Reanimation

interactive performance for a dancer and spectators, 2008

performance for a dancer and spectators (2008)
Samuel Bianchini, Thierry Fournier and Sylvain Prunenec

Reanimation is both an installation and a performance: a dancer and spectators share the same apparatus. A dark and square playground is divided in two parts by a screen, on which is projected the image of a dense fog. On both sides of the screen, the dancer and the spectators face one to each other. The fog is quite opaque, but the presence of the spectators provokes the apparition of black and moving shadows which allow to see thru them. The dancer explores this shared space and this variable conditions of visibility. He is in constant relationship with the public and the music, which is completely generated in real time by his movements. In this active confrontation, the performance is the result of the spectator’s behavior, as well as of the dancer’s.

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Coproduction École nationale supérieure d’art de Nancy, Atelier de recherche et de création ElectroShop, Alliance Artem, Espace Pasolini Théâtre international (Valenciennes), with support from Région Lorraine, Groupe ICN and SFR-Cegetel. Photographs Samuel Bianchini and Thierry Fournier.

Frost

performance, 2008

Performance, 2008
Thierry Fournier (apparatus and performance) / Jean-François Robardet (sculpture and text). Part of the Outside lectures performances series.

The journey done by a performer with a microphone on a polystyrene sculpture, becomes the sound metaphore of a polar landscape and architecture. The sculpture faces a bass amplificator on which the microphone is plugged, at the limit of the feedback, its sound transformed by a program into grans, rumblings and cracklings. The sound is permanently modulated by the performer’s gesture who modulates and excites the resonances in the sculpture’s holes. A gesture and a dance result of these actions, searching a balance between motion, sound and protection against the sound threats of the apparatus.

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Photographs by Samuel Bianchini.

Ready mix

performance, 2008

Performance, 2008
Esther Salmona and Thierry Fournier – Series of performances Outside Lectures (Conferences du dehors)

The actress calls the artist Esther Salmona on the phone. Esther complies with a protocol which consists in changing nothing in her daily routine and answering the phonecall whatever her activity may be at the time. A few words are exchanged: Esther describes without any pause her immediate sensations and perceptions. Her voice is retransmitted through a loudspeaker. The dialogue echoes the actress activity: movements, questions, bonds between the acting space and the space of the other talking.

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Photographs by Frédéric Nauczyciel and Alexandre Nollet.

Sentinel

performance, 2008

Performance, 2008
Juliette Fontaine (video) and Thierry Fournier (stage direction)
Series of performances Outside Lectures (Conferences du dehors)

Two mongooses have been filmed in a zoo while they are watching around, in a succession of swift movements: sentry-like, turning around themselves, standing upright, keeping an eye towards the horizon. Concurrently to this image, the actress walks across the space and among the audience, searching for shelters.

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Photographs by Frédéric Nauczyciel and Alexandre Nollet.

The right distance

performance, 2008

Performance, 2008
Text Noëlle Renaude / performance direction Thierry Fournier – Series of performances Outside Lectures

The Right Distance takes the form of a lecture, developing a wordy discourse by an unknown speaker about a person met in the subway, with laces holding his shoes together, and endlessly repeating the sentence: “I’ve got nothing to eat”. Deliberately ambiguous between a marketing course for the homeless and a semiological discourse, the work opens a questioning about the violence of language.

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Photographs by Frédéric Nauczyciel and Alexandre Nollet.

Foreign Office

performance, 2008

Videotape and performance, 2008
With an interview of David Beytelmann – Series of performances Conférences du dehors

David Beytelmann is an historian and philosopher; born in 1973 in Argentina, he lives and works in Paris. A series of video interviews was conducted with him by Thierry Fournier in 2006, for four hours. Two excerpts are shown as part of the performance. His work conjures up the Ubu-esque adventures of his immigration (residence permit, administrative madness, French nationality…), at the same time as it describes the successive diasporas of his family. In his discourse we find an on-going mix of his own personal narrative and an eye on the human and political issues linked with immigration. As a go-between in this filmed work, the actress shares a listening situation with the audience.

Excerpts from the interviews with David Beytelmann:

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Photographs by Frédéric Nauczyciel and Alexandre Nollet.

Residency

performance, 2008

performance, 2008
Series of performances Outside Lectures (Conférences du dehors) with Emmanuelle Lafon.

The circular motion of Febuary 21st 2006, voted by Interior Ministry of France, lays down the law on how to legally arrest conditions for illegal immigrants. Given they’re under arrest only on the outside, it thus legislates on what may be considered as a domicile or not: courtyard, yacht, operating theatre… A videoprojection displays the text of the circular motion like credits at the end of a blockbuster film, with its typical music. The performer faces the projection and repeats the text. Her behavior changes progressively, transforming itself towards an attack of the apparatus. The whole situation points out the warlike fiction suggested by the text, which gradually contaminates the performer’s mind, to the point of an extreme violence.

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Residency starts with the music of an American war film, all brass and drum rolling, that could be Independence Day or Medal of Honor: a ceremony stirring patriotic fictions from their slumber.

The set-up including laptop, amplifier and videoprojector starts up by itself, blasting out the music and projecting an image, a recording of the performance room itself. The performer comes closer, and finds themself faced with a screen, a teleprompter, and so takes the microphone and begins to read the scrolling text. Their face appears as a close-up on the videoprojection, the camera’s point of view is that of a computer filming its user—except that the face is entirely pixellated, like the privacy protection used on TV talk-shows.

The scrolling text also appears on the video projection, superimposed on the face, at the same time as it appears on the teleprompter’s screen. It’s made up of excerpts from the ministerial circular released on February 21st 2006 by the Interior Ministry, detailing the conditions of legal arrest for foreigners in breach of national borders and migration laws, stipulating the steps necessary to effect apprehension “on public streets, at government or police shopfronts, at home or within housing complexes.” (Circular NOR : JUSD0630020C – Crom.06.5/E1-21.02.2006).

Given that most such arrests are to take place outside, this circular is distinct in that it therefore legislates on all spaces considered to be a dwelling or not: apartment, building corridor, pleasure craft (yacht), abode destroyed by fire, operating theater, etc. It’s in this sense that excerpts were selected to underline this distinctness.

The performer thus carries out their reading of the text, in a literally “closed circuit” arrangement, as if the whole set up—composed of computer, microphone, amplifier and projector—composed all of the content, its transformation and its very own fiction. The text is processed like the opening credits to a blockbuster that might have stimulated its author’s imagination; it progressively contaminates the performer to the point of extreme violence. The actress’ voice slowly deepens and lowers as the text lists the possible arrest locations, and the calm balance is broken when, with a monstrous Darth Vader voice, she literally attacks the amplifier with the microphone, the audio feedback creating extremely violent sounds of fragging and explosion. After a short, intense attack, the music leaves the fields of battle to take on characteristics befitting redemption, that telltale register of a war film finale, and the spoken delivery of the circular ends with its two last moments: the statement that an operating theater is an acceptable location of arrest, and the list of administrative recipients for the circular.

Outside lectures

series of 7 performances, 2008

Series of 7 performances and curating, 2008
With Emmanuelle Lafon

These seven performances were created with five invited artists: David Beytelmann, Juliette Fontaine, Noëlle Renaude, Jean-François Robardet and Esther Salmona. Each of them adresses a relation to an outside, by the way of a specific protocol and apparatus : following a TV flow word by word (Close Circuit), interview about immigration with a french/argentinian philosopher, absurd lecture about homeless people, landscape described in real time thru the phone, sonic simulation of a catastrophe (Frost), etc. The performer and the audience share the same space, in a global apparatus that is reconfigured for each venue.

This “theatre of operations” is part and parcel of an overall approach questioning the relations between writing, visual arts and performance: apparatus, relations with the audience, critical choice of performance venues.

The series Outside Lectures is composed by the performances: Closed circuit, Foreign Office (guest author David Beytelmann), The Right Distance (guest author Noëlle Renaude), Ready mix (with Esther Salmona), Residency, Frost (with Jean-François Robardet), Sentinel (guest artist Juliette Fontaine).

Closed circuit, performance, with Emmanuelle Lafon, Lelabo, Paris, 2007

Photographs by Frédéric Nauczyciel and Alexandre Nollet.

Closed Circuit

performance, 2008

Performance, 2007
Part of the Outside Lectures performances series.

Seated with headphones in front of a TV during the commercial break and the evening news, Lafon must respect a certain protocol that demands that she exhaustively repeat everything she hears and describe everything she sees, which is physically impossible. The flow of speech and resulting stuttering directly express the tension between the spew of information that is delivered and a saturated individual attention span.

Video documentation:

Recording, October 25th 2008 – TF1 live 7:50 to 8:03 pm

Photograph by Frédéric Nauczyciel

To Agrippine

music piece and performance, 2004

music piece and performance, 2004
Duration 12′. With the voices of Hiromi Asaï and Véronique Gens.

Performed as a solo piece on laptop, To Agrippine is based on the very beginning of Handel’s opera Agrippina. It experiments a situation of time depth: a real time navigation through the temporality of music. An extremely slow gesture produces a simultaneous navigation through three musical layers: the first orchestral part of the opera overture, the first spoken sentence in the recitatives, and the first soprano aria. This slow-motion movement within the musical materials reveals their lines of forces and details, as the aerial approach to a landscape.

Excerpt:

Photograph by Frédéric Nauczyciel.

The Screens

music and sound installation for the theater, 2002

Original title : Les Paravents
Music and sound installation for the theater
Les Paravents by Jean Genet / Stage direction Frédéric Fisbach, 2002

Monstruous theater play taking place during the algerian war, involving 96 characters, many parallel narrations and simultaneous scenes, The Screens were directed in 2002 by Frédéric Fisbach who chose to display the casting between three actors for the 3 main characters and japanese bunraku puppets for all the others. The bunraku company is Youki-za, one of the oldest in Japan, founded at the XVIth century. Puppet’s voices were played live by two other actors.

The Screens seems to be a proposition for a total theater – a feast as Genet said – where the text accompanies a poetic action which takes place either on stages or screens. The Screens carry a dream or a vision of the theater which could be simultaneously a comedy and a solemn feast, dedicated to the living and the dead. A poem for the stage reviving the politics, in the sense it offers a vision of the world to the public” (F. Fisbach)

The music for live electronics, the voice’s amplification and transformation and the spatialization of every element was played live on stage by Jean-Baptiste Droulers.

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The Moult of the angel

online dance performance, 2001

Online dance performance, 2001
Isabelle Choiniere and Thierry Fournier

The Moulting Angel is a live and online performance, in which two dancers interact in two distant places, exchanging music and images generated by their movements. The project explores the projections and transformations of the body through a network. Each site performs a mix of both interventions in a constant dialogue. The musical generation is based on a set of microphones, explored in various directions (gestural capture, sound recording, relationship between space and body, etc.).

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Core

musical piece and performance, 2000

Musical piece and performance, 2000
With the voice of Alyson Wishnousky

Core was composed after an interview with the Canadian dancer and performer Alyson Wishnousky, talking about her sensation during movement and dance. The composition of the piece is written like a counterpoint between spoken voice and electronics: vibration and momentum, changes from stillness to movement, phases of keeping and losing control, in the very substance of the music. The piece is very gestural, where the interplay with the computer and the analog filters plays an important part in the concert.

(…) it’s all about time and movement and space they all form the same patterns together at the same time so it makes the heart beat faster and the breath speed up and the body warm up and it generates heat like fire so thats where the movement and gestures relate (…) its all about air and breath and breath generates life and allows more space opens up more space in the body in the pores enters air and water and fire they mingle a continuous spiralling of the spine spiral waves waves continuous waves (…)

Extracts :


Photograph: performance with Emmanuel Berriet, ISEA / Divan du monde, 2000