Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square is neither a square nor black. The lines on the side of the famous painting do not run parallel, the paint is not uniformly applied, and the surface is flawed. In this case, and not only in this case, it depends on the eye of the beholder what is visible and what is not. In her new play, French-Congolese artist Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe initiates a game of hide-and-seek with the spectators’ gaze, revealing the difficulties of actually perceiving what happens in front of our eyes.
Carré Noir is part performance, part exhibition. It continuously shifts the boundaries of what is visible and what eludes the beholder’s gaze in the very next moment. The piece centres around the body as a place of resistance, turning against preconceived views and playing with aesthetic, social and political codes and projections. Carré Noir reveals the body to be a space of opportunities, metamorphoses and transformations, making tangible our own inability to actually perceive anything without bias. Granted, most of the time, it is very hard to see what happens immediately in front of our eyes. But please, don’t give up.
Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe was born in Kinshasa and grew up in France, where she studied fine art and sculpture. In her choreographic work, the artist deals with the sensitive and fragile dimensions of the body and the concept of normality, which she criticises as tyrannical and humiliating. Her most recent works have been shown in such contexts as the Vienna Festival, steirischer herbst, brut Wien, donaufestival, the Vienna Dance Festival and Afro_Vibes Amsterdam.
Concept and choreography Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe Performance Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe, Eric Abrogoua Research Rapha el Michon Video Eduardo Triviño Cely Light design Martin Schwab Sound design Lucas Henao Serna Costume production mukenge/schellhammer Dramaturgy Philippe Riéra Production management partner in crime
A co-production by DIG UP PRODUCTIONS and brut Wien in cooperation with Afro_Vibes Performing Arts Festival Amsterdam.
With the kind support of the City of Vienna’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Austrian Federal Chancellor’s Office and the Vienna Dance Festival.
studio brut, Zieglergasse 25, 1070 Vienna
Zieglergasse 25, 1070 Wien