X-FOIS GENS CHAISE
Twenty feet above the sidewalk, sitting on chairs affixed to the walls of downtown buildings, a dozen senior citizens appear to float above everyday concerns. Old age becomes urban poetry.
Twenty feet above the sidewalk, white chairs are attached to the walls of buildings in the Latin Quarter, with ten senior citizens sitting on them. One is knitting, another folds laundry and a third is eating. All of them appear to be floating above everyday concerns, their strange position adding an enchanting note to the cityscape. Old age becomes urban poetry, insisting that we stop and take a look.
Affixed to the façades of buildings on St. Denis Street, they are an evocative display of passing time, blurring distinctions so that life becomes art. Some might walk by without noticing them, but others will raise their heads and stop to gaze at this surprising image of mature angels adding a touch of grace to the urban space.
An undisciplined and interdisciplinary German artist who specializes in site-specific interventions, Angie Hiesl concocted this “human exhibit” so that we might view elderly people as works of art. After winning over audiences in Europe and South America, her group will make its North American début with this beautifully disconcerting performance installation.
PRODUCED BY ANGIE HIESL PRODUKTION
DIRECTED BY ANGIE HIESL
ARTISTIC ASSISTANT ROLAND KAISER
WITH ARIANE JOVY + WIM DE LANG + PETER LEHMANN + GISELA OEHLSCHLÄGER + AGNES WINTERSBERGER + LOCAL PERFORMERS
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR MICHAEL BLATTMANN
CO-PRESENTED BY QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES
WITH THE SUPPORT OF GOETHE-INSTITUTE + MINISTÈRE DES AFFAIRES ÉTRANGÈRES DE L’ALLEMAGNE
THE PRESENTATION OF X-FOIS GENS CHAISE IS PART OF THE ACTIVITIES MARKING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOETHE-INSTITUTE OF MONTRÉAL.
WRITTEN BY DIANE JEAN
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
PREMIERED IN COLOGNE, NOVEMBER 1995
ANGIE HIESL + ROLAND KAISER (COLOGNE)
ANGIE HIESL PRODUKTION
The director and choreographer Angie Hiesl is also known for her visual art work and performance installations, and has been a fixture on the German art scene since the 1980s. Her pieces have garnered several awards, including the Cologne Honorary Theatre Prize awarded by the SK Foundation for Culture in 2001, and the 1996 Förderpreis from the North Rhine Westphalia ministry of culture. She often presents her art in public spaces ranging from a bridge to former public baths, a train station and subway corridors, as she explores her interest in the notions of floating and suspension.
x-times people chair, initially created in her home town of Cologne, has since been presented in festivals all over Europe and also in South America. The show won awards at the Holzminden international street theatre festival, and at the Valladolid theatre festival in Spain.
Angie Hiesl Produktion was founded by Angie Hiesl, who since 1997 has been collaborating with the choreographer, director and visual artist Roland Kaiser. Their works include a disturbing meditation on identical humans in TWINS — how do I know I am me… (2001), and a number of interdisciplinary projects influenced by urban spaces. Art is made accessible to everyone; it’s simply a matter of observation. She is keenly interested in the relation between the body and architecture, between humans and their environment. This project is an invitation to take a new look at reality.