Après la Chronique is a non-verbal multidisciplinary performance (movement, robotics, sound art) for an adult audience. On stage, there are two performers and a local non-professional performer.
Après la Chronique is a performance about social isolation in our hyper-connected society. The performance carries off the audience into a self-generated non-place where human relations are simply negated or only exist through a media channel.
The initial situation is mundane: two performers, stylized as twin-figures, are sitting at a table and eat. This scenario gradually changes into an absurd, surreal charade, in which both performers are threatened to sink into their own worlds.
Through meticulous precision in the staging and extremely decelerated movements by the performers, a sinister atmosphere of isolation unfolds, which, through its reduction and concentration, reminds the viewer of scenes from Black mirror (the series) or nightmare-like scenes from movies by David Lynch.
It has been quite some years now that we feel (and from what we understand, we’re not the only one) immersed in a constant stream of noise produced by what looks to be technological advancement of our hyper-connected society.
This noise seems to have no clear definition of it. I guess that is why it’s called noise: a blurry thing, similar to what used to come on the television when serviced stopped or no channels were available.
What is more concrete is what this noise produces. While we don’t consider this list exhaustive, we can observe: a certain lost of humanity; life lived through ‘key’ mo- ments (mostly the pictures we post of our ‘key’ events on social medias and leads to a sensation that in a virtual world everybody seems happy and beautiful, living life at its best); a necessity for a constant stream of information; the need, as statistics say, to check our phone every 6 minutes thus an emphasis placed on accumulation, acceleration, multi-tasking performance driven and most of all, a certain sense of emptiness: solitude. Where could this direct us? This is the fundamental question of this performance. In Après la Chronique both figures on stage go through an evolution phase. Their social isolation lead them to a point of no return, to a breaking point of their daily life. It seems they enter a vortex with no possibility to go back. It’s a slowly growing evolution towards self-absorption; they’re fully dwelling, little by little, in their own empty world.
In 2017 an academic article was released with the title Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults1 . It had a big echo on mainstream news and the press relayed the study’s conclusion: the more time youngsters spent on social media the more they felt socially isolated. It confirmed scientifically our feelings (the noise, being lost into it) and it brought us to observe a contradiction: the more ‘social’ I am the more isolated I feel. This incongruity has been one of the pillars of our creation process. It has served as the basis of our dramaturgical work. We played with this concept; we twisted it; we stretched it. It became ours.
In parallel to this input, we wanted to experiment with robotics on stage, to see what it could do, how it could interact with performers, what kind of dramatic images could come out of it. This desire drew us into using a robotic arm and to transform it into a sort of sexual companion. Would one of the most intimate, organic human interaction (the sexual intercourse) could become a cold rigid robotic action? And the robotic spiders appearing on stage a Kafkaesque metaphor of our screen suction power?
The sums of these inputs has led us to create an empty world where everything is possible, a world that plays with the impossible fact of portraying reality on stage, to play ironically with this evidence and to create a system where solitude is the common denominator of the two figures that enter this virtual universe that is the performing stage.
La [SIC] is an international performance company based in Barcelona. The company adopt a similar philosophy as the Slow Food Movement: taking the necessary time to elaborate their creations. It is the intent to create a space where the production process is the result, and not the beginning, of a reflection process.
The company’s work has been presented in many European countries.
La [SIC] won the Presente/Futuro Award in 2019 (Italy).
Nicolas Hermansen (along with the performers)
David Ribas Cortes
Spider robot design and initial coding
Stage, lights and props design
an Ass. Cult. Mirando Terpsichore production
Created with the support of Fabra i Coats, Fàbrica de Creació and La Blanca performance art lab.