My Little Enlightenment: A Lecture Performance
Author: Sophie Seita
Publisher: Other Forms (2019)
Edition of 300
My Little Enlightenment is a lecture performance on eighteenth-century philosophers in dressing gowns, formal difficulty, inclusion and hospitality, queer utopia, female salonnieres, paper tigers, obscurity, the chromatic buzz of what’s knowable, Denis Diderot, Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein, star-gazing, Karl Marx as astrologer, poetry and bugs under the microscope, rewritten histories, alternative encyclopaedias, ornament, cartouches and other fricative frames.
First presented inside an absurd salon full of paper lampshades, coloured lightbulbs, projections, and miniature theatre sets, this is both the document of a past lecture performance and a script or score for future iterations but it’s also a text in its own right that works on and with the page.
It’s part of Sophie Seita’s three-year project of what she has called translational tête-à-tête with Enlightenment thinkers, writers, and (pseudo-)scientists; a project that took a sideways look at the Enlightenment period through a queer-feminist lens, asking what its ideals of liberty, knowledge, progress, and tolerance mean today. What emerged from these imaginary conversations with Enlightenment figures were a series of performances, videos, collaborations, and most recently a solo exhibition at [ SPACE ] in London.