Ouvrée (artistes en alpage)
A suggestion by Boris Charmatz

In June 2000, upon Boris Charmatz’s suggestion, a number of artists came together in the mountains of Haute-Savoie. They met at a plateau 1,700 meters above sea level to brainstorm and research their respective practices.
Following ten days of work, the artists invited the public to explore, in diverse spaces, choreographic, vocal, and visual projects.

“In the Alpine pastures of Savoy, what will imagine whoever doesn’t instantly dissolve in the landscape?”
Who can resist the obvious poetry of pastoral songs? Who can look differently at the good old dichotomy of nature and culture?
Our responses will stem above all from a reflection on the body… with the idea of not forcing it into a rigid position (provider of glorious images, bouncing properly, fulfilling its role of an instrument in the service of dance or choreography). Rather, we will allow it to interact with historical, cultural, emotional, and ethical domains that influence it so as to lend greater complexity to our own movements. This should allow us to not decide a priori what might be “automatically” moving, erotic, violent, or funny, or what might be a fortiori natural or cultural.
The very definition of what the body is thought to mean, a presence or a voice now become the subject of questions, uncertainties, and singular explorations.
Out of this complexity we seek to produce an event that will establish a tense relationship with the Alpine meadows of Semnoz.
What is a tense relationship?
We envision quite heterogeneous modes of inscription in the landscape. The afternoon will be made up of more than one body (la Danse): the body of voice, the body of sound, and why not, the body of the hunting horn. We will call upon visual artists, dancers, poets, and we will attempt all sorts of transplants: an educational conference, an urban dance set out in the field, pseudo mountain music, real-time (a tree attack) or delayed activities (musical creation for audio tapes and rarified atmosphere)… A whole world to rewrite history, endanger our professions, spend some time outside the usual norms, but also to flush out the Alpine norms. This is not a hymn but a fragmented corpus. And there you have it!”
Boris Charmatz and Association EDNA, Extract from the booklet of Bonlieu, Scène nationale d’Annecy

The film Horace Bénédict has been created by Dimitri Chamblas and Aldo Lee about this project.

With:

Boris Charmatz, Anne Collod, Simon Hecquet, Bernard Heidsieck, Matthieu Kavyrchine, Jennifer Lacey, Benoit Lachambre, Xavier Le Roy, Barbara Manzetti, Phil Minton, Jean-Luc Moulène, Steve Paxton

And walk-on actors: Sandie Beausse, Amandine Blanc, Graziella Bouchet, Lucie Brugel, Elise Chappaz, Jacques Chappaz, Géraldine Doré, Philippe Drevon, Karine Gassend, Claireline Gibert, Esperanza Gouraud, Violette Guillarme, Hélène Marie, Margot Mathiez, Florence Orciazzi, Julie Perret, Magali Perret, Nathalie Texier, Soraya Thomas, Katrine Tissandier

Production: Association edna

Created in 2000 at Bonlieu, Scène national d’Annecy

Cover picture: © Fred Kihn / Ouvrée (artistes en alpage), Col du Semnoz, 2000


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