Cod is a fish - or rather a family of fish, because there are many different species of cod – that lives in the cold waters of the northern hemisphere, and whose flat tail inspired the design of an elegant tailcoat, known in French as “queue-de-morue” (“cod-tail”), not to be confused with the other tailcoat named “queue-de pie”, after the magpie’s tail, which is quite different since the Magpie is a split-tailed bird, which can’t be said about cod – by the way it would be interesting, concerning the Magpie, to find out why this specie is often considered as a pest while it fulfils important functions in our ecosystem – and the fact that humans consider it as talkative and thieving doesn’t help, but that’s a different issue, and I’ll come back to it later – because what’s interesting here is the cod, first because as an endangered specie it provokes questioning, but above all because of the cod moratorium, and even more so because of the war it triggered – the famous “cod war” about which there is a lot to say – a war which plunged the Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon archipelago into a deep crisis – economically as well as geopolitically - for behind all this there is of course the famous “French baguette”, that is to say the issue – not of the baguette, we’re not talking about bread here, neither in the dietary sense nor from the baker’s point of view – but of the very spatial morphology – in this case it means the shape of a territory – a marine territory as it happens to be – in consequence of the new rules laid down in Montego Bay, I’m talking about the Limits of the Continental Shelf Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and so the issue of the zones of exclusive access by the ocean territories states – here between Canada and France – that is quite simply the appropriation of the world, and thus the question of borders – which would deserve some scrutiny, as it provokes so much questioning today – the border I mean – that is in terms of limit, i.e. the place where we must stand up, because that’s what this is all about, it’s about the battle that needs to be led in order to stand up, that is to say to defend the famous “limes”, the one which protects us from the others, from the Barbarians – and thus starting from the various possibilities of freeing ourselves from it, or of crossing it, bypassing it, or of getting killed by it, I mean by the border, because that’s what’s killing it, now I mean the cod.
Duration: 1 h 15
Written and performed by: Frédéric Ferrer
Notices and credits
Production: Compagnie Vertical Détour
Coproductions: Théâtre des Îlets - CDN de Montluçon / Scène nationale d’Albi
Partnership: Le Vaisseau - fabrique artistique au Centre de Réadaptation de Coubert, Derrière Le Hublot, projet artistique et culturel de territoire, Grand Figeac / Occitanie
With the support of le département de Seine-et-Marne
Relevés de terrain et écritures à Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (avril 2014) Montluçon (septembre 2016) et Capdenac (novembre 2017)
La compagnie Vertical Détour est conventionnée par la Région et la DRAC Île-de-France – Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. Elle est en résidence au Centre de Réadaptation de Coubert – établissement de l’UGECAM Île-de-France et soutenue par la DRAC et l’ARS Île-de-France dans le cadre du programme Culture et Santé.