The performance
Transitory art, links to anthropology, rites of passage.
Using basic materials, the body, time, and space.

The installation
The displays blend into a dynamic arrangement, visual art and highly technological media. Installation-art is a form of psychological and artisistic nomadism. Often, the art-work can neither be sold nor moved

The installation-art performance exists when the artist sets his piece of installation-art in scene. Spectator intervention is key. All the senses are stimulated. A stream of people flow through the installation, but so do their thoughts.

Open air installation-art performance. Working outdoors heightens the sense of danger. The elements are uncontrollable. Contributions from Earthworks, Andy Goldsworthy, Patrick Blanc also play their parts as actors/spectators of the installation.

The installation does not require much space, but taking it down and reconstructing it elsewhere requires labour.

festival theatre

Why work around the theme of ultra low-temperatures?

This is the third and final journey of a trilogy.

In 2003, at the Avignon Festival, we produced Thermogenic, heat generator, dealing with oppression and slavery.

In 2007, Hydrogenic, the different states of water, liquid, gas and ice, its relation to primal energy, to the creation of the Universe, and to the dangers humanity poses for the planet.

Today, in Cryogenic, it is illusion and appearance, the dream breakers, that we are working with. We introduce scientists, lost without a compass, who are intent on playing with fire, with little or no awareness of the consequences of their actions. Multi-coloured liquids flow in and out of their "laboratory". They act upon a tropical environment, a pathogenic medium, the opposite of their own glacially healthy research.

The installation takes form

Disorder to the untrained eye, but there is little room for chance. Man has seized the space, and arranges it according to his or her needs.

The origins of each material has been well thought out. It's about using the ready-mades, found art available in the immediate surroundings. These may be earth, stones, plants, rope, wood or even the natural colouring of the water that flows through the installation.

What are we trying to highlight with this installation art-performance?

Our first interest remains making theatre. Contemporary theatre, avant-garde.

A metamorphosis of the scenic codes, evaluating the lack of artistic authority.
The "spectators" take part in the act, they find themselves both watching and acting, integrating an intimate, yet public space and becoming part of it. There is a contrast between the creation and the spectators, loaded wiith their cultural baggage.

The installation-art performance is a form of letting go. To provide suggestive materials;

- Calling it an "act" is not enough. It is a place for feelings, an awakening of the senses.
- The "spectator" is not from within the theatre community.
- This type of theatre favours the visual before the text. The actors themselves write the text for their character, following the beginning of a plot, an outline which relates to the installation-art, however, the performance is derived mainly from improvisation. The scene is anachroninistic, there is only the notion of time passing. A game between day and night. Nothing is ever finitely defined.

Some of the actors are beginners. They are introduced to the piece in a two-month workshop taking place during the building process before the play begins. Their sincerity is what generates the intensity and fragility of the performance.

festival d'Avignon 2007

What happens in Théâtre de l'Enjeu's sensory installation art-performance?

The installation-art and theme takes centre stage, the actors bring the installation to life. They improvise from a mutual starting point, the outline they have been part of creating. They are encourged to act in symbiosis with their surroundings and the unintended events that take place there.

The actors operate in independent cells of one, two, or three characters, a shared space allows for communication between them. The lighting, projections, and sound can at certain stages bring the attention into any one cell.

The positioning of the stages and displays as well as the sporadical placement of actors and spectators, are all strands forming the weave that is the whole performance. This invokes new forms of theatrical expression. Also part of the concept is that the roles become easily interchangeable, each actor makes up the whole of the weave, in symbiosis with the installation-art and theme.

The perception of the weave is relatively important, whatever the spacial situation. The actions linked to it can be expressed in several ways and according to each communication cell, also taking into account the re-arrangement of characters.

Each actor transmits the story linked to the main characters. If a young lady happens to let her regard linger on a young man, the rest of the characters will longingly look at a person of their choice. For example, the mad scientist looks towards the cryopreserved child and an old man looks at her. The young man may be casting glances at the old man, yearning to learn his wisdom.

The passing from one scene to another , from a secret to another (explicated from the turn of events), is announced by a shadow on the ground or through a certain electric illumination, visual or audible. Thus the actors know that it is time to adapt their dialogue in the appropriate direction. The spoken part in any which scene is free and variable and expressed in English, French or Thai, in words or in song, dance or mime. Images, video and music is projected, predestined to underline the events brought to the weave of our storyline.

Spectators with eyes glittering, the nomad with bare and colourful feet, tracing their itinerary, individually. Sub-scenes occur, expressed by evaporation, in an immediately adjacent space, the disappearance of the actor who had appeared.

The space beyond the theatre rarely figures in scene, it is an audible existance. A mental space, where the spectator stocks notable details, free to emerge and return to be captured.