Les Commerçants

André Gingras (NL)

25. - 28.05.2011. | Video installation | ZPC

Concept & choreography: André Gingras
Installation design, video, editing: Oona Spengler
Dranaturgy & interviews: Camille Kiejman
Rehearsal assistant: Erik Bos
Performers: François Sagat, Lucie Bertaud, Fouaz Bounechada
Production management: Johanna Korgel / Korzo Producties
Photo: Oona Spengler
In collaboration with: Korzo Producties, Centre National de la Danse-Pantin und NFPK+.
Special thanks to: TIN und Institut Néerlandais.

About the installation

In a series of short dance portraits, the video installation Les Commerçants shows a professional circus artist, an European boxing champion, and a porn actor, speaking about the development, marketability and value of their body. What is the market value of youth, beauty, skill and talent? What do the performers themselves think, and how does society perceive their profession?

Les Commerçants and IDORU are a response to the current debate about the commercialization of the body. In the "safe" environment of the theatre, the concept of manipulation is magnified in order to render visible the imbalance and destructive forces between performer and viewer. By letting the performers speak (Les Commerçants) and the public direct (IDORU), Gingras breaks accepted conventions and exposes the moral dilemmas behind these seemingly simple forms of entertainment.

"I didn't do it to become famous. This wasn't my first motivation. It was just for me to prove to myself that I was someone sexual, sensual, to prove I had the ability to show this about my body. When I was contacted, I think I was physically ready, but less ready psychologically. Because it is quite violent, you go from one extreme to another."

François Sagat

"The first quality a boxer should have: an iron will. You really must want to be a boxer because it is not a common sport, especially for a girl. In this sport, beyond surpassing yourself, you take hits. Because even if the goal is to avoid being hit, you always get them, because at some point the fatigue arrives... And you shouldn't weaken because the boxer in front of you is there to take you down just when you weaken. It demands a huge work on the self, a great determination. Second quality: intelligence. A powerful boxer who is not smart will quickly be mastered, he can hit all he wants, he's going to get tired while the opponent will be amusing himself. And it is very hard to be intelligent in the ring, because you are scared."
Lucie Bertaud