A few words about Helium
A challenge we threw at ourselves: would it be possible, for once, to create in all lightness, an evanescence, an illusiveness, where normally our work pushes us toward interrogations of death, origins, doubles, the discomfort of being..? Would we be able to lighten the affair, starting from a rather strong metaphor and take the image of the celestial bodies that burn their own energy transforming it into hydrogen and helium, the lightest of gases?
That was our desire. Obviously we needed a context: a raised stage, already slightly lifting off, a theater of operations. Obviously we needed a framework: three windows that open and close like the panels of a triptych allowing three images to be seen in constant contrast, in a syncopated narration, in which images contaminate each other or allow for a plethora of associations to be made. To multiply the way of seeing, to bring the center into question, while also creating an out-of-bounds area, important because it reveals the impossibility of containing a world within a set frame, as they succeeded so magically in doing during the Renaissance. Everything is too complex in our little moth's world, the truth as well as the big picture escape us, leaving us unable to anchor our existence and make it necessary. It's not so serious. In the middle of the explosion, the polyphony, the simultaneity, how we see recreates its own logic.
Three spaces and three moments of time for three "themes". But the separation is arbitrary: God, sex and repression, aren't they all intimately related?
The movement that causes us to circulate within these concepts, is it not real enough, composed as it is of momentum and retreats which call forth many unanswerable questions, endlessly making manifest the limits of our spirit?
If God is real enough within the heads of men, he has alas also become real in their societies. The modest eaters of zucchinis are not content to garden their small piece of land, they want vast spaces where they can cultivate the fruit of their wildest dreams. So that what must be sold throughout the world: propaganda, commercials and company. Obligation. Idolatry. Murder. The exploitation of woman. The destruction of the other.
The question of sex is interesting, on condition that any discourse of fear or censorship be left out of the discussion... Why so much fear, by the way: isn't the disillusion announced by the beginning of any desire sufficient? So it goes, the hidden subject of the chapter, even if sexuality opens up numerous metamorphoses, stupefying neuroses, unforeseen transfigurations...
Representation alone calls the action into play, even if it is codified (the opera, the lyrical bourgeoisie) in order to put some distance between us and what we are while sticking closely to our ambiguities... Actors, we become explicit players within the block of night of which we are a part. It is important that this mystery ends up and is put into play with a certain self-criticism that articulates the perception so as not to drift off in a reverie. Share the phantasm, share the darkness, share the waste, but never give in to malevolent powers. Create forces. Tensions that carry.
Finally, whatever the context may be, the performance could also be seen as fantasy in motion, in which the different elements come back to themselves, giving form to sensations and ideas destined to disappear within the images they had brought into being.
Patrick Bonté • 2005