The Das Plateau collective received a production grant for its show Il Faut Beaucoup Aimer les Hommes.
What is your artistic background?
Das Plateau is composed of four people: Jacques Albert (author and dancer), Céleste Germe (architect and director), Maëlys Ricordeau (actress) and Jacob Stambach (author and composer). All four of us have different backgrounds related to our professions, and it is this combination of thought processes that brings us together. Since our foundation in 2008, we have produced six shows and numerous performances. Our most recent projects (SIG Sauer Pro, Le Bon Chemin, Dia de Macho, Vispera de Nada, Notre Printempsand Cours les Prairies) were based on texts by Jacques Albert, published by Editions Théâtrales. Today, we are also collaborating on new material, with texts by Pablo Gisbert and Marie Darrieussecq. Since 2012, we have been developing a teaching programme of directing and creation in various higher schools of dramatic art such as La Manufacture in Lausanne (HETSR), ENSATT in Lyon and ESAD in Paris. This is very important to us. We are also members of the 360 collective of companies and we co-direct the festival of the same name. If Das Plateau develops a total scenic writing style in which sound, music, space, image, body, presence and text meet, the multidisciplinarity that we implement responds more to a logic of shock than to a logic of fusion. We try to consider each discipline in itself, in its integrity and its specific sensual power, so that it meets the others without any predetermined hierarchy. The texts we work on—whether or not they are written for the theatre—correspond to this desire to create works which, while developing powerful and troubled fictional universes, explore the relationships between presence and representation, narration and abstraction, in terms of meaning, structure and perception. With this in mind, for several years now we have been developing cinematographic work that embraces the stage head-on. If, as Pierre Michon says, "art adds to the opacity of the world", we seek to bring to light, beyond the discourse, the underside of things, what cannot be said, what cannot be articulated, what in the complexity of the world can neither dissolve nor resolve itself. Thus, the beauty that we are trying to bring to the stage bears both the mark of the violence of the world and the possibility of hope.
How do you see your profession today?
With a completely paradoxical view. It can be dark at times: the crisis is everywhere, budgets are drying up and companies are hit hard; the tension between heritage conventions and the dogma of fashion leaves a narrow path for artistic creation; where irreproachable acts are expected, the world of culture is, in fact, as macho and racist as any other. But we can also be amazed: the number of productions and their diversity is staggering and magnificent, proof of an intense freedom; new models are being invented everywhere, both in terms of production and in terms of relationships with the world and society; culture observes, seeks, moves, questions. Above all, we wish to practice in a profession in which the search for intelligence and attention to sensitivity is a shared space, an opportunity and a luxury that fills us with joy every day.
How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
We hope to continue to develop our work, both on stage and also in film, on the radio... And to be able to address it to as many people as possible. That's what's important, in the end. That relationship.
This interview was conducted in 2014
Photo credit: Emilie Arfeuil