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“Like all extraordinary artists, Philippe Petit’s practice is founded in rigor, scrutiny, and dedication. What sets Philippe in a class all his own is his restless quest to conquer the greatest physical heights, achieving a precise balance of chaos and creativity. He is an inspiration to all who dare to dream of the seemingly impossible. Dear friend: I salute you!” 


– Mikhail Baryshnikov

On the High Wire: Philippe Petit in Conversation with Paul Auster

Thursday June 6, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event

In a conversation with his close friend and acclaimed author Paul Auster, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit will reflect on the rigorous training and discipline he undertook in order to walk between the towers of Notre Dame and World Trade Center and other electrifying tightrope feats. 

 

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“After long hours of training, the moment comes when there are no more difficulties. Everything is possible, everything becomes easy. It is at this moment that many have perished. But that, no, that is not at all what I am afraid of.”

 

Petit detailed his process and the experience of performing at such dizzying heights in On the High Wire, forthcoming in June 2019, which was translated to English by Auster who also wrote the introduction. On the High Wire offers a window into the world of tightrope walking. Petit masterfully explains how preparation and self-control contributed to such feats as walking between the towers of Notre Dame and the World Trade Center. Addressing such topics as the rigging of the wire, the walker’s first steps, his salute and exercises, and the work of other renowned high-wire artists, Petit offers us a book about the ecstasy of conquering our fears and reaching for the stars. 



Philippe Petit has performed on the high wire more than eighty times around the world; he is also a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, lecturer, writer and subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary, Man on Wire, and the feature film The Walk. A frequent contributor to TED and other national venues, he is the author and illustrator of several books, including Why Knot, To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers, and Creativity: The Perfect Crime.
Paul Auster has earned international praise for the imaginative power of his many novels, including The New York Trilogy, Moon PalaceThe Music of ChanceMr. Vertigo, and Timbuktu. He has also published a number of highly original non-fiction works: The Invention of SolitudeHand to Mouth, and The Art of Hunger.