Performance: 21-23 March 2013
Open Hours: 7pm-10pm.
Participants: Myriam Laplante, Pether Lindgren, Lo Pettersson – Lundgren, Joar Dahlskog,
Nora Hadaf, Emily Johansson, Filip Jönsson, Josefin Snygg, Linda Granath, Ellen Malmberg,
Selma Kjellson, Marcus Karlsson, Anders E Larsson, Hanna Nygren, Helena Olsson, Tomas Gilljam, Ingrid Allering
The audience is let in small groups every 15 minutes and can stay as long as they want.
“The cat is dead and alive- at the same time”.
From a timeless office, a security guard is controlling a parallel operation on a surveillance monitor. Six cameras record the course of events from an unidentified site. What is he protecting? What are the cameras observing? Does the operation exist without the guard? Using a playful and absurd process Laplante explores the precariousness of our perception, inspired by the illustration of quantum mechanics through the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat.
The Night Watch combines synchronous perception with uncanny staged events. The viewer is free to go straight through the rabbit hole into the experiment, and become a part of the simultaneous reality. The audience is let into the guard’s office and he locks the door behind them. It is a classical sitting room with a bookshelf and a desk with a surveillance monitor and a crow. From beyond the room, a beating heart, strange percussions and squeaky sounds is heard, creating a strange melodic rhythm that rises in a crescendo. The guard sits down and watches the black surveillance screen, the crow slightly moves. The sounds from beyond stop and something appears on the monitor. A colored light floats on the top of the surveillance screen. Four people appear at the bottom of the screen, seemingly trying to reach the light. They disappear. The clicking sound starts again.
The guard goes to the bookcase, puts his finger in a bust’s eye and the cabinet slides open revealing a hidden passage filled of smoke and a sign: “Caution: you are about to enter the experimental area”. The audience steps in to a totally different universe.
Dimly lit white rooms are divided by white drapes that are constantly shifted by people in white protective clothes and bubble helmets. The perception shifts all the time by the constant change of the imagery, rooms opening and closing in an uncanny disorienting way. The audience roams through, sometimes being closed in alone in a space with the hula dancer, or in front of a window with swift flashing stars, suddenly a floating head on a cushion emerges and you are closed in with a bubble helmet person making popcorn and a lost hero is trying to fly behind you. An old sci-fi film on a monitor appears and a growing landscape made of chocolate is built up on a table. A character dressed in black, wearing glasses with holographic “love” wanders through the space whispering paradoxes, absurd jokes and strange thoughts about perception to the public.
The sound stops and the space opens up as a big hall. Three black rooms yet unseen are revealed. In one of them, a person in black holds a light sphere against the black backdrop, moving from left to right. In the other two spaces, four people jump, reaching for nothing. The image is now seen simultaneously by two groups of viewers: a new group in the guard’s office sees the whole image on the monitor and the group that has come down the rabbit hole sees it live but fragmented.
Myriam Laplante, (b. Chittagong, Bangladesh 1954) lives and works in Bevagna, Italy. In her performances, installations, sculptures and photographs, she blends cynicism and derision, melancholy and loss of control. She stages raw, biting, sometimes stern enactments that emanate from a bizarre and fantastic imagery. The characters she creates evolve in borderline situations between pleasure and discomfort.