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Put your head off

By definition the repeated step is never the same as the one you want to repeat, the same applies when you want to re-present an image does not lead to the repetition of its original presentation. Drawing these two notions together onto and into my ‘female’ body, this project explores the relationships operating between perception, reception and the body and how they come to be defined in each and the ‘other’. This work moves to define the gaps in the hidden and the seen scenes of the projected and real body, interrogating along the way the imagined and the real, the real and the identified.
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The work of this piece performed in the gap between presentation and re-presentation of a body representing both subject and object whilst simultaneously splits body from person, seeks to redefine through this process the dialectic between inside/outside, public and private. The work appropriates certain notions of voyeuristic spectatorship on the body, ‘takes-out’ their known perception and instead installs that which is not seen and therefore blind to vision for an altogether new and relevant distinction between reality and appearance, true and false, acting and not acting, seeing and not seeing others/oneself.

The notion of joining a blind vision to the construction of ‘images’ for this performance is further extracted and augmented in the authorities of vision operating between spectator/performer. To do this a continuous ‘rear-vision’ is employed generating a forward/backward rotation elicited through a live dialogue between spectators and the performer. Drawing on a number of references and quotations from various media, film, photography and text, a series of serial patterns, looping systems and live actions will be generated towards their performative possibilities juxtapositioned via different soundtracks. The conversations held between spectators and the performer, perceive and receive each other through the generation of questions and descriptions that test new possibilities/ impossibilities in communication.

2005 FTA Montréal, 9 February2005

2004 Filature de Mulhouse, 17-20 Jun, 23 May

2004 Tanzquartier, Wien, 14-15 May 2005, 1 May 2004

Put Your Head Off was created in the frame of 100 Rencontres, a project by Benoît Lachambre/ PAR B.L.EUX during the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

| 100 Rencontres

Put Your Head Off is a performance around the question of an intimacy between performer and spectators.

PYHO technical rider

Concept and performance: Isabelle Schad

Artistic advisor: Ben Anderson

Technical advisor: Bruno Pocheron

2005 FTA Montreal, 25-29 May, parbleux

2004 Filature, scène nationale de Mulhouse, 17-20 June, parbleux

2004 Tanzquartier Wien, 14 -15 May

2003 Sommerfest in Podewil, Berlin

2003 Les Bains: Connective, Brussels, May, Les Bains: Connective

PYHO has been presented in the frame of 100 Rencontres by Benoit Lachambre during the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts


The process in question is seeing. Seeing oneself. Specifically, seeing oneself as others see one. The problem with acting is not that it carries the actor out of himself, into another, out of his real self into a false double; it is that it doesn’t take the actor far enough outside of himself.

The relevant distinction is not between reality and appearance, true and false, acting and not acting, seeing and not seeing oneself as others see one. The pertinent criterion of evaluation is ontological and cuts across those registers. It bears on the completeness of an appearance, which it locates on a scale of intensity, as a higher- or lower- degree reality.
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To leave the inter-subjective world of the other-in-the-self, self and other identity-bound in mutual missed recognition, for a space of dislocation, the space of movement-as-such, sheer transformation. There movement is continuously fractured, unhinged from subject and object, and they from each as other. (referring to “where body meets image”)

The body without an image is an accumulation of relative perspectives and the passages between them, an additive space of utter receptivity retaining and combining past movements, in intensity, extracted from their actual terms. It is less a space in the empirical sense than a gap in space that is also a suspension of the normal unfolding of time. Still it can be understood as having a spatial-temporal order of its own. In its spatial aspect, the body without an image is the involution of subject-object relations into the body of the observer and of that body into itself. (Fleshing out: Definitions)

Each artistic articulation is representation of realities. The expressions “reality” and “representation” are examined, in connection with the questioning of the reality, the transformation possibility of the identity of the reality.

By choosing different angles and different fronts (the wall, the floor, side to the wall, side to the floor, back to the wall, back to the floor etc) the perception of the body towards its same positions is changing. There is a space/difference between perceiving body and perceived body. A space between looking/ seeing and body movement. Through this consciousness my own body is becoming object and subject of the work.
the 8 spectators are given headphones and microphones and are invited to respond to the performer, and to communicate between each other, becoming an interactive element in the performance. This spectator has as well the possibility to change the “soundtrack” (by switching between 4 different sources through pressing a button). Like this for all the 8 spectators the “soundtrack” switches randomly, changing as well the perception of what is seen.

(Put Your Head Off in Les Bains/ Brussels in the frame of 100 rencontres/ Benoît Lachambre)

The construction of the space is an important element, influencing the perception process as well. The small and high up located corridor is limiting the possibilities of what can be done there. The distance of 13m between the cabins (changing rooms) and this corridor is reinforced by the big hole down to the swimming pool, leaving a big nothing in between performer and spectators. The spectators are having no contact with the other/cannot see the other (whereas I can see everybody), as everyone has its own little room/cabin, his/her own privacy to do what he/she wants.

Theme(s) of the work

This module/project examines the presentation and representation of the female body. Dealing with different woman images, the project explores the borders between public and private body & the private and public female. To begin this work requires the exploration of the classical notion of voyeurism in all of its perceptive visible qualities i.e., perceiving what is visible and seen as against that which is not seen and therefore blind to vision. We understand reception as receiving & something into ourselves likewise although differently we understand perception as perceiving something outward from ourselves, in that space in the crossover between these two fundamental states of inner/outer engagement where representation and ultimately identity are formed.
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But before attending to the representational issues spaces, places and the female body we need to establish what we know about the relationships between representation, perception and reception and body and how they come to be defined in each and the “other”. The work then for this module is to define the gap between the hidden and the seen scenes in the appearances of both the projected and real body(s) & female – interrogating along the way the imagined and the real, imagined and the identified, reality and identity. Focusing on a number of references and quotations from various media, film, photography and text, a series of serial patterns, looping systems, live actions and pre-recorded actions will be generated for their performative possibilities. In this way the performance will seek to identify with the absence of hidden body(s) and the appearances of the female(s) generating by forming a visual projection of the unseen female body towards developing an altogether “other” appearance and communication for an altogether “other” identity.

General approach to the work

quotidian/private situations and transcribing these patterns towards an articulated body language will engage the tools of real time composition. The vocabularies of video editing will be applied to the moving body creating strategies and rules such as loops, repetitions whilst progressively re-orientating passages of change in developing the choreographic language. The making of this performance is being approached as a moment in the visibility of something just glimpse and passed as a set of incomplete appearances, rather than the appearance of the completed product what has usually come to be ascribed to/on the female body. Created out of a series of loose associations rather than presenting elements to be combined, the performance will be given over to the space(s) of appearance where the body is understood, recognised and identified through accidents, coincidences, failures and imperfections, defects and flaws in their very moment of happening in the performance, in that way connecting to the present and the reality of body and female instantly processed and created in real time.