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matériel & documentation #BACKTONATURE, Sans Titre n°90

Note: le fait que cet article n'aie pas été traduit est en partie dû au fait que, vu que la recherche de #BACKTONATURE s'est faite en anglais, la plupart du matériel accumulé (pour ne pas dire: sa totalité) est en anglais et il serait étrange de traduire absolument toutes ces archives (notes, emails, programmes de salle...etc) juste pour le site. La traduction même de la pièce est une question que je me pose et me poserai quand la possibilté de performer (et retravailler) #BTN en France se présentera à moi / à nous. En attendant, vous pouvez apprécier le reste, les photos, la captation de la création est en lien juste dessous - antoine

update of July 2022

programme note

Around them, a table, right by fallen trees, in between landmarks. Natural objects only. No, air volumes, just air volumes. A familiar landscape. Territories. Stage lights. A digital direction. Recorded birds. Confusion. Both real make-up, and the other one. Yes, himself truly wondering: how can we keep on watching that fucking TV? Thoughts about the human condition in a foreign land, written in the notebook. Letting everything go, the past, the rules, the barriers, everything — or are those just words? Yes, more nature, let go of the urbanised, capitalist and technocratic world. Yes, enough time for being true to yourself, afterall. Hashtag camping. Happiness, you said happiness — question mark.


concept Antoine Dupuy Larbre

performance Antoine Dupuy Larbre, Mooni Van Tichel

body-mind fusion advisory board Anja Röttgerkamp, Bojana Cvejić, Diane Madden in discussion with Urtė Groblytė & le projet GÉO

creation June 29, 2022 at P.A.R.T.S. (Brussels, BE) creation in the frame of the EXiiiT Festival

duration 1 hour the performance contains nudity • language: english (no translation)

musics used (in the order of the performance)

1. Moving Violation, composed by Oren Ambarchi, 2006 - youtube link (edited)

2. CHERRY BOMB (Instrumental), composed by Tyler, The Creator, 2018 - youtube link (slightly edited)

3. It's only mystery, composed by Corine Marienneau, Louis Bertignac and Éric Serra, and interpreted by Arthur Simms, 1984 - youtube link


credit Charlotte Cétaire

video recording of the performance

vimeo link - psw: exiiit (good luck, it's an hour of slow-motion)

sources of inspiration and appropriation

"the script" is what Mooni says

it's a compilation of many different things

some I remember their origin, some I can't recall

most of the time, from the world wide web

antoine's speech, aka "the interview"

INTERVIEW Mooni gets the set ready for the interview. Lots of holding time, waiting (something is going to happen)


The camper looks atThe camper looks at the greenscreen. (antoine turns towards the audience) Behind him, a landscape of mountains. (pause) Microphone positioned and camera angle balanced, no birds no noise no other animal in the frame all set ready to go camera rolling. (waiting for antoine, even when he sits down, hands on the thighs) Subtitles on. ANTOINE - excerpted from Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet Artificiality is the best way to enjoy what is natural. Whatever I enjoy in these vast fields / I enjoy because I don’t / live here. Civilization is an education in nature. Ar-ti-fi-ci-a-li-ty / is the path for a-ppre-ci-a-ting what is natural. We should never, however, take the ar-tificial for the natural. It is the harmony between the two / that constitutes the natural state of the superior human soul.

email exchange ADL / BC (excerpts)

BACK TO NATURE is in a fickle balance between:

the well-being industry / appropriation of mindfulness and other practices used by corporates to gain performance

the somatic techniques' return overreaching of a natural body (cf. all the essays I bother you with for a year and a half -haha!)

normativity of the somatic techniques / forcing oneself how to behave (social norms)

the praise / celebration of nature

the blind trust put in nature (thoreau, emerson): why would it be good in essence?

nature as a model for philosophy of life (lebensreform)

the relation one has with nature: who is legitimate to feel connected to land? to own it? to inhabit it?

commodification of forest (shops)

camping, tourism industry

the social construction of nature, all the narrative we have about it (for instance: own infinite regeneration)

the representation of nature as one of the main source of inspiration of artists, in the end: becoming over represented till disgust

conceptions of the body in between all that, somatics (extended body), social norms (framed body)


the question started from the following question: how to be in connection with the world, the real?

in the performance, I took nature as an allegory of that reach of individuals to the real and their surroundings

the question became: how to connect to nature? is that as universal as it seems to be? who can claim to be in 'real' connection with nature?

we know the nature/culture dialectic divided and separated the whole world according to these two categories, but when looking closer at them, we realize that they intermingle and blur the more we approach the issue

through the romanticisation and representation of nature, i posited a doubt when nature was taken as a model for life since it couldn't avoid taking a (human) perspective towards it, especially the methods that became unitary and normative

in fact, it's not about nature (or: the forest, or: the somatic techniques) being innately bad or good or neutral but our relation to it which can never be natural nor neutral because it's structured. our relation to nature is socially embedded, learnt and therefore performed, reproduced (ie: the nature retreat, somatics, but also the aesthetic regimes in paint history ie. realism and impressionism).

yet it seems common to value the implementation of natural concepts or inspiration into living, art etc... as the "deconstruction of ourselves"

somatics articulate this as a return to a former state of being, they articulate and narrate the return to a particular way of moving, as if this should be the first and foregrounding experience of the body, which one should have access to in no time, thanks to narrative and perception.

by mimicking nature into art and life, we consider the implementation of nature in general as something inherently good for the body's health. my doubt came back: why would nature be good for humans although we are part of it? what if nature is bad in essence? there, i am lacking some ressources (i am keeping on looking for texts talking about nature and neutrality), but i tried to kept on going with thinking in this way


today, if the performance ever posits a question it would be this one:

when undoing the norms and ourselves ('deconstructing'), what does this action make us become? what kind of substance (or state, or status...?) is the body becoming? what word fits best to this ideal end-product? are we neutralizing ourselves? are we becoming more 'natural'? or 'neutral'? or all the more methodologically refined, informed, artificial?... or something else?


can one be in nature and not feel home there?


why have we established nature as a value? why are we longing for it? what are we longing for when we claim nature to be inherently good?

why have we forged somatics as an access to a natural body?

( be continued...)

a list of things

un poster "paysage"

un renard empaillé

des feuilles en plastique

une fontaine nature et découverte

un diffuseur d'odeur

aérosol toilettes febreze

du feu artificiel sur un écran d'ordi

fleurs en porcelaine

une carte de randonnée

inspiration visuals

credit Antoine Dupuy Larbre

to be continued... soon enough...

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