it was created.
Or a film, the central point of the installation, where the mise en scène and
the plasticity of the images plunges the spectator into the prison environment.
Or Mimi, an ex-convict who tells her story openly, in voiceover.
Or a collection of texts by Philippe Artières, Pascale Cassagnau, Anne-Marie
Duguet, Fabienne Dumont, Mimi and Melis Tezkan, which are like so many variations
on Nil Yalter and her work.
A film by Nil Yalter. In collaboration with Judy Blum and Nicole Croiset.
The film La Roquette, prison de femmes is part of a multimedia installation
of the same name, created by Nil Yalter in 1974 in collaboration with artist Judy
Blum and film director Nicole Croiset.
This multifaceted work grew out of a chance meeting with Mimi, a former
prisoner of the Petite Roquette prison for women. The installation consists of a
black-and-white videotape and a series of drawings and photographs, along
with a full written transcription of Mimi’s narrative. For the film, Mimi accepted
to record her story directly on a tape recorder, without constraints or witnesses.
It is transmitted in voiceover.
The mise en scène and the plasticity of the images plunge the spectator into the
life of a sexist prison environment and make the physical and mental confinement
of the prisoners perceptible.
BONUS: « Marguerite Duras à la Petite Roquette » A film by Jean-Noël Roy
A complementary audiovisual document from the archives of the French National Institute of
Audiovisual (Ina) presents a 1967 interview with France’s first female prison director, Marie-Marguerite
Vigorie, in office at the Petite Roquette prison. The interview was filmed by Jean-Noël Roy for the television
show Dim/Dam/Dom and conducted by Marguerite Duras.
Texts by Philippe Artières, Pascale Cassagnau,
Anne-Marie Duguet, Fabienne Dumont, Mimi and Melis Tezkan:
Fabienne Dumont: La Roquette, from confinement to emancipation
Melis Tezkan: A Home of my own
Anne-Marie Duguet: La Roquette, A Prison for Women
Philippe Artières: Word for word
Pascale Cassagnau: Writing from the outsid: Marguerite Duras à la Petite Roquette (1967, 12'15'')
Works by Nil Yalter from the collections
of Centre national des arts plastiques
Philippe Artières is a historian and head of research at the Centre national de
la Recherche Scientifique, within the Institut interdisciplinaire d’Anthropologie
du contemporain at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.
Pascale Cassagnau is an art historian, inspector-advisor for artistic creation,
and head of the audiovisual, video and new media collections at the Centre
National des Arts Plastiques. Anne-Marie Duguet is Professor Emeritus at the
Université Paris 1, art critic and exhibition commissioner. She is the author of
Vidéo, la mémoire au poing (1981); Jean-Christophe Averty (1991); and Déjouer
l’image. Créations électroniques et numériques (2002). She manages Anarchive,
a multimedia collection on contemporary art. Fabienne Dumont is an art historian,
art critic, and teacher at the École européenne supérieure d’Art de Bretagne.
Her doctoral thesis became a book, Des sorcières comme les autres – Artistes
et féministes dans la France des années 1970 (2014). She also edited
the anthology La rébellion du Deuxième Sexe – L’histoire de l’art au crible
des théories féministes anglo-américaines (1970-2000) (2011). She is preparing
a monograph on Nil Yalter. Melis Tezkan is an artist and researcher. She is
a cofounder of the “biriken” collective.