Watching and being watched. This is the essence of a performance that takes place inside a see-through ball. Art is often premonitory. The performance, created in 2015, unwittingly predicted what would happen in 2020 with the pandemic era.
Social distancing, travel restrictions, using technology to communicate... In this context, art, culture and particularly the act of creation have become a symbol of resistance. Sublimated inside a large ball made of plexiglass, glitter and light placed on a stand, like one of those old gumball machines, Steven Cohen convokes a communion of beings to celebrate the living.
He is isolated from us by a material which prevents him from engaging in any kind of verbal communication, but at the same time he is in permanent visual contact with us all. Doesn’t this remind you, perhaps, of your own lockdown experiences in the last year? Each spectator will get the chance to approach the ball individually and engage with the performer, holding his gaze (or not) and engaging in some kind of interaction with him. What kind? A glance, a short video clip, a physical creation... It will depend on you, because the concept of a passive spectator does not exist here.
Steven Cohen was born in South Africa in 1962 and now lives in France, He is a performer, choreographer and visual artist who has devoted his artistic career to creating interventions in public spaces that often bring marginal aspects of society to light. With clear commitment, the artist uses his actions to question his status as a white man, a Jew, a queer and a South African national. His own history and experiences, his carefully selected attire and his surprising and highly sophisticated make-up are the tools he uses in his creations.
A Compagnie Steven Cohen production.. This project is supported by « fonds d’aide à la création » of the city of Bordeaux. This show was performed in residence at l’Atelier des Marches (Bordeaux) throughout the summer of 2020. Compagnie Steven Cohen is backed by the Drac Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the Conseil Départemental de la Gironde.
Choreography, stage design, costumes and performance: Steven Cohen Stage manager: Yvan Labasse Management: Samuel Mateu Photography: Pierre Planchenault