Public in Private / Clément Layes _ „Der grüne Stuhl“

concept and choreography: Clément Layes
performance: Felix Marchand, Clément Layes
artistic colaboration: Jasna Layes-Vinovrski
premiere: 25.08.2012, Tanznacht Berlin 2012 / Uferstudios
duration: 50 min

Der grüne Stuhl – by which we generally understand a piece of furniture to sit on and of
a certain colour. Its purpose and possibilities seem largely known. In his work the French
choreographer Clément Layes continually places this fundamental knowledge about the
world of things in question. In the crossfire of artistry, philosophy and dance, a simple
chair raises fundamental questions of life, places certainties in question and invalidates
physical laws. With Der grüne Stuhl, Clément Layes exactly encircles that hidden gap
between the simple word and the seat itself.
Clément Layes about “Der grüne Stuhl”:
According to Plato for any given object there is the name, the definition, the vision and
the sensation. But what would it mean if we had no name for it, no definition, no vision,
no sensation?
I had planned Der grüne Stuhl as a way to re-open the knowledge we have of things –
particularly of a green chair. And I wanted to do this in the physical and associative ways
we developed in the last performance to allege. The most important and intriguing question
was: What is this?
Looking for ways to address the known as if it was unknown, we finally chose two ways:
a direct live experience and a mediated one.
By using a very common daily life object I dreamed that the enormousness of its references
would allow it to drift away and start signifying something else on top of its references.
But it never happens, the thing remains itself, desperately common. Or as well
beautifully common.
This appears to me, after these two years of research, as a pure object of representation,
representing without any object to represent. Emptiness. Nothing there to mean, even no abstraction that would say “it is what it is”, desperately empty thing. But free of responsibility,
like the liberal market, nothing to stand for, than itself.
“The words implies the absence of things, as well the desire implies the absence of its
object… one and the other end up in a dead end: the one of communication and the one
of happiness.” Tzvetan Todorov, Poétique de la Prose