Boundary Games

    22/05  | 20:30
    23/05  | 20:30
    24/05  | 20:30
    25/05  | 20:30
    26/05  | 18:00

€ 16 / € 13 (-25/65+)
± 1h

Meet the artist after the performance on 23/05

Young Brussels artist Léa Drouet is an up-and-coming figure on today’s international scene. Her work encompasses the fields of performance, installation and experimental music to offer aesthetic – and electric – experiences that bring into play group dynamics and its (dis)harmonies. After Derailment (2015) and Mais dans les lieux du péril croît aussi ce qui sauve (2016), both of which took “underground” venues in Brussels by storm, Kunstenfestivaldesarts is now presenting her latest creation. In Boundary Games Léa Drouet is returning to the stage that she transforms into an area for play and experimentation for her six performers. Like a social laboratory, the piece tests the process involved in composing and disbanding groups. Infinite (re)arrangements of bodies, sounds and stage elements define new social rules like alternatives to the sole principles of inclusion and exclusion. Boundary Games shatters the binary division of “us” and “them” to which our relationship with others is all too often reduced. She opens up a new space of negotiation. How will we navigate it?

See also
Workshop for associations with Léa Drouet 23/05 > 8/06

By
Léa Drouet

With
Frédéric Bernier, Madeleine Fournier, Catherine Hershey, Simon Loiseau, Marion Menan & Bastien Mignot

Scenography, costumes design
Gaetan Rusquet

Sounds creation
Yann Leguay

Dramaturgy
Camille Louis

Hypnosis training
Marie Lisel

Direction assistance
Laurie Bellanca

Lights & stage manager
Grégory Rivoux

Production & diffusion
France Morin / AMA

Presentation
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre Les Tanneurs

Production
Vaisseau

Coproduction
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Théâtre Les Tanneurs, Charleroi danse – Centre choréographique de la Fédération Wallonie- Bruxelles, La Coop asbl

With the support of
Actoral – Festival & Bureau d’accompagnement d’artistes, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Service du Théâtre, Shelterprod, Taxshelter.be, ING & Tax- Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government

Residencies
Kunstencentrum Buda, La Bellone

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Boundary Games: games of connects and disconnects, games of lines continually shifting from drawn boundaries to opportunities for bringing people together, games that outline a scene, both strange and familiar, where aesthetics and politics meet, nurture one another, outsmart one another… This is not what some today consider to be a “return of political art”, which very often tends only to be a return towards an ideological art form in which the Artist, as the brilliant expert, has to state the truth of a world whose crisis he or she is better able to diagnose than most. Instead it is about inhabiting the crisis, going where the performance trembles, is unable to end with the image of a sick or healthy “us”, but rather requires our missing images, these lacunas and gaps to be put together, from which a stroke of imagination can timidly sketch out a horizon which we can work towards differently.  

In this shift from imagery to experience, there is not a “refugee crisis” that the Artist is to come and expose. There is just the challenge experienced together and by everyone of our representations of “them” and “us”; there is just the disruption of this boundary-wall that would put “us” on the good side of the crisis and which here becomes the boundary-passage along which “I” start trembling; “we” put ourselves in a crisis or we apply it in its capacity to open up identities that, wanting them affirmed and assumed, we end up closing.  

What the artist Léa Drouet is questioning in this piece is not the “immigration policies” practised by our contemporary governments, but rather the political potentialities of our moving, migrating subjectivities. They are our ability or inability to welcome others, to welcome “us” as others and, through that, to reconnect with the meaning and sensitivity of the policy: the composition of the communal that will never be common. That is what is felt throughout the performance, which is intimately experienced more than could be shown objectively by the power of a stage and the power of the actors. We move endlessly from power to forces or the sensitive recognition of if not our impotence, then at least out difficulties in “including” what is not familiar to us, putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.  

It is not theories that expose these tensions to us: it is games, almost as simple (and profound) as children’s games. Performers stroll around, put down a certain kind of material, a world of blankets becomes our world, we move in, we more or less take it over… or we gradually make it our “own”: what belongs to us and makes any difference inappropriate, abnormal, disturbing, intolerable… Reliefs appear, the material remains the same, but a new unknown pattern penetrates the medium and the whole world seems to collapse… hospitality is not firmly embedded. “We do not even know what a body is capable of,” said Spinoza and this does not just mean that we underestimate the powers of sensitivity where, in reality, we would be able to find our salvation. It can also mean that we do not know at what point our physical existence or organicities are unable to bear otherness, different material, what “I” does not recognise as belonging to me, to the same, to exactly the same in which I forged my identity. No, the encounter is not an innate dynamic between individuals; it is what singularities do and what constantly agitates them.  

With the lightness of a children’s game, Léa Drouet engages us with the complexity of our sensitivities. She makes us experiment as much on the conflict found in any kind of relationship, in all relationships with the heterogeneous, at the same time as with the power and opportunity in the conflict asserted as such. Perhaps we will never agree, we will never form a perfect unity, but in this disturbing experience where our jaws grind and our skins tighten when we come into contact with the stranger, there is perhaps the horizon of a transformation, a conversion, indeed a sensitive revolution from which we could emerge, rather than the diagnosed crisis and the politics of hospitality.  

Above all “aesthetics” means “being able to experiment”. By allowing us to experience what “us” constitutes by endlessly dismissing “us”, what detaches us from established and assigned identities by pushing us along the road of multiple futures, futures of an “us” made of relationships with the many, Boundary Games invents a political aesthetics without pretension, without a manifesto, without a “cause” to defend.  

Where perhaps it should be said that the performance presents a new, unknown point that is not theorised about, where aesthetics become a requirement of future policy. The kind without which “we” ourselves will not live on, the one that allies conflict and the ordinary world: a politics of hospitality again. Even more so.  

Camille Louis, Philosopher and dramaturge of Boundary Games

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Léa Drouet is a French director. She graduated in directing from the Institut National Supérieur des Arts de la Scène (INSAS) in Brussels and has lived and worked in the city since 2010. Her work takes different forms and moves between installation, theatre and performance. She set up VAISSEAU in 2014, a production organisation that attempts to adapt to different propositions and formats, some tried and tested and others still to come. Despite the diversity of the forms offered, her constant interest in certain issues is apparent. How can the issues of human sciences be dramatically changed in the regime of the sensitive, of sound, of the physical and of material? What is a group? How can aesthetic experiences that convey different relational arrangements be shared? Close to the experimental music scene in Brussels, she also collaborates with various musicians as well as surrounding herself with artists who combine a number of practices as actor-dancer-performervisual artist-musicians. 0&, presented at the Théâtre National’s Festival XS, was created with Clément Vercelletto and brought together an ensemble of 20 performers for a cassette recorder concert. Several versionsof this spatialised ensemble have been produced at the invitation of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels-Congress railway station (DERAILMENT, 2015) and at the Palais de Tokyo for the Indiscipline event (Tape ensemble, 2016). Mais au lieu du péril croit aussi ce qui sauve was presented in the skate park at Les Brigittines as part of the launch of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2016. The event was produced in collaboration with skate park users around the notion of risk taking and accidents. It featured interviews with three young skaters about their injuries and their relationship with risk, and the creation of a circle of fire in which the skaters attempted dangerous moves in public. She was invited to Athens by Camille Louis (philosopher, dramaturge and member of the kompost collective) as part of the Night of Aesthetics organised by the Goethe Institut and the Institut Français in May 2017. For this she worked on a performance installation in the form of free play entitled Squiggle, a verbal and sculptural conversational situation in a public space.

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