(N.B.: due to difficulties of production, the work presented here has to be seen as an advanced draft)
I won't talk here about solutions because art is not the place to bring solutions. Art brings questions, stays open and let people decide for themselves. I don't think either that art can change the world but it can participate and it has to. That's what I intend to do.
We are facing a situation that no human being has ever experienced. Scientists say that if we continue in this direction, well, we're going to die, destructed by what we caused or at the very least, our lives will be a nightmare until a potential extinction. It might sound alarmist and it won't happen tomorrow but we have been at a turning point for a while and we need to do something.
The world in which we live doesn't give us a lot of options and politicians have proved too many times their incompetence and will continue to do so. The tragic last events in Beirut, Paris, Bamako or Tunis are sadly a good example. In these so-called democracies, people have to rally and work together to change their lives but this requires political commitment and a strong will which are not encouraged in our society. Changes come from the bottom of the pyramid, not from the top - but maybe another shape is needed altogether.
I'd like to send a warning for what is to come as well as an invitation to change. This performance is a ritual of transformation that leads to a symbolic disappearance/rebirth. It's not only focused on climate change but more generally on the behavioural change we need to make, as human beings, in relation to ourselves and consequently to the others.
As Hannah Arendt said, the price we have to pay to live our lives among others is to take responsibility for actions we're innocent of, or in other words, to consider that we're a group no matter what. I shouldn't remind you that we're all living on the same tiny ball lost somewhere in space.
The performance, in its actual state, is composed by the following parts.
First I gather the people in the dark while a video (the construction of the set up) is being screened.
Then I bring them into the light of projectors in front of the camera and, when they discover themselves on the screen, the voice starts: "Powerlessness is always a good excuse to do nothing..." (Hannah Arendt - Collective responsibility).
The set up could be seen as a representation of the activity of thinking, "a silent dialogue between me and myself", where the performer(s) is/are facing his/her/their own image(s).
From that point I start to alternate between painting myself and inviting the people to join me and paint things too (or themselves). When people/things are being painted, they're replaced by the background and shadows allow us to perceive only forms and contours.
Theoretically the performance never stops and people take over when I leave, my set up/decision becoming our set up/decision as soon as they start painting: the transformation asked falls to all of us.
It's maybe time to change this "human centred world" and start to blend into the landscape.
Texts from Hannah Arendt and Albert Jacquart
Voices: Kate Donovan and Jérémie Pujau
Photos: Andrei Runcanu and Farid Fairuz
Video: Adrian Lacov and Jérémie Pujau
Performance: Jérémie Pujau
"Produced by the Biennal of Emerging Arts Bucharest, project organised by FaPt Compagny, financed by ARCUB"