PRESS | KLAP! KLAP!
KLAP KLAP by Christian Ubl: bravo
Between them and us, it was a nice exchange. Muscular, sincere, creative and, to put it mildly, rejuvenating. They are choreographer Christian Ubl, dancer Marion Mangin and musician Fabrice Cattalano, performers of “Klap! Klap! “. We, the public, sit in the room of 3bisF, place of contemporary art of the psychiatric hospital of Aix en Provence. An hour to question the meaning of the applause, the noise that resonates for each of us, this weapon of mass and passive destruction, this gesture of love, this political act.
Between us, there is so much to say! Especially since we have changed. We are no longer that uniform and docile audience that some programmers still dream of. Between real world and internet, our identity is multiple, our expectations and desires are constantly navigating between the need for secure entertainment (“do not take the head”) and search for meaning (“out of everyday life”). As for artists, they never stop questioning their art, opening up, introspecting new fields to create new forms. Never has a profession evolved so much as this one, where the relationship with the public is a center of gravity
“Klap! Klap! Is a work that questions our relationship with artists, with humor, creativity, delicacy and depth. For this, Christian Ubl poses a framework containing, never disqualifying, which authorizes the word, without mask and with respect. The video tool, subtly used, is this reflecting mirror, this one-way mirror, this introspective space. The sound of the applause blends into a deafening music, which puts in tension this usual relationship so “soft”, so agreed. The danced bodies reflect the nature of this interaction where the noise of our hands feeds the imbalance, the power takeover, the manipulation of the artist, become a toy the time of a final salvation. And we laugh at seeing this relationship as bland, when applause comes, at a time when our era is developing more and more circular forms of communication.
Christian Ubl questions, expurgates his fear, staged the sense of hysteria of these applause; he includes the public in the “game”, it means the meaning of his postures (even the most passive in a step!). He questions us about the function of these clapping hands, which become, like the status of the artist, the object of the covetousness of a society that puts entertainment far above the art (just to be convinced to observe the attitude of the spectators in Canal Plus’s “Le grand journal” where the body is only a machine to ovationate in the service of a commercial vision of culture, a top-down approach to democracy).
As “Klap! Klap! “In advance, we are thus bound, them and us, to give a new dimension to this gesture, to complicate it, to include it in a political posture (even put on latex gloves and protect yourself from messy artistic proposals!). With Christian Ubl, applauding becomes a beautiful choreographic gesture.
It is a movie credits that closes this spectacular show. As the names unfold, an in-between is set up, a space where the spectator takes the time to reflect on the meaning he will give to his applause. And I find myself beating my hands differently, to make them play a different music, while questioning me about this paradoxical gesture in the context of “Klap! Klap! “.
My hands no longer expel, they include.
With Christian Ubl, the spectator is an artist in the making.
UBL: under your applause!
Ubl dares. And asks questions, which open, gaping, disturb. By jumping without precautions to conclusions: greetings, applause. The great moment of meeting, the obligatory offering, the peak of emotion. Except here out of context. Evidenced content: nothing before. So, what are these gestures worth? The causes of the lost relationship, the naked phenomenon, what do we see? Is there still a meeting? Is it us – the spectators – projected in synthetic image, reduced to the postures, to the mechanical gestures of the applause. Are they the artists who offer only themselves? Reduced only to salutes, to their thirst for recognition, distraught. Drunk with this emotion and fragile to break. The situation declines, played, danced, in nuances, from factitious to paroxysmal. Including the expected efforts of the chauffeur of saloon hangers, there a demonstration of a sad normality. Everything goes off without complaisance to the din that dulls the meaning. Accelerated repetition until exhaustion, the artist collapses. What is left of what is happening between us and them? We are relieved of the mission of applauding ourselves artists who are turned to other audiences in all corners of the stage. We consider these virtual audiences, referred to a reflection on our own function of spectators. Without answers proposed: there are no other comments than those in the gestures and the words of circumstances. With irony and connivance. Performance is reduced to the bone. Pickled, the result is stripper. With a bitter taste, provoking. Hello?
In Micadances, with Facts of winters.
Sunday, January 25, 2009 Guy Degorges
CUBe association is based in Marseille (FR) and supported by the Minister of Culture, Art and Communication DRAC PACA, the Conseil Régional PACA, the Conseil Général des Bouches-du-Rhône, the city of Marseille and the Culture Forum of Austria in Paris.