PARIS - Gaitée Lyrique - U.V.A - I could never be a dancer

Gaitée lyrique
Opening U.V.A + I could never be a dancer
Scanner - Chambre sonore
In la chambre sonore UVA have invited the British artist Scanner to create a new sound work. Based upon writings by the poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), Les Fenêtres uses readings of the text sliced and choreographed into a spiraling pattern of words, breathes and the spaces in between words. A generative light system created by UVA responds in real time to the sound, building to a synesthetic peak.
Les Fenêtres by scanner
Assembly, ground floor.
For the opening of UVA’s new exhibition Rien a Cacher / Rien a Craindre on 2 March, la Gaîté lyrique in Paris is transformed into an all-seeing building which seduces and unsettles visitors in a unique way. Drawing from the assumption that digital technology is moving us towards utopia, UVA are working together with sound designers Matthias Kispert and Henrik Ekeus to bring la Gaîté lyrique to life.
Rien à cacher, rien à craindre
Visitors will be able to wander through the building, exploring its various spaces and coming across the installations on the way. Every installation reacts to the visitors, adding to the feeling that the building is alive. The installations, mostly having their own dedicated rooms, are connected to each other by an ambient, generative sound and light-scape which is set up in a cyclical rhythm, reinforcing the personality of the building. The sound design has been especially created by Henrik Ekeus and Matthias Kispert who have worked with UVA before.
Visitors will feel scrutinised by a disembodied intelligence, measured, scanned, tracked and categorised; which aligns with the theme running through the whole exhibition. This intelligence may turn from benign, nurturing and seductive to menacing or frightening at any time, based on the actions of visitors, but according to rules that are mysterious. Some installations will focus on this theme with the emphasis on being playful and flattering, putting the visitor in the spotlight as if they were a celebrity, whereas other installations will give the unsettling feeling of being scanned into a database, categorised and ultimately found to be insignificant.
Unsure what to expect or how the all-seeing building will respond to them, every visitor will go on a unique journey, coming across a labyrinth functioning as a musical instrument; a mirror mixing the present and the past; and various installations using the faces and bodies of visitors in a confronting and powerful way.
UVA want to create a visitor experience that simultaneously celebrates and critiques the brave new world of the Digital: to examine the unexamined assumption that digital technology is moving us towards utopia. Starting with the inspiration of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, UVA wish to create the impression of la Gaîté lyrique as an all-knowing, all-seeing building, producing an experience that starts as seductive but contains increasingly sinister overtones; and then to shatter that impression, replacing it with something altogether more chaotic and playful.
At the same time, UVA want to bring the visitor’s attention to the fundamental problem of all technology: at some point, it all breaks down, and then “all we have left is each other”.
The French duo, I Could Never Be A Dancer, artists in residence at la Gaîté lyrique, have created a novel performance for the opening. In conjunction with the UVA circuit, a series of daily performances leads visitors to discover the various features of  La Gaîté Lyrique by inviting them to individual experiences that follow the principles of game play (predefined game plot). I Could Never Be A Dancer sparks and joins the public's reactions.
The project requires the participation of students from graduate art schools to help interpret the experience.
Utopiques et dystopiques
Performances play with the principles of new technologies, by reversing the process that tends to humanize them, in a movement of reappropriation of these codes by the body, and borrow from the aesthetic utopian and dystopian film and literature of anticipation.
A disturbance is created between euphoria and sense deceptions that underlie the relationship of humans to technology, ranging from faith in the machine and the anguish of his omnipotence.
 © Chavanitas