Les bancs d'excideuil
Located near the college, away from the main arteries, a district of picturesque little streets once housed the shops of Excideuil's craftsmen. Many stories are attached to the place and only some of its inhabitants are still remembered today. The identity of this place is therefore determined by the time of the narrative, a time that underlies the very history of the place. Bringing language into existence in the public space could only be the poet's responsibility, which is why the patrons asked Jacques Jouet to intervene. After numerous exchanges with the inhabitants, the artist ended up writing nineteen poems, which he read. In order to fix them in time and public space, they will be engraved on the back of nineteen benches, places of conviviality, scattered throughout the public space. Finally, Jacques Jouet's poems were published: 2000 copies of them were published, distributed free of charge to patrons and then distributed in the retail sector.
One of the missions of the Centre d'actions culturelles is to preserve the heritage of the medieval village, Jacques Jouet has chosen to adopt the poetic form of 3 stanzas of 3 lines in free verse established by Giraud de Borneil, a troubadour born in Excideuil and to transmit the stories of the city. One of the other constraints was that one of the words had to be repeated in each of the verses. After many exchanges with the inhabitants, Jacques Jouet ended up writing nineteen poems and suggested a reading of some of them. In order to fix them in the public space and the passage of time, the idea of engraving each of the poems on a bench was adopted. A dialectic between private and collective space has therefore been created. The title of each poem gives a name to each of the benches : Bench of Eaten Will, Bench of Resistance Fighters, Bench of the Present etc. Thus, in this neighbourhood where a few retired people live, 19 benches are scattered here and there in public places and create places of sociability. Language is considered here as the supreme social link, but since no artistic project should remain confined to Excideuil, Jacques Jouet's poems were also published in 2000 copies. The books were distributed free of charge to sponsors and then marketed. And as one of Excideuil's retirees suggested: "You could imagine a guided tour, from bench to bench, with sketches, and an accordionist..." Excideuil's urban project, which seeks to experiment and exchange, also conveys an ethic.
Born in 1947 in Viry Chatillon, Jacques Jouet has been a member of the Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) since 1963. The particularity of Jouet is that it knows how to give a contemporary effect to this ancient poetic form. At the same time poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, and visual artist (he makes collages). Jacques Jouet also participates, like François Caradec, Paul Fournel and Hervé Le Tellier, in the "Papous dans la tête" on France Culture. His soap opera La république de Mek Ouyes was broadcast simultaneously on this radio and on the web, through the website of its publisher P.O.L.