« Nous ne vivons plus à l’intérieur d’un
horizon (fut-ce un jour le cas?). Nous ne
vivons plus en un lieu où le soleil se lève et se couche. Nous avons perdu le sens, la
signification des événements qui arrivent à
l’horizon (les avons nous jamais possédés?).
Les étranges configurations d’étoiles ou de lumières ou de nuages dans le ciel, telle
écriture de tel être comsique, ont disparu.
L’espace n’est pas une chose qui se trouve
au delà de l’ionosphère. Nous sommes dans
l’espace ici et maintenant »
Timothy Morton, La pensée écologique
«Si le deuil est affaire de circulation et d’échanges entre les vivants et les morts par la voie des images sous toutes leurs formes (fantômes, visions, hallucinations et souvenirs) alors il faut que cette circulation s’ouvre au surcroît et à la surabondance du don»
Marie-José Mondzain, Homo Spectator
I approach my first group piece as a movement stretched towards the horizon from the experience of touch. If the forest is the skin that breathes, towards what end, towards what limit does its movement transport us? What does its thrill provoke on a collective scale? I imagine the stage as a liminal space, on the edge of the world. I was looking for a place and a language that could welcome gestural abstraction without being enclosed by it, a place that could bring together my choreographic desire for the line and my desire for a queer fiction. I situate this piece on a beach, a space of cruising, a site of intimate and impersonal seduction, where the community meets the surface of their skin and those of others. These figures navigate, often on sight, wander, explore a territory that is never their own; they are nomadic figures, they experiment with crossing, caressing, friction, sliding. I imagine this exhibition in a veiled, phantasmatic setting, where the sculptural music of the artist PYUR and the digital geographies of the artist Mario Mu thwart the game of presences to reveal a spiritual panorama.
If it is a question of enjoyment, I wish to translate its luminous oscillation, to propose a portrait and a landscape.
A tactile piece This piece exposes the gestures of a community of lovers gathered around the experience of touch. After Rafales (2017), a piece about front against front, with La fin des forêts I want to reduce the distance and explore tactile movement, its pulse and its disorder, its calm and its activity; with this piece, I am interested in the caress, in this contact that embodies the body of another, that shapes it as flesh. But is the caress the origin or the end of the movement? Does the caress lead to movement or does it lead to inertia, to the sensation of a pure "being there" as Sartre would say? Is it a means or an end? In the imaginary geography that we occupy with the performers of the piece, a forest has burned down, the beings that have remained alive gather on a beach, an intermediate space between the land and the sea. The forest, the fire The forest is the skin, overflowing membrane, breathing surface, penetrating and penetrated element. The forests are the bodies, energetic spaces, affected by their reciprocal contact; their erotic memory circulates, undulates, shivers, irradiates, sometimes overflows from their skin. This end of the forests is the fire, it is the deposit of ashes on the ground and the possibility (the necessity?) of a new horizon, in any case of a horizon cleared by the fall of vertical forms.
Deeply inspired by nature and pure elemental forces, the music of sound artist PYUR navigates the borderline between sound sculpture and melodic storytelling; the sound environment combines archaic and futuristic soundscapes and supports the performers in their sensory journey; connecting them with different dimensions of time, space and beyond.
The utopia of cruising: beach-fiction-frisson-passion-eros-thanatos-horizon
This piece carries a desire for utopia stretched towards queerness, a realm of the future, untouchable, but which one feels like the "warm illumination of a horizon", writes Jose Esteban Munoz in Cruising Utopia. So a question arises in my work: how do the utopia of the horizon line, its immobility, and the place of fiction and its passions come together?
I imagine the stage as a cruising beach, crusing being this practice of the homosexual community combining flirting and sex in the public space, a practice where sociability is "contaminated" by desire. This beach is occupied by a community of cruisers, the performers of the piece being here not only objects of desire but subjects of desire. This obscure beach, it is the double skin of the other to which I dialogue in murmur, "obscure beach where meets the carried shadow of the man, his blind spot" writes Michel Foucault. Fiction-passion-frisson-horizon.
It is necessary that the bodies shiver and fall so that the dance appears. No end, no beginning, a flow without transition.
Then comes the bathing: this "community of lovers" is passionate in a contagious movement, the flaming, erect and liquid body dissolves little by little its contours, liquefied. On this beach, the cruisers get closer to the sea and in a cloudy, sexual and liquid zone, they also perform gestures of love. And in this scene of the gift, it is also a relation to the death which takes shape, to the one of the other and to my responsibility induced by this body in my hands. It is also this idleness and this infinity there that I wish to make hear in the silence of these gestures. It is the sea which then pulses, "bottomless abyss", in the undulations of the sound artist PYUR. It is a people in the sea.
I imagine the stage covered with large satin curtains inspired by the spectral decorations of the English painter Robin Ironside. I would like to make the skin and the body of the text and the skin and the body of the performers coexist on the same stage, playing with this friction between the monumentalized object of the stage curtain and the archival body of the performers. Written by me, this text will be printed:
"Our forest is burning and this fire never ends. Our song is born from a patient and endless combustion. We trace on the ground a haunted labyrinth. We no longer have the luxury of ruins. We move only on the ashes of your white columns. We burn the rubble and inhabit its emptiness. We no longer wish for truths to be erected. We wish to flatten the icons in order to merge them with the horizon. We know that the ash, if breathed in, tints our cavities with a thick soot. But we still know that the trace on the ground is all we have left. We know that this trace will soon be covered either by the wind or by the footprint of my brother and my sister's hand. We know that this is rare, almost impossible, but that sometimes our traces meet. That from then on invisible altars could be erected, without God, without priest, without ruler and without slave, without man and without woman, without you below and me above, without icons and without images, without past and without future. We are a nomadic and amnesiac community and we walk in the desert, always without leaving footprints because they are immediately covered. We come out of the charred wood of your era that never ends and it is with our sweat that your soot is mixed. The only footprints we wish to leave are present in the air for the air is everyone's and everyone breathes it."
"Raise the fringed curtains of your eyes; and, tell me, what do you see there?" - Shakespeare, The Tempest
This title of The End of the Forests evokes for me eschatological stories, those of the Apocalypse that predict the coming end of the world, the anguish of divine punishment, the Last Judgment. Apocalypse means "unveiling" in Greek. With Abigaïl Fowler, we wish to transmit the rhythm of this landscape of skins, the pulsation of its light, the furtivity of its retinal images. Echoing this unveiling, the device reproduces the state of a waking dream: flickering and blinking eyes constitute the rhythmic node. The light reproduces the slow motion of the blink of the eye, its hazardous oscillation and the loss of reference points that it implies. Also, I asked the video artist Mario Mu to realize very short video sequences, flashes allowing to constitute an incomplete panorama of this landscape of end of the forests: in his digital landscapes, the human body is absent, it remains only its voice, its immaterial wave traversing the underwater landscape and its abysses. This spiritual landscape follows a diving movement towards the underwater zone of the abysses. The video tends to dematerialize the body to materialize the fiction of its aura, its spirit, of this "unique appearance of a distant, if close is it" writes Walter Benjamin.
« The music is holding the space for the
group, combining archaic and futuristic
soundscapes, constantly shifting between
tension and relief. Deeply inspired by nature and pure elemental forces the music is
dancing on the edge of sound sculpture and
melodic story telling. The intention of PYUR
is to support the performers through their
own sensory journey and connect them with
different dimensions of time and space and
beyond. Shifting from fragile and intimate
compositions to vast and majestic expression, the music will react to the movements
and gestures of the group as well as opening directions for the piece to unfold »
Chorégraphie & conception | Benjamin Bertrand
Création sonore originale | PYUR (Sophie Schnell) Interprétation | Léonore Zurflflüh, Nitsan Margaliot, deux autres interprètes en cours de distribution Lumières | Abigaïl Fowler Administration & production | Soline de Warren
PRODUCTION | Radar Coproductions et soutiens | TAP-Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers ; Ménagerie de verre (Paris), DRAC-Nouvelle Aquitaine au titre de l’aide au projet