Exhibition – L’exhibition
Emmanuel invented the Machine à extraire la pensée pure and decided to test it out on his two friends Benoît and Francis. Of course the machine didn’t work, or rather didn’t work as planned.
Emmanuel Schwartz, his Belgian friend Benoît Gob and his long-standing accomplice Francis La Haye wanted to insert fiction into their lives. In a moment of creative intensity, Emmanuel invented the Machine à extraire la pensée pure and decided to test it out on his two friends. Of course the machine didn’t work, or rather didn’t work as planned. What if their lives were permanently turned upside down?
You are invited to a vernissage but apparently the paintings might be concealing other paintings, and then suddenly a mysterious voice takes over and starts giving orders to the three protagonists. You find yourself in an event/object whose nature and identity are elusive, shifting from a traditional exhibit to a static walkabout, from theatrical autofiction to danceless choreography, from live sculpture to the museum as spectacle. Welcome to the very nub of the present moment, or the Schwartz, Gob & La Haye version!
Co-created and performed by Benoît Gob + Francis La Haye + Emmanuel Schwartz
Written by Emmanuel Schwartz
Visual arts Benoît Gob
Sound design Francis La Haye
Co-creation and dramaturgy Alice Ronfard
Artistic complicity Christel Olislagers
Lighting design Julie Basse
Assistant director and stage manager Émilie Martel
Technical director Hubert Leduc-Villeneuve
Produced by LA SERRE – arts vivants
Drawing Benoît Gob
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Théâtre de L’Ancre (Charleroi)
With the support of La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines + ArtGang Montréal
Presented in association with Monument-National
Written by Paul Lefebvre
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on June 2, 2017
Benoit Gob + Francis La Haye + Emmanuel Schwartz (Brussels + Montreal)
An actor, dancer, musician and playwright, Emmanuel Schwartz moves easily from Samuel Beckett to Mani Soleymanlou, from Xavier Dolan to Dave St-Pierre, from Denis Marleau to Denis Villeneuve and of course Wajdi Mouawad, approaching each project with intelligence tinged with melancholy.
At the heart of all these collaborations is his own creative work such as the saga Nathan (FTA, 2012) and the strangely playful Alfred, presented at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in 2014. In these plays and also in other texts like Je ne connais pas Clichy mais je m’en suis fait beaucoup de clichés (2009) or Qui est l’amour? / Who’s the Motherfucker? or Max qui a les yeux sortis du coeur (2005), the fictions are centred on quests that constantly run up against many superimposed levels of appearance.
The Belgian artist Benoît Gob is an actor, dancer and visual artist who studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Liège, followed by theatre studies at INSAS in Brussels. He has been a member of the Needcompany troupe since 2001, which in 2005 presented La chambre d’Isabella by Jan Lauwers at the FTA. It was when he performed that play at the Avignon Festival in 1999 that he first met Emmanuel Schwartz. His paintings have been exhibited (often as solo shows) in Brussels, Antwerp and especially Vienna.
The actor and dancer Francis La Haye graduated from the acting program at Lionel Groulx College in 2004, where Schwartz was a classmate. His rugged presence has led to work in dance (Dave St-Pierre, Virginie Brunelle) and theatre (Philippe Boutin, Jérémie Niel) as well as film, notably with Stéphane Lafleur.