This makes me think how lacking we are in alternative mythologies, in dissonant narratives; how difficult it is to produce something that might be unprecedented, unexpected, and that would have the power to implode the confined world of our stultifying and marketable imaginations for the market that feeds them. This observation obviously presupposes questioning the conditions of shifting, of offsetting, but also of reversing the imaginary – that is to say, the conditions of restoring the possible. It is not enough to arm Little Red Riding Hood so that she blows up the wolf’s mouth – it is not enough, even if it is not unpleasant to imagine that (notwithstanding psychoanalysis), to imagine this frail and obliging little girl, catching the wolf and slitting its throat, cutting off its tail and making the wolf eat it before it had time to consider the possibility of slaughtering the grandmother, the child and scaring entire generations who, rather than being afraid of man, their grandfather, their father, their boss, the hunter or the neighbour, began to exterminate the animal.
In other words, it is not enough to reverse the roles, even if it may be educational. As seen by Gisèle Vienne, there is a more subtle, more methodical way: it is first necessary to unravel, to take apart, to deconstruct the framework and, in the process, to open up possibilities of liberating reconfiguration. Gisèle Vienne’s work thus consists of suspending time: she wants to take the time necessary to analyse all the dimensions of this continuous moment, where the setting functions fully for us and in us; where we are not only the object or the intermediaries of social myths but also actual myth-makers. We could therefore equip the blonde with weapons. Gisèle chooses to explore the fascination and excitement of the family man or the psychopath (who is merely the reverse twin), lurking in our imaginations, rather than representing what it means to revolt, to rise up, to destroy, to resist, to overthrow and, finally, to defend oneself against deadly regimes.
This examination, so characteristic of her work, has never found a more accurate discourse of method than in Crowd. In this work, Gisèle Vienne explores the time taken by the gesture, understanding all ideas, emotions, representations and experiences as movements; grasping the social relationships and the political fabric of interactions in and through choreographic thought. It is then a question of reflecting on the social and moral encoding of these movements; and she chooses to do so by capturing the moment when they are diverted, reoriented, docile or restive, held back or accentuated; that moment when they are in conflict, when we are conflicted. By taking a paradigmatic scene of contemporary trance, a rave, commonly perceived as a useless, unproductive, debauched and immoral communion, a mass of the post-ideological, no-future, pre-apocalyptic generation... by taking what seems to be the most absurd, what seems to be the poorest in terms of philosophical, artistic, critical and political meaning, Gisèle Vienne proceeds from our physical state of existence, from the impurity of our travels, the complexity of our lives, the ambivalence of our desires, the antagonism, the tension, the crisis in relation to oneself, to others, to the world.
Everything can be fast, jerky, rhythmic, as if to better prepare to stop the movement in suspension. Then, by sl-ow-ing do-wn movement to the extreme, it is a matter of understanding its precariousness, that is to say, its constraints as well as limitations, and thus of restoring its potential; but it is also a matter of understanding its power: that of creating an event, of inscribing it in reality, of concretising it in a world, of creating a community, of forming a political chorus. A positivity is revealed in this exploration of the microscopic scale of politics: not just to undermine and unravel the myths, social constructions, norms and the disciplining of bodies and lives, of desires and fantasies, of perceptions of the world, but to give substance to the lived dimensions for which we do not yet have words and discourses, narratives and visuals, disciplines and aesthetics.
From these sub-surface, occult dimensions, Gisèle Vienne composes a score, a choir, a grammar, a thought, a ritual, a universe. Her universe, our universe, is radically critical: the routine hum of our myths, of our desires and imaginations, of our normalised existences, of our consumer and mass-consumed identities, reproducible, disposable, of our democratic impulses, amnesiac and complacent, brutalised and brutalising, all this is ultimately not the core, the object of the staging. It is not the responsibility of Gisèle Vienne.