Li (luo) Company
„Where we relate“ - An introduction into the artistic work of Li(luo) / Camille Mutel
In my artistic work the question of the relationship to oneself and to others is a recurring theme. The human body has always been the central object of projection and introspection for me. It served me to fathom these relationships along its boundaries and transparencies, guided by a precise language of movements that makes every fibre of the body visible and a presence that surrenders to the gaze.
For some years, I was moved by exploring the possibility for an encounter in the very heart of our interior - to reveal the dark and austere, yet also uncertain and fragile places that lie underneath the surface of our selves. It has lead me to a series of solo works that tried to uncover inner journeys: In „Effraction de l’oubli“ (2010), realized in close collaboration with light designer Matthieu Ferry, a faceless body is moved by the desire in the gaze of the observer, a light beam that reveals in an introspective gesture the ambivalence of an erotic and thanatic body. In „Etna“ (2011), the audience observes a naked body that reveals its equivocal phantasmagorias, overwhelmed by own deep desires. This body then seemed to disappear into mere fragments in „Nu(ə)muet“: Here, the spectator is placed as close as possible to the dancer, while her body escapes from their eyes leaving nothing but a corporeal composition of body, light and sound.
Gradually, my focus of interest has shifted away from proposing the observation of inner journeys and towards exploring the gap between two bodies. A gap that became more and more obvious in the previous works, yet took some time to expand and become permeable to the multiple looks that have passed through it - those of the protagonists and those of the audience. „Soror“ (2013), a duet for two female bodies, was the first work to emerge from this new interest: Here, the bodies negotiate their sisterly relationship within a space that appears ambigiously narrow and infinite, revealing an endless struggle with what it means to be together. In „Go, go, go, said the bird (human kind cannot bear very much reality)“ (2015), a trio for two dancers and a singer, the protagonists are bend to the fragmented and subtle narration of an erotic and poetic imaginary novel. It is a work that explores the transformative power of desire within relations, both between the performers and towards the spectators.
My last work, „Animaux de béance“ (2017), a work for two performers and a singer as well, was inspired by medieval rituals from Sardinia. This work proposes a symbolic space in which the performers offer sanctuary for each other in moments of each ones deep crisises. With this work, I seem to have closed another circle and at the same time opened the doors for a new theme for my latest work, „The Place of the Other One“: It will celebrate its premiere in the winter season of 2019/20. With this solo, I will break new ground and create an inviting space for the audience in which the public itself is in focus. The spectators are no longer silent observers, but are being observed in a gentle and caring manner. And the limitations between stage and audience - a limitation I have challenged repeatedly in confronting the audience with their own inner gaze - are negotiated anew along a question: What can I offer to you?
Nancy, june 2018
“Today I would say that the research of the Li(Luo) Company is a questioning of presence. What does it mean to be present? It has something to do with consciousness. Consciousness of the self and of the environment. Self-awareness within an environment and from the environment within oneself. Direct affiliation with its beginnings in butoh dance, my style departs increasingly from symbol and myth to enter into sensitivity. Dance is a body experience. For me, the dancer, and for the person who receives it. Beyond and inside the image, I like to think that it can be perceived. Dance is carnal. A representation of the body from which I can extract myself, dance, music and light, bring depth that metamorphoses, contradicts, reinterprets, strengthens, plays with, questions the all too often ‘arbitrariness’ of the image. These three elements (music, dance and light) are the three main elements which make up the work and research of the company. Their sensitivity has refined with subsequent creations, opening up even greater possibilities. All three are vibrational in essence. I wonder if being present does not mean bringing this vibration into view; namely that presence is the erasure that reveals space-time.”
Camille Mutel, september 2010