Mélissa Burckel: Hello, Julien, how are you?
Julien Ribot: I feel like a kitten being born in a wheelbarrow in the middle of a mountain landscape. That’s not too bad, despite several offbeat projects, and in particular one that was close to my heart in San Francisco. But I’m taking advantage of this period to work on other things I had put on hold for too long. So, in the end, it’s very positive.
MB: Three words to describe what we have been living since March 18?
JR: I would use five: stratification, extraterrestrial, archival, sinusoid and fragmentation.
MB: You are, as they say, a multidisciplinary artist, illustrator, composer, singer, author, director … Does one of these artistic forms dominate all the others?
JR: The word discipline has a double meaning, and I think I have an unconscious tendency to avoid it. (Laughs.) Perhaps by multiplying it over and over again I want to make it disappear? I think specialization scares me. I see multi-disciplinarity as an octopus with nine brains whose arms cross, touch, and articulate together, the suction cups capturing the sources and references necessary for the creation of the work. However, the arms, even if they are free to move, remain linked to a single body, like a labyrinthine entity with several possible paths to the exit. What are the arms that will best express the idea, how to manipulate them, and how to measure their movement? How to modulate the elasticity and suppleness of the body that associates them? In reality, it is the question of movement and time that links and dominates them. This is why I am turning more and more towards theater and cinema creations, which are multidisciplinary by essence. Working with dance is one of the paths that interests me enormously and that I have not yet explored. I recently learned that my great-great-grandfather was Théodule Armand Ribot, inventor of modern psychology and author of “Essay on Creative Imagination,” written in 1900. His fascinating book, with relevant and original ideas for his time, speaks precisely about all the different fields of creativity.