overview

The project Still Lives focuses on the relationships between ways of perception and ways of positioning, between the observer that each of us is and its position in the world. It starts in the streets where we ask people to record (audio) their description and comments about an image we show them and continues onstage where we work on proposing a dramaturgic transposition of these paroles.

Through the realisation of interviews in each city where we work, Still Lives has a site specific aspect even though the issues it adresses are the same in each city.

The initial proposition of Still Lives is the collection of the interviews that are constituted of the description and commentary of one image: "The Stumbling Block" by Jeff Wall. This image, adressing urban modern life in post-industrial societies, is rather unspectacular and has nevertheless a strong dramatic potential. It has revealed itself providing a good support for people to reflect and formulate their perceptions and opinions.

Once collected the interviews are edited into a continuous soundtrack which is then exported in the scenic space. Scenographic and choreographic elements developed in relation to the interviews are then juxtaposed to this soundtrack as to open diverse levels of perception of the transposition of these paroles in the scenic apparatus. Still Lives proposes both a look on ways of looking and a space where spectators can experience and reflect on their own perceptions.

We will include in the process choreographic material developed in collaboration with a group of non-professional participants from the city. This group will not include the interviewed people (which we will simply and randomly meet on the street). It will be constituted with the help of socio-cultural structures. We are interested in working with a number of young people and a number of old people. We would like to try to propose an intergenerational collaboration on the themes of perceptions and presence.

The general idea about the collaboration with this group is to open a reflection and a physical practice on perceptions, senses and through this on presence, relations and interactions between oneself / the inner world and the no-self / the environment . Some issues about visibility and inscription in society will be induced from the physical work.

We will parallely present to the participants the material of the interviews collected in their city as well as the picture that helped generating it and propose them to participate in choreographic interventions based on this material as well as based on the physical work made together. The stage work, through bringing the group and the voices of the interviewed persons into the theatrical space of representation, will activate different notions and idea around this space - borderline between reality and fiction, possibly a space for imagination, projection, illusion or manipulation.

We are clearly interested in exploring links between body and social-political contexts and in developing with the group a reflection on individual and collective ways of perceiving the world and positioning oneself.

Published 29 December 2005