T-MC: With your performance on Alexanderplatz, you didn’t have to find an emergency exit from what you had in mind, because you got a response from the setting. When there is interaction, the other responds. Isn’t it the same with this exhibition?
AD: Yes, the two emergency exits from the exhibition seemed to me to resonate directly with Beckett’s text, especially the one that involves using a ladder to reach the outside. Using the space to structure the story is a device employed by stage directors, especially in the Theatre of the Absurd tradition, like with Grotowski, for example. In a normal situation, if no problem arises, I wouldn’t use the emergency exit. If, on the other hand, I encounter a problem, I can take the emergency exit. The dialectical inversion of that would be to use it when there is no danger. The particular light in the exhibition space will invite a subversive use of those emergency exits. Nevertheless, once the quest has been accomplished, what is left? What can we hope for? Every labyrinth is a quest, but once the quest is over, what do you do? Impossibility is not a problem, but a condition.
T-MC: When you talk of the quest and the labyrinth, which you base on the exhibition space and the conditions it creates, you are also raising an important aspect of your work: the textual dimension. The narrative or philosophical text is often a door to reading your objects, by opening up a dialogue with the work of another artist.
»Nevertheless, once the quest has been accomplished, what is left? What can we hope for? Every labyrinth is a quest, but once the quest is over, what do you do? Impossibility is not a problem, but a condition.«
– Aliénor Dauchez
AD: I am both an artist and a stage director, but the sheer variety of media and situations forces us to look beyond those two terms. I connect with theater and exhibiting because my practice always depends on the conditions I meet. Ultimately the question is to try and overcome the framework, whatever it is.
The way Jean-Paul Sartre describes it, every situation requires us to think before making a decision. The immobility I was talking about in the performance on Alexanderplatz can refer to the impossibility of deciding, and hence how the self is confined within the self, or how others are confined outside the self. We are all confined in our own way. Recognizing this confinement should trigger a dynamic to resolve the quest together. Social rules are not the enemy of the individual, as situationism suggests, but our friends. Total freedom, on the other hand, would engender chaos, because without boundaries freedoms would clash. Experience is choice. The impossibility of choice can only be resolved by the collective, and for that we need a system of rules. There are rules, and they are designed to function in a closed circle (as in Beckett). Breaking the rule means breaking with society and hence with ourselves. Is that an objective, or is it an error?