Alice Bergeron, Mary St-Amand Williamson, Karsten Kroll, Maud Llorente
In a clinical, yet sombre space a person on a table is gently moved, pushed and pulled by three people as if she were an inanimate puppet. They manipulate her extremely slack body in a controlled, experienced way. They turn and rotate her, bring her in a seated position, lift arms and legs as if to check her body.
Contrasting to her slack body, the person on the table speaks clearly and continuously in English about social behaviour in a scientific type of speech. Her uttering can be understood as observations and reflections of the situation or her sensations, or like appeals to the movers. It is like an inner monologue that changes continuously from intimate and contradictory revelations about herself to scientific concepts of social behaviour and deviance.
At the same time the three movers exchange short instructions in French to coordinate their handling, thus demonstrating their indifference towards the person on the table and emphasising her isolation. The inanimate person represents a rational being who is separate from her physical body. The video shows simultaneously a team at work and a person in isolation. Though physically very close, they are two separate units that don’t respond to each other.
The video is about disrupted communication, the clashing of cultures represented in the two languages and ways of speech, the conflict between the rational and the physical. It is about indifference, where physical proximity does not prevent isolation and separation.