12 — 19.05.2021
Mariano Pensotti / Grupo Marea Buenos Aires
Le public / Het publiek
theatre / cinema
French, Dutch, English, Polish, Spanish, Arabic → FR, NL, EN | ⧖ 1h30
An audience enters the Théâtre des Martyrs in Brussels, waits for the play to start and then leaves the building. We will not be seeing this play – which is fictional, as is its audience – but we will be following six spectators who were in the theatre. In six filmed episodes, we see them and learn how the play, this ephemeral art form, has become lodged in their memories and affected their lives in Brussels in the 24 hours that follow. Argentine film-maker, dramaturge and theatre director Mariano Pensotti rekindles his long history with the festival with Le public / Het publiek, a powerful homage to theatre and to Brussels. Episode by episode, and through contradictory accounts given by the six spectators, we gradually reconstruct the play we have not seen; and on the Place des Martyrs next to the eponymous theatre, the echo of some scenes can also be heard, blurring the boundaries of fiction and reality. At a time when theatres are closed, Le public / Het publiek highlights the importance of a common experience and the way in which it influences our existence, while reminding us that without an audience there can be no performing arts.
Le Public / Het public
We miss seeing live theatre plays, we miss being an audience. We talk a lot about plays, the ones we saw, the ones we can't see, what happens and will happen on stage, but even in more ordinary times than these we talk little about the audience. Which are the stories of the people who goes to see a theater piece? How much their lives are transformed by that experience? In which measure what they saw is later modified by their memories? As is known, sometimes watching people in the audience is more interesting and intriguing than what happens on stage. It is not uncommon that their memories of the pieces are much more complex than the works themselves.
Le Public / Het public is a film about a theater audience and the city they live in. It’s also about a theater piece that we only get to know through the narration of it. And it is, perhaps without having proposed it, a project about the stories buried under the surfaces of cities.
In Le Public / Het public there’s an audience who goes to see a play in a Brussels Theater. The audience take their seats before the show starts, reading the hand program, chatting to each other. The piece starts but we don't see it. We see the audience leaving the Theater right after the show ends. We would follow 6 persons, we would see their stories during the 24 hours after and to what extent that play affected their lives. Each story is a short film. By following their stories and by listening their storytelling we – as real audience – can reconstruct the play the fictional audience saw.
Le Public / Het public is not a documentary piece or a sociological study on the audience but an attempt to explore it as a possible fictional trigger. To be an audience is to be transformed by fictions, we decided to take an audience to create a fiction that perhaps in turn summons and transforms other audiences.
What happens when an audience stops being a mere spectator and becomes a protagonist? In 1830, in Brussels, an audience came out to see a play at La Monnaie/De Munt and started a revolution. Part of that public ended up murdered and buried under a square, right where a theater now stands. The current audience leaves that venue and walks, without knowing it, on the graves of the revolutionary public of the past. Almost 200 years later, the question of what happens to audiences that go out to see a play is still relevant. The power of fictions is undoubted, the power of the public transformed into a protagonist perhaps still unexplored.
In a time where being an audience has often become impossible, the transformative experience of being together with others, attending a live fiction, the irreplaceable experience of sharing a place, a time and the ability to collectively transform it resists disappearing and opens the doors to new stories.
- By Mariano Pensotti / Grupo Marea
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts-Théâtre des Martyrs
Written and Directed by Mariano Pensotti | A creation of: Grupo Marea (Pensotti, Tirantte, Vainer, Wasser) | With: Alexandra Oppo, Sophie Dewulf, Kateljine Verbeke (Short film 1), Tom Adjibi, Johan Leysen, Hervé Piron, Marie Christine Baeyens, Quentin Minon, Martin Verset (Short film 2), Matteo Salamone, Amine Hamidou, Jeanne Brochen (Short film 3), Stéphanie Van Vyve, Christophe Sermet, Maialen Arrano (Short film 4), Karin Lechner, Manon Delauvaux, Tiuku Deplus, Maëva Nicol (Short film 5), Juan Martinez, Rafael Espinel, Daniel Felipe Lopez Perez, Aran Bertetto, José Besprovany, Karim Chihab (Short film 6) | Music: Diego Vainer | Music Short film 5: Allegro Bárbaro by Bêla BARTOK | Adaptation: Lyl TIEMPO | Art Concept: Mariana Tirantte | Artistic Production: Florencia Wasser | Artist of the painting in short film 2: Kaz Shirane | Art Director: Guillaume Orain Audooren | Director of Photography: Soledad Rodriguez | Assistant Director: Agustin Gagliardi | Editor: Alejo Moguillansky, Miguel de Zuviría | Editor Asistance in Brussels: Maxime Jauret | Sound Postproduction: Nahuel Palenque | Color Postproduction, DCP: SiE7ECOLORES | Colorists: Guido Tomeo – Lucio Bonelli | Post Production Coordinator: Martín Larrea | Production Manager: Maëva Nicol | Production Assistant: Hugo Pennequin | Administrator: Daphné Vande Walle | Production trainee: Clarisse Lefebvre | Props Master: Valentin Buyse | Costume Master: Prunelle Rulens Dit Rosier | Costume trainee: Maud Bargiacchi | Make-up Master: Tiuku Deplus | A comission by Kunstenfestivaldesarts in coproduction with Wrong Men, Théâtre des Martyrs, Shelter prod | Supported by: Tax shelter.be, ING | Producer (Wrong Men): Benoît Roland | Production Associated (Wrong Men): Alexandra Boussiou | Production (Wrong Men): Guillaume Schuermans, Anne Brandely, Maëva Nicol | Administration, finance (Wrong Men): Daphné Vande Walle | Special thanks to: Frédérique Chabaud, Jeannine Dath, Edith Klapwijk, Renee Lodewijckx, Iwein Scheer, Dorota Szeligowska, Anne-Sophie Van Neste, Sophie Vanstratum, Isabelle Wynen, Isabelle Hennes (Screen Brussels), Ann Paternoster and Doha Zemzemi (Service voyages), Julie Portelange and Marie Skubiszewski (Ambassade de Belgique en Argentine), Françoise Lambory (Synlab Laboratorie), Laurent Goldenberg (Suite Home), Clio Rosenoer (Boghossian Foundation Villa Empain), Le bourgmestre de la commune d’Uccle, Théâtre des Martyrs (Laetitia Doffagne, Christian Gutierrez Silva, Antoine Halsberghe, Luis Vergara Santiago), La Monnaie / De Munt, Musée du tram (Nicolas Van Hee, Cédric), Warwick Brussels (Alain Vanbist, Sarah Guillemard)
Le Public / Het Publiek is the project supported by the Friends in 2021