Anagrammatical Definitions

May 23, 2017 - February 27, 2018

Let’s be honest, our experience of the world is based on definitions.  A spade is a spade, otherwise we would name it differently. Yet, many ambiguities are brewing within this structure of language that identifies things and ideas.  It is within these flaws of identification that Marion Lessard enjoys playing.

In the long-term project Le Petit Robert de la langue française 2016, the literary form of the anagram is used to disrupt the definitions of the French dictionary, without any loss or addition of signs.

From one word and its definition, Marion Lessard forms the poetical anagram of another word and its definition, which then take the place of the official ones, and so on, indefinitely, in a long chain of subversion. The aim is both poetic and playful: to insert within the Reference some Irreverence, to agitate the means of meaning. At the end of this extensive project, a whole new dictionary will materialize, which will yet be the same (understood as the sum of its letters).

During the Urban Writing residency with DARE-DARE, Marion Lessard will continue this inner reinvention of the dictionary, while generating 24 anagrammatic definitions. The words to be redefined will be harvested from the immediate material, historical and conceptual environment of DARE-DARE.


Marion Lessard will be in residency at DARE-DARE from May 22 to June 5, 2017 and from November 6 to 19, 2017.

A new anagrammatic definition will be displayed on the DARE-DARE illuminated sign each week, from June 21 to September 12, 2017 and from December 6, 2017 to February 27, 2018.


Bio / Artist statement
Marion Lessard is a collective consisting of Claude Romain, Élisabeth M. Larouine, Jean-Nicolas Léonard, Alice Roussel and Marie Cherbat-Schiller whose practice in literature, drawing, video, performance, non-intervention and paradoxes revolves around an axis, pursues goals, plays with codes and raises questions.

See also

February 7, 2018
Martine Lauzier