A Distances

A distances by Ateliers Du Spectacle was a fantastic experience. The show begins with our man (practically a one man show) knitting, the threads are attached and controlling endless objects. The show is broken down into a series of activites and il run through them.
1 ‘sounds of things said’
From the back of the stage our man controls a mobile box on wheels with a speaker underneath. Within the box is threads leading to lots of different mechanical obejects, a magnet, wheels, turbines, pots all hooked up by his threads. He gently maneouvers them all and develops something musical because they are all close miced.
2. The Face
He then retreated to a big white sheet at the back where he took two paint brushes and did a large scale action painting. I use the term action painting in a performance style, where the movements are felt rather than objective.

3. Consider the suprise
In the sequence lots of ornaments on chairs were slowly destroyed by the control of his thread. The chairlegs had breaks in them where they could bend to the pull of the thread.

ok i cant actually remember all the sequences however one was called ‘ effect is just as important as the cause’.
This was some superb sncyronised interaction with mobile (threads again) video projector. The projector on wheels was pulled along the stage showing a little man walking from left to right, with the projector moving the performer kept on finding different screens for the video to be visable on. He used a book, where he kept on turning the pages to keep in line with the light from the video projector. He then moved onto glass, where he had to paint it white to be able to see the video character. Another one was clay, where he moulded clay to fit the physical movements of the video character who at this point began sitting down.
The diverse amount of textures made the character inhabit the space, he walked across everything! The video was one long loop with all these different interactions between performer and video character, so alot of timings in rehearsals must of been set.
At one point the video man was against a white background (the performer was holding up parchment rolled down) and the video guy cut out a black hole and at the same, unoticed, so did the performer, droppping his head from behind the screen his eye then looked down on the little video man and they interacted.

Each sequence was like a happening, live art performance…but the last scene was a coherent ending. IT was about the work of Paul Valery a french philosopher and writer. the performer attempted to pull a glass of water from a jug and pull the glass down a long isle like table to him. He discussed life and being connected between a series of expectations and events, and then disappointment, leaving him divided, to either submit or conflict. He performed constructed chance well, by having sandbags drop down during this peice to indicate some sort of intervention from another source.

Lots to think about. I might look into Paul Valery, i liked his constructivist views.

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One response to “A Distances

  1. This was a really inspiring account – they sound totally lovely; lucky you. I want to know next time they perform !

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