May 20, 2010 - May 22, 2010 21:00
in collaboration with the 73rd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
A reflection on changes in perception, the ambiguity of the relationship between truth and lies and the status of the body, plagued as it is by evolutions in technology. Godard defined cinema as Truth 24 frames per second. In this new creation by Frédéric Flamand for Ballet National de Marseille, electronic scanning by three surveillance cameras creates a new control environment in real time of 25 frames per second.
This sightless vision is confronted by another approach to truth: that of the fragile body and its actual presence, here and now.
For this reflection on how vision has evolved, this desire for “another” kind of look in order to see better, Flamand has chosen one of China’s most committed and innovative conceptual artists. Ai Weiwei embarks on a clash between Chinese culture and a rereading of major trends in western contemporary art.
His critical work makes him an incomparable hope for artists and young people in China, while being very provocative from a western point of view. i have always wanted to encourage an encounter between dance and artists from other disciplines (going outside the box of our particular preoccupations) and revive the notion of experimentation which is so crucial.
Following our various discussions and meetings about the story (and not the plot) of Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees, Ai Weiwei’s proposition for the stage design was very radical: the forest of Calvino’s hero would become a forest of ladders. What could be more commonplace than a ladder?
Very quickly it appeared that this reduction of the stage design to one very simple element that is multiplied and flexible was going to evoke an Escher-like building, a production plant, a Piranesi-like abstract, an admirable and neglected building site, a world of ruins and rebirths, a giant supporting framework for the dance with the hope that the body is always stronger that the places it inhabits.
In this new global environment, confusion (if not fusion) is organised between the near and the far, as well as control of bodies; an expansion of view is coupled with a contraction of living space. We are experiencing an obsession with transparency and a suppression of the invisible. It is the paradox of a fluid horizon of flows and networks in an increasingly compartmentalised universe, saturated with new borders where control becomes a real environment.