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daily chronicle

In search of the inhabited body

Tuesday, June 12

Text by Claudia Galhós

“We have created and studied a discipline based on that which disappears, art that cannot be preserved or posted. And we know performance know things worth knowing.”

(in “The ends of performance”, Phelan & Lane)

How to achieve a quality in the presence and in the internal live of the body while in performance that has a meaning beyond the context of art and that has significance for the world we live in is one of the questions of contemporary creation. It isn’t enough that the body conveys a meaningful message or a strong image. It is expected that it is conscience, profoundly conscience, of his being and his condition. But in a society led by the dictatorship of economical and market values, how does the body be taken out of his profound sleep or detachment and reconnect to the world, both outside and inside of himself? The answer is not in the search for the next big new thing, the genius idea that no one had before, or the great and impressive effect on stage. We know that the field of experimental and contemporary art is supposed to question and criticise all these perversions of human life. So maybe… and just maybe… – in a free citation of Kostas – this is what most projects initiated at the second day of the lab have in common, the search for a specific quality of inhabited bodies or beings. This search exists already during the creative process, the experimentation phase and not only in the presentation of the performative object in a final show. Even with humor, this was present by activating the consciousness of each one through a “dancing dinner” – as it happened proposed by Odile Darbeley – where everybody was invited to have his meal with the idea of dancing. It was present, in a different way, in the  will to get to an alternative state, a state of excess, as Gaël L. started to research in “Ménade”. It was present in a contrasting way in Kostas Koutsolelos essay on “Stillness”. And it also was present in the shadows of flowers and bodies possible to capture in a white sheet of paper in a garden, proposed by Agnes Verrier. And while all this happened, Dany was leading an experimentation on voice and movement in Théâtre des Bernardines, Jorge Andrade was studying the story of Marseille and collecting facts of life for his fake “History” of the city… Through all the search, critique and questioning, there is one profound conviction that uses the singular quality of performative art, which is the its ephemerality, it dies the instant it is originated. The profound conviction is that “we know performance know things worth knowing”. But we have to fight for them, search for them, and have patience, because it takes time…