16 November 2008

Setting the tone

Since the 6th of November and until the 22nd, Abstract is exhibited at the Théatre de l'Agora, Scène Nationale d'Evry et d'Essonne. Yesterday, a special event "Circuit Ecléctique #3" took place that would take people through a number of art pieces, closing with a concert. I was there with some friends to attend the event and observe the participants in the installation.
It's the 3rd time Abstract is presented, after the Gallery Ef exhibition and the festival Nuits de l'Ososphère last year. So I was able to experience a different context and make comparative notes. I must say that although it was a nice and interesting setting yesterday, it couldn't beat the Japanese one. I realized that Abstract cannot be shown in any kind of context. I fantasize about my works being able to be presented globally, whether in a theatre, or in a gallery or in an undefined public space. I think I'm being naive there.
What I try to achieve with Abstract is a strong immersion cutting the participant from his reality and daily environment. But the interaction itself is not enough. The staging has to be part of it. And I'm not sure it can be done in the context of a new media show where many constraints have to be taken into account to share the space with other pieces, and with a timing that get people to go from one experience to many other ones in say an hour time.
I learned yesterday that if the conditions to show a piece are not exactly the ones you need then it's better not to go with it at all. It's what making the difference between a "nice" experience to an "impacting" one. I cannot do approximation anymore. It's not easy for me to accept that because I tend to be enthusiastic, I like trying collaborations, I want to say yes to all the opportunities I get and I'm always hopeful and curious about the outcomes even if they're not what I had in mind. I like the randomness about the process. But I shouldn't do it anymore at all costs. I'm very grateful that the theatre team wanted to show Abstract and they did a good work mounting a black box and putting a lot of efforts to follow some of my instructions but the isolation was not there, and therefore I think due to that and few other reasons the incitement to stay a long time was not there.
All these observations are great to help me build a stronger experience for next time and it's also confirming the crucial importance of scenography, an art that I don't master well yet.

-- Joëlle.

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