RESPONSIBILITY VS CHANCE, michel cerda

It was while participating in Kostas’s project, “Stillness”, that Michel Cerda decided to propose an experiment that has very much to do with what is being lived in TryAngle: the precarious balance between individual and collective. Although he had decided before that he wouldn’t teach nor be in a place of educator – which he is used to do as a profession along with theatre -, the theatrical game he shared (16th June) allowed to put in practice some of the questions which have been emerging in this context.

Through a combination of phrases of command written in paper and distributed by four tables located on each side of the stage, the participants engaged in a game of chance. One at a time would walk to a table of their choice, read a paper, and get an instruction, that could go from nothing (a blank paper), an order to follow someone, or to just do whatever he or she wanted… That way they were confronted by the imperative of having to decide how to respond upon a rule that he or she got by chance. In this web of cross-motions, emerged a possible narrative and choreography, that transitioned from organised structures of action to chaotic movement in space. Besides that, there was an element of responsibility, of the implication of oneself in how he or she chose to respond to the order. And related with this, came the question of authorship, and the space of freedom. Or, in other words, the possibility to claim freedom of creativity and of action – which means the possible space of freedom of action each one creates for himself in the frame of a codified and constrained system of organisation, full of rules.

Michel explained at the end that there is no aesthetic will in this exercise. “There is only the fact that we are together, playing the game and seeing how we interpret the orders given by chance in the papers. Of course there are misunderstandings, but I like misunderstandings, they are a relevant part of the game… Inside the frame of the imperatives there is no indication of time, and usually there is no indication of space, it is up to each one to decide…” And through the game of chance and the decisions each one makes, even in a very superficial level and in an attitude of reaction and not creation, there was a permanent mutation of space, patterns of displacement, and of movement that, according to Michel, is similar to the experience of living in an experimental and ephemeral artistic community as is the case of TryAngle.