Text by CLOT Magazine
ASHES is a new visual and sound performance originating from the first collaboration between Montreal artist Martin Messier and French artist Yro (Élie Blanchard). There was a crucial catalytic event at the work’s origin in 2017: the start of a fire in the studio’s storage space destroyed the materials that were supposed to constitute the project’s base. Facing this situation, the artists are presented with an intuition: put the residues of the fire at the heart of their creation.
The piece explores the notions of waste, disappearance and disintegration, questioning the relations between the material and the immaterial, the incarnate and the sublimate, the destruction and the reconstruction. Two microscopes and photo/video cameras are used to project, live on two screens, the different matters deposited on luminous tables.
The burnt matters are manipulated and transported according to very slow and precise movements, the projected images expressing the permanent dialogue of the performers and their interventions on the matter. The projected images express the permanent dialogue of the performers and their interventions on the matter.
Their movements on the scene bring them to cross paths and interact from one microscope to another, creating a meticulous choreography that is almost clinical. Simultaneously, the sound matters are also liberated by gestures and movements from the performers, resonating with the visual contents.
ASHES reminds us that the world’s matter, perceived on a microscopic level, is never anything other than a universe emerging, a remnant of itself. ASHES transforms a daily circumstance in a complex field of reflection by questioning the relations between the material and the immaterial, the incarnate and the sublimate, the destruction and the reconstruction. Opening a landscape for new materiality.
The duo are performing at MUTEK Japan on 1st November 2018.