Gisèle Vienne
Étienne Bideau-Rey Showroomdummies #4


Initially created in 2001 with Étienne Bideau-Rey, Showroomdummies has traversed two decades of regular alterations and re-births by means of a process of re-writing, which has in turn become an integral part of its identity. Decanted, reconsidered, and reread, this is a piece in permanent dialogue with itself, its era and its authors.

Showroomdummies mixes dance, theatre and visual arts in a disconcerting piece that touches upon the relationship between the body and represented, artificial bodies, in addition to domination-based relationships. If the piece is based loosely on Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1870), its inspiration comes more from Gilles Deleuze's analysis of it in Présentation de Sacher-Masoch – Le froid et le cruel, and its art of suspense and subversion. We are confronted with choreography of a slow, mechanical kind, which focusses on the frontier between the animate and the inanimate, the embodied and the disembodied, and is characterised by a mixture of coldness and sensuality. Over the course of time, Étienne Bideau-Rey and Gisèle Vienne have turned the re-writing process into a constitutive element of a piece that might easily be considered as a work-in-progress. Here, crucial features of their work, that came to light when the piece was first developed in 2001, are confronted with subjects that have been developed since then. First performed at the ROHM Theatre Kyoto in February 2020, the fourth incarnation of Showroomdummies examines balance of power relationships of a silent kind, via bodies in movement.