Through live-art at Wanås Konst we ask how the ephemeral can affect a landscape populated by sculptures, how the "live" can remind us of the actions it took to make them, and how our bodies relate to the concrete and fleeting in the middle of a forest, in the now.
We do not ask performance to be anything other than the multi-faceted, slippery beast that it is, or to justify itself on any other terms than its own. We place it at the forefront and allow it to shape, mold, smash, imprint, and catalyze – we unleash its potential in the visual arts context and attempt to understand how it can affect and be affected by time and place.
Choreographer and performer Benoît Lachambre has the unique ability to dream bodies in ways that surpass the boldest of imaginations and the most typical of associations. In his performances bodies appear, recognizable at first in form and articulation, then through a slight shift in presence, a release in muscle tension, the deepening of the gaze, or the reorganization of modality they begin to transform. They can make the room expand and contract and trick perception into believing down is up and up is down. The audience is captured in a vibratory space of subtle and extreme shifts that are hard to categorize, but are held together by a softness of expression that opens up for collective and kinetic dreaming.
I first encountered Lachambre’s work as a dancer in 2010 during the creation of JJ’s voices at Cullbergbaletten, where we embodied the emotional and dynamic shifts in Janis Joplin’s songs and voice in a one hour and twenty minute stage performance. Since then, Lachambre has remained unafraid and radical in his commitment to reformulating and transforming his artistic practice with an acute attention to the ethics of inviting the public into his works. This includes a natural shift from the traditional theater to other spaces, including museums and galleries, where he experiments with duration and audience engagement.
If you walk into the Konsthall at Wanås in July you will meet four performers, Sophie Corriveau, Benoît Lachambre, Rachel Tess, and Andrew Turner, engaged in the fabrication of ambulatory spaces. Through meticulous floor and wall taping, they map out vectors of movement, sketching a multicolored, theatrical cartography that unfolds slowly over one month. The adhesive drawings come to life, influenced by the audience’s presence and movement. They constitute a visible memory of the actions it took to make them and the people who have passed through them. You can view the work from above, on the floor, or in motion guided by the performers. What you see in the beginning will have transformed completely by the end.
– Rachel Tess, associate curator dance
Fluid Grounds is the second part of a triptych that began with Lifeguard (a solo created and performed by Lachambre in 2016). The work is produced by Par B.L.eux and Sophie Corriveau in coproduction with Agora de la danse, Festival TransAmériques and Charleroi Danse.