Charly received a production grant for his play Les Restes.
What is your artistic background?
It began in 2006 in a literary preparatory class where, struck by the discovery of Céline and Roland Barthes, I decided to start writing. The whole university period that followed was divided between the study of semiology, literature, theatre history, philosophy and psychoanalysis. In 2013, I joined the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Art Dramatique de Montpellier under the successive directorships of Richard Mitou, Ariel Garcia-Valdès and Gildas Milin. During this reflective and collective period, I had the chance to work with many artists such as Gildas Millin, Alain Françon, Jean-Pierre Baro, Robert Cantarella, Cyril Teste, Bérangère Vantusso, Pascal Kirsch, Damien Manivel; and the immense joy of meeting the actors with whom I work today. In 2016 I founded, with Bastien Noël, Jordan Willocq and Valentin Husson an online literary review, Le Verbier, and in 2017, with Katia Ferreira and Charles-Henri Wolff, a theatre organisation, Le 5ème Quart, within which I undertook my first writing and directing project, Les Restes, which was performed the same year at Le Printemps des Comédiens festival in Montpellier.
How do you see your profession today?
It can only be kaleidoscopic, as the diversity of practices and proposals is so great. The decompartmentalization of disciplines gives rise to surprising hybridizations; the sophistication of technical processes allows new economies of diffusion and sharing, and access to knowledge and technologies opens up new networks of meanings: theatre today takes on ever more opaque layers, but what surprises me is that a majority of discourse claims that it is finally getting rid of them. It is on this point that my resolve wobbles, with mistrust and hostility. Because it is the same for language, with which we would like to finally say what is real. It is an advertising fantasy that structures the cultural ideal and the economy of its productions: artistic projects are asked to adopt a mode of existence similar to that of companies, with specifications that respond to the supposed demand of an imaginary target with detailed objectives and concrete missions. The exact opposite of all that makes "my profession", which I say must always find the means to stand out, all the more so today.
How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
It's very difficult to answer. The issue of perception and the viewer is at the very heart of a theatre practitioner’s art. Every time he exposes himself to the danger of blindness (his own or that of others, of himself or his work). Because even if, at the beginning, I delude myself with visions and pre-visions, like so many excitements that amplify the promise of a goal, they are in reality only the means to become blind again at the moment of creation. They fall, if I may say so, into the dark, from the eye to the diaphragm, from which a breath, a word, a gesture, a movement can be organised. Something that takes shape in view of an address. And then it exposes itself to the unknown expectation of the spectators, who will judge whether it touches them or looks at them, as they say. All this to say that the future is what comes without warning, that bursts out of difference in the time worked through repetition. It is precisely what each project is aimed at, as an invitation to the future. But to respond more directly, in all the ways I project myself, there is a recurring wish: that of being able to enjoy conditions that always allow me to refine my obsessions. In five or 10 years’ time, I will no doubt be banging at the same nail, but hopefully with the impression that I am doing something else.
This interview was conducted in 2017
Photo credit: Antonin Amy-Menichetti