35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Exhibition view of the work of Min Tanaka and François PainMin Tanaka à La Borde [Min Tanaka at La Borde], during the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible © Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Min Tanaka e François Pain

A person dressed in rags walks with difficulty. The modest clothing could in some way relate to The Madwoman of Chaillot.¹ The clumsy figure looks almost as though it is learning to walk, although what it is learning is not at all functional, and its way of relating to the world is nothing ordinary. But that difficulty results in a beauty of movement that transforms into something more beautiful than a simple sequence of steps: it is a dance. The different parts of the body act and interact with each other, though not in a way one would expect. Feet, legs, and arms move implausibly, creating unexpected correlations and reciprocities with everything that surrounds it, whether human or not. This performance was realized by dancer and actor (as he describes himself) Min Tanaka at the French clinic La Borde, where Félix Guattari spent some time working with Jean Oury, the clinic’s founder. Both psychoanalysts, Félix and Jean sought to create a space that would not reproduce hierarchical power relationships, a place of exchange between assistants and patients, between general staff and doctors. His way of relating to the La Borde patients evokes support, affection, and mutual learning. That is the choreographic element of the impossible that permeates the work. Tanaka is a Japanese dancer who works against the grain of traditional dance. Since 1974, he has been developing a very specific performance model that breaks away from established disciplines and which he calls hiperdança, emphasizing the psychosocial unit of one body without organs or predetermined functions. Throughout his career, Tanaka has developed a practice that is impossible to classify. In his words: a dance with no name. He once said that together we incorporate a unique body that belongs to no one: a body of the earth. Min Tanaka à La Borde (1986) was directed by François Pain, a French filmmaker who worked with Félix Guattari at La Borde, and whose work focuses on issues of schizoanalysis and anti-psychiatry, understanding cinema as a machine for generating spaces of care.

sylvia monasterios and tarcisio almeida
translated from Portuguese by georgia fleury reynolds

Min Tanaka (Tokyo, Japan, 1945) is a dancer who goes against the wave of traditional dance. Since 1974, he has been developing artistic projects that break away from the disciplinary boundaries of dance, emphasizing a psychosocial unity of a body without organs and predetermined functions. Tanaka actively collaborates with visual artists, musicians, music groups, theater companies, and dance troupes both in Japan and internationally.

François Pain (Paris, France, 1945) is a director and author of several films related to schizoanalysis and antipsychiatry. He was an active collaborator of Félix Guattari while working at La Borde clinic. He co-founded the Fédération de Radios Libres Non Commerciales [Non Commercial Free Radios Federation], Radio Tomate, and the associations Canal Déchaîné (1991) and Chaosmédia (1994). François Pain sees cinema as a machine that serves to generate spaces of care.

This participation is supported by National Center for Art Research, Japan.

1. Directed by Bryan Forbes, The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) is a British-American dramatic comed based on the play La Folle de Chaillot, by Jean Giraudoux.