Ignorant essays perform actions for the coexistence among people, books and spaces, through readings, digressions, scenes, movies, songs, in a setting between the scene and the class, associated with the idea of emancipating the person, found in Joseph Jacotot (1770-1840) and Jacques Rancière (1940). The rehearsing/essaying body here deals with essayists Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) and Agnès Varda (1928) and experiences different theatrical intensities, with a view to bringing to mind ways to exist, to draw spaces, teach, learn, listen, to think of life as essaying and form, between loneliness and the ordinary. The crafting of the didactic material plays an important role in the project and, in 2017, the group wrote and composed the booklet jacotot, a josé, used on the stage to spur an homonymous action close to the ignorant master. The Ignorant essays were conceived by Juliana Jardim in 2010. Main partners are Luiz Pimentel, Miguel Prata e Caio Paduan, and, in 2012, Tieza Tissi also joined the Ignorant essays. They are all teachers, researchers and artists. Other artists, teachers, physicians, educational philosophers, etc., have all contributed throughout the years. The project is more active in São Paulo, and has at times traveled to other Brazilian states. Since 2012, the Ignorant essays have enacted bilingual experiences, both among its members and with the audience. Along the years, it has created the Essay: loneliness, which shifted between Portuguese and Spanish; and the Ignorant essays for impossible children coupling with French, a language ignored by many an essayist. In 2014, Juliana Jardim coordinated, in Madrid, the project Incendios: dejar hacer (leer y decir) un texto | Scorched: let a text be made (read and said), with Spanish participants. The group is planning the 2019 season and focused on devising a long-term project, in another country or outside its home town, with its artistic and educational activities of bonding with the community.
The Ignorant essays are actions placed between the scene and the class. Their outlines stem from the dialogue between a pedagogical adventure lived by Joseph Jacotot, the ignorant master, and the gesture of rehearsing among life, books, people, things, as we have said in other places of the website. However, since 2011, we have carried out actions of a formative nature, that is, actions that entail some sort of course-like process, workshop, curatorship, in more customized consulting activities, as requested by some group or institution, interested in our methods of work, thought, and action. In addition to artistic performances in cultural centers, theaters, educational settings and units of SESC-SP, its members applied the Ignorant essays for the formation of educators in all the Fábricas de Cultura of São Paulo in 2013, managed by the Poiesis, and performed the Ignorant essays in all the Fábricas of the outskirts of São Paulo’s five macro regions. The group also coordinated the formation of 70 curators from SESC-SP, when the Cultural Action Management invited director Juliana Jardim for such consulting and design activity.
When we do not use published books, we strive to create literary material, in actions which started, unsteadily, in 2013, with the booklet for the rehearsal of an operetta, which can be seen below. The making of material which is the centerpiece for our experiences has considerably changed since then and, in 2017, we translated some of Montaigne’s essays and customized the Essays book used on stage. Also in 2017, we created the book-object jacotot, a josé as scene and reading material, with the ignorant master, and the booklet-script for choir with the essay Of Experience. We seek for partners in order to publish a collective translation of the book The equality of men and women, by Marie de Gournay, a woman of letters born in 1565, one of history’s first feminists, Michel de Montaigne’s adopted, by affection, daughter, and posthumous editor of his Essays.