L’esprit de l’escalier


“Every exit is an Entrance.” - Anne Carson

During a social dinner, a remark was made to the French philosopher Denis Diderot which left him speechless at the time. As he explains, "l’homme sensible, comme moi, tout entier à ce qu’on lui objecte, perd la tête et ne se retrouve qu’au bas de l’escalier" or, in English, "a sensitive man, such as myself, overwhelmed by the argument leveled against him, loses his head and can only think clearly again once he has reached the bottom of the stairs." The term L'esprit de l'escalier was coined for this situation. Thinking of the perfect reply, only too late.

L'esprit de l'escalier is a new audio installation by CCC. The work uses the premise of a stairwell moment to examine the relationship between ideas of death, sleep, loss and preservation—all the words you wish you’d said and all the thoughts you wish you’d documented. Based on six short essays written, recorded and produced by CCC and voiced by Abigail Whitney and Stella Isaac, the audio piece reworks these texts into a discordant array of thoughts that roam from one topic to the next, attempting to regain their focus.

Koffler.Digital Publication

Developed in conjunction with L'esprit de l'escalier and the Koffler Gallery's winter exhibition (Nicole Collins: Furthest Boundless), the inaugural Koffler.Digital publication is a collection of essays, interviews and visual art that explores the many ways we cope with, and make sense of death. Featured artists and writers include:

Aaditya Aggarwal
Nicole Collins
Letticia Cosbert
Erika DeFreitas
Mona Filip
C. Jonasson
Anya Moryoussef
Dainesha Nugent-Palache
Patricia Ritacca
Eric Beck Rubin

Download Here
CCC, A Still Life Belongs To Time, 2018.

To experience the installation visit:
Artscape Youngplace
North and South stairwells
180 Shaw Street
Toronto, ON

January 18 - March 18, 2018

CCC is a collaborative project founded by Angela Shackel and Braden Labonte in 2013. The project operates as a shifting collection of artists, writers, performers and audio producers. The collective likes to be described as a hodgepodge of curious individuals, who work together to create temporary installations and uncanny experiences, that exist in the world for a few moments - until they don’t anymore. Recent installations include Narrative Structure part of the Bonavista Biennale (Bonavista, NFLD), The Sublime in Quotations at YYZ (Toronto, On), Hold On Hold On Some Things Last Forever at Katzman Contemporary (Toronto, On) and at Forest City Gallery (London, On). Recent audio pieces include an adaptation of Anne Carson’s Antigonick for McSweeney's podcast, The Organist, which airs on KCRW.

L’esprit de l’escalier was commissioned by Koffler.Digital and developed in conjunction with Nicole Collins: Furthest Boundless, an exhibition currently on view at the Koffler Gallery. L’esprit de l’escalier contains quotes from works by Theodor Adorno, Paul Auster, James Baldwin, Roland Barthes, John Berger, Anne Carson,Lars Bang Larsen, and Anne Michaels. Music is from the Free Music Archive.