top of page

Water et cetera.

About the conference of Marielle Gonier at the Alliance Française Sydney – 14.09.2022...

On 14th September 2022, I welcomed professional dancer and mixed-media artist Marielle Gonier as part of our Philo Bistro on topic of “Which artform for which emotion?”.

Newly arrived in Sydney, Marielle is a performance artist with a CV rich in artistic experiences, making her the perfect choice for our September theme. Her award-winning film “Performing land” formed the basis of our evening. Following a screening of the film (duration: 23 minutes), we discussed the movie and Marielle’s (incredible) journey, the arts and emotions which flowed from them and of course, we’ve considered emotions themselves.

Originally from Martinique, Marielle Gonier studied Dance in New York, then Paris. Her stage experience is wide. She has performed with the Folies Bergères at l’Opera-Comique, directed by Jérôme Savary. As a performance artist, she is now concentrating on “artistic happenings” and on choreography in the performing arts. She is the originator of the "Permorming land” which has won numerous prizes.

The screening of her movie on the night of the Philo Bistro certainly moved the dozens of people who came to meet her and discover her art. In the words of a director of the Alliance Française afterwards, it was “a very moving, emotional evening”. Everyone in the public was thrilled by both the movie and the warm personality of Marielle Gonier.

As for me, the scene from the movie that moved me the most was the one where Marielle is rolling on the beach. In my mind, this sequence was world class and worth all the awards in the world.

Here is why…

The movie – and the sequence on the beach in particular - prompt reconsideration of binary attitudes which perpetuate the harsh dichotomy between the human and non-human. The work emphasises the unifying nature of ecological processes through the defamiliarisation of human biology and the personification of water. Water as a visual motif highlights the cyclical nature of matter and the fluid relationships between the body, material, and place, provoking feelings of immersion. This synthesis of artistic and philosophical approaches embraces an amorphous, transcendent state of being.

For more information on “Performing land”:

Overall, I recommend Marielle Gonier for any speaking engagement or artistic courses on topics related to art in general and performance art in particular. She is a true world class artist who deserves to be sharing her art and rationale for creating it.

Kind regards,


About « Philo Bistro »: Themed sessions where the audience encounters ideas of social and cultural importance, unpacks contemporary issues and ponders their understandings of the world. Taking place at level 13 of the CBD premises of the Alliance Française Sydney, each meet-up is an opportunity to engage in friendly debate and discussion over a glass of wine. Philo Bistro takes the form of a face-to-face event with some guests and speakers joining in over Zoom.


bottom of page