Superamas Works 1999/2009

2008
EMPIRE
Sauve qui peut (Romania)
2004
Thanks God, Pam you know...
2002
Billy Billy
2002
PHOTO PERFORMANCE
2006
CASINO
2005
BIG
2nd episode
2004
PLAY MOBILE
2002
AUTOMOBILE
2002
BIG
3rd episode
2006
When We Were Kings
2005
2003
Body, History, Images & Tourism
BIG
1st episode
2002
TRUCK
STATION
2001
Diggin'Up
2001
BODY BUILDERS
2001
BUILDING
1999
BUILDING
1999

BUILDING A Hybrid Performance

To us, the writing process of a production is definitely akin to the lay-out of a building work, setting up a several-store house, calling up knowledge in such different matters as gravity law, forces mechanics, urbanization techniques and psychology. It assimilates to some invisible cities imagined by Italo Calvino, which maps remain secret, it is a conglomerates imbroglio, a crisscross tangle offering a variety of inner circuits.

And, as a matter of fact, the lay-out process of Building relates more to a network construction than to classical narration. Lights, sounds, performers, machines, images, words, strolling around... We consider the choreographic gesture as sheer movement, coming to reality as much through light-work as through sound-work and bodies. It is an aggregate, a mosaic-type writing involving several levels: grasping information, twisting it around, modifying it, launching it back.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
BODY BUILDERS
2001
BODY BUILDERS Performance

BODY BUILDERS Performance

Body Builders accounts for our will to be a part of our environment, and to be able to register its mutations. Uncluttering oneself, thus sent off towards new "clothes". Displaying two different approaches, one facing the other: aiming for an erased body, with the skin as ultimate boundary beyond the intimate, on one side, and on the other side, the quest for meaning, or objective reality, as common product to those who communicate.

 

Body Builders, a performance based on utterly contemporary figures, offers a reflexion on the mutations we expect our bodies to be submitted to in the next decades. Amplified body, mutant body, fragmental body, merchandise body. This work on the body image goes along with a reflexion about the status of this image: through a long and breathtaking "mise en abyme" of its functionality, the body certainly reveals itself to be the siege of an ultimate "feeling": Desire.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
Diggin'Up
2001

DIGGIN'UP Light Installation/Performance

Nested in the light-work installation "Diggin'up (Digital light/Absorption)", the bodies and their presence are presented to the eye in a reversed way : instead of reflecting the light, they are absorbing it.

The graph inside which these bodies register offers different outlines, different representational codes.

The hypnotic aspect of the meeting invites the eye to measure how relative the notion of space is.

Technical description: totally dark space, light leds curtains, 3 performers

DIGGIN'UP Light Installation/Performance
Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
TRUCK
STATION
2001
TRUCKSTATION Video Installtion

TRUCKSTATION Video installation for a truck

 

Two films synchronised with the electric system of the truck (lights, horn, etc.)

Let us try to figure out what such a usual object as a truck actually carries.

We are not talking actual freight here, we are interested in the load it bears as soon as we decide to make it an image, an object for an installation.

TruckStation takes the form of a glass truck from which a journey can be seen, a loop tour, broadcast on video monitors. The truck responds to this travel, reacting in a synchronised way to all events: it blows its horn, switches on its lights when night falls, signals before turning. The object becomes human in a way, and through a variety of encounters, characters and landscapes, it pertinently echoes our own travels, our own journeys, real and fantasised.

Technical description: a big truck, 2 VHS films synchronised with truck equipment, 16min, loop, electronics, computer, sound.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
AUTOMOBILE
2002
AUTOMOBILE Performance

AUTOMOBILE Performance

 

An isolated individual stands on one side of the stage. His looks are typical, over-definite: he is a competition motorbike racer dressed in a leather outfit, with helmet and boots.

For the time being, he seems to be waiting.

Above and in front of him, a chronometer displaying 00 seconds / 00 tenths of seconds.

The protagonist crosses through as many different worlds as possible, sometimes an actor, sometimes a revealer, sometimes a dancer. The composite aspect of the world being observed (aside from theatre) is made sensitive, humorous and violent by the sheer off-context situation of the character.

Mirroring the electronic language, our biker merges with the web of links and knots offered by the various media.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
Billy Billy
2002
BILLY BILLY Choreographic Video

BILLY BILLY Choreographic Video

Choreographer Milli Bitterli asked us for a solo; we worked on what was visible of her on a superficial level.

It is a movie about spaces treated as surfaces. It is a movie about the relations conveyed to the surface as soon as bodies are convoked. It is a movie, i.e. a place where images reflect.

We have focused on spaces and movements in space, on the stories the body tells in its daily life, in its intimacy. We then put these tiny reports, this non-drama material, to echo with cinematographic inscriptions.

 

Cinema is an iconographic approach. When setting this slide towards the icon, the link becomes reflexive, allowing an interrogation to both terms of the relation: the literal movement and part of its dramatic potential, of its cultural, social, behavioural implications.

Technical description: video projection / 13min, loop, colour, PAL, sound, one screen or TV monitor.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
BIG
1st episode
2002
BIG 1st episode Performance

BIG 1st episode (Reality Show / Artificial Intelligence) Performance

In a reality show, the reality one is supposedly brought to observe is actually a setting. Thus, two systems of values superimpose, social conventions and the game of diverting them, on one side, and on the other side, television production embedded in the system of representation. Reality show, in other words, assimilates to the statement of nonsense, of an illusion, as in a sleight of hand.

"It's all true". The show is grounded on this improbable assertion.

Nevertheless, are we not asked to admit the very same convention in any production based on identification, on a conforming process to a possible or plausible reality, on a principle of likeliness?

BIG 1st episode asks these questions, investigating the latest concepts developed by the AI research (artificial intelligence).

 

Given an improbable situation based on "clichés" (which are the most common elements of social convention), what does exist of the situation is nothing but a line of basic vectors lying on mechanized directions of desires. We can therefore create the model of a system, reducing it to a certain number of values. The whole point being to be able, then, to observe these particular values.

"One can say that nothing is totally predictable nor totally unpredictable, because, given one event, one always has a choice whether it is yes or no..." Robert Trappl, chairman on the cybernetics institute in Vienna. But then again, of course, you are applying a system of values...

In collaboration with: Bernard Billoud (Bio-Informatician - Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), Maître de Conférence (Paris 7) and Prof. Robert Trappl, Director of the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence & Cybernetics, Vienna. Yalda  and Meny (Gogo Dancers).

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
PLAY MOBILE
2002
PLAY MOBILE Light Installation

PLAY MOBILE Light Installation/Performance

This light installation is showing fragmented bodies and  presences : the light is projected from different angels in intervals.

The time frame in which the bodies are drawn produces contoures in motion. The hypnotizing aspect of this encounter makes the audience aware of the relativity of space.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
Thanks God, Pam you know...
2002
THANKS GOD... Serie of Photographs

THANKS GOD, PAM YOU KNOW... Serie of Photographs

Based on photo novels’ still images, this photo series develops a minimal dramaturgy around codes and conventions.

Through the images the two bodies shown communicate a complex, expected but questionable relationship.

Technical description: Five digital prints in light-boxes, 80 x 120 cm.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
2003
Body, History, Images & Tourism
Body, History, Images & Tourism Video

BODY, HISTORY, IMAGES & TOURISM Video

Bruce says : “finally, history has been nothing more than a project.” And Pam goes : “where the hell did you put the keys to the Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI?”

Whether they come across the Habsburg dynasty, the romance between “l’Aiglon” and famous dancer Fanny Essler, or simply rescue a silicon-breasted bimbo from drowning, the characters of those three photo novels keep on questioning the historical and social nature of their identities. You will find nothing original in their way of thinking and being. These average Joes are drawn by the most common behaviour.

Bringing together clichés and high culture economics, Superamas points out that art and life are necessarily bound to quite a wide range of projections.

Technical description: three video photo novels, projections / DVDs, colour, sound, PAL, loop, 30min / video projection, three screens or monitors, one or three rooms.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
BIG
2nd episode
2004
BIG 2nd episode Performance

BIG 2nd episode (Show / Business) Performance

 

The second episode of BIG is a « re-live » performance.

With BIG Superamas is modelling the space of imagination and emphazises the codes and conventions it contains.

By using the mode of loop which is used for any rudimentary and easily recognizable scenes (soap operas, reality shows, clips) it is reconciling the experience of suspense of tv broadcasts (the viewer who gets carried away be the performance while lying on the sofa) with the suspense of cinema (a performance seen over and over again).

The very interest of Superamas is lying here in the inevitable identification which is suggested by showing a succession of arousing desires.

The viewer is forced to look at moments of dance and life, which under normal circumstances would not raise lots of interest…by doing so the attention is focusing onto details of behaviour, intentions, of patterns which can be identified very easily by the spectators.

 

Superamas analyses what we understand least of all (emotions, joy, heaviness…) with an open critical eye and with much sympathy for all it is observing.

 

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
Sauve qui peut (Romania)
2004
SAUVE QUI PEUT (Romania) Installation

SAUVE QUI PEUT (Romania) Video Installation

"Je regardais cette face d’ivoire - Et j’y discernais l’expression - D’une farouche puissance - D’une terreur abjecte - Et aussi d’un désespoir - Immense et sans remède"

Superamas spent a week in Bucharest (Romania) in May 2004.

Being there, we decided to take advantage of this location to challenge pre-conceived ideas and prejudices regarding Romania.

We booked two escort girls and filmed a well-known scene from Godart’s "Sauve qui peut, la vie”.

 

Arrogant, West-European, self-confident, the central character can not escape from looking hopeless, despite his financial power. This film is about how to shrink an entire nation to economic standards.

 

Superamas dedicate this film to Helena, Mirella and Stefan Tiron.

Technical description: 50-inch flat-screen TV / sticker, writings, DVD, 10min, loop, sound

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
When We Were Kings
2005
WHEN WE WERE KINGS Installation

WHEN WE WERE KINGS Video Installation

Together with three pretty young women, Superamas party...

Joking... Drinking... getting wasted. The evening roughly shifts into a strip-poker party.

They film  whole scene  themselves.

Clumsily, the video camera captures bits of this non-event. Is everything staged or simply true? 

Do we have any clues to find out? 

While watching this pretty rough video, what are we ultimately facing besides our own desire?

The process of editing and disframing digs the surface of these images. It finally points out what we are really paying attention to, for whatever reasons (!).

External soundscape by audio-visual artist Bernhard Loibner.

Technical description: TV monitors with headsets, six  films, colour, sound, PAL, loop. Intimate atmosphere required (wardrobe, series of small rooms…). External sound system (CD player, loudspeakers)

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video

CASINO Performance

Four enchanting "cheerleaders" are the protagonists of the choreographic game of chance that is the latest piece by Franco‑Austrian collective Superamas.

These spirited young girls fire up the public in "Casino Linz", embodying a US‑style female stereotype, standing for the exciting live experience, the home game on TV, the design of young women in our colourful media world as well as the codex of desire and abuse.

They exceed the limits of their cliché role, becoming trash furies, dubbing performers, singers and figures in a tableaux vivant. The piece opens with a cartoon character quoting a criticism of the "aestheticising processes" that politics uses to keep the people diverted and thus under control.

 

Then the game begins with images, situations, contexts and clichés. Superamas transform the dance studio surroundings into a theatre space, a gallery, a cinema and back into a studio, integrating scenes and installations from their earlier works.

 

"Casino" is intended as a site specific work, to be performed in museums or department stores in new variations, always with the aim of renewing the group's relationship with their audience. In theory, they don't want to confuse or mystify ‑ audiences should understand their work ‑ but be both critical and entertaining.

 

In practice, Superamas play bitter‑sweet sounds on the piano of our supposed morality, with growing success.

Helmut Ploebst, Ballet-tanz 08/09/2005

​​

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
CASINO
2005
CASINO Performance
HIGH ART
2006
HIGH ART Choreographic Sculpture

HIGH ART Choreographic Sculpture

 

At a first sight, just another very sense-appealing, highly charming  tribute to Mozart that has kept its promise. The trouble is that it not only lifts you very high, it also moves you quite a lot to the sides across borderlines (a little bit like aerobics, but leading to slightly different results).


For some reason, it definitely leads you to stroll around some historical and most current negotiations: highly strange co-attractions, highly strange co-mobilisations, and highly strange alliances between visual arts, music, dance, and socio-political power agencies. Overlapping officially separated representation modes, High Art subtly exposes an (affect-based) inter-quoting traffic that makes you meet visual arts engaging with flag-waving official ceremonies, choreographic performances engaging with inter-national rhetoric, cultural celebrations engaging with operatic aerobics, classical music engaging with cinematic politics, and socio-political affairs engaging with them all.


Paula Caspao, Get High / on aerobic politics and other highly cinematic genres, (excerpt)

Technical description: ten 5.50m-high metallic masts, 4.70m-diameter ring structure, ten flags, air compressor, motors, electronics, computer, sound.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
BIG 3rd episode Performance
BIG
3rd episode
2006

BIG 3rd episode (Happy / End) Performance

Happiness. The show is undertitled « Happy / End ». And as Jacques Derrida would say : « …at the end, we know, all this will end very badly ! There is no way to reach the absolute good. Presence is always devided, split… » and even though one sells to us the dream of a possible happiness, thank god, we won’t make it ! Because « It would be death, the absolute good would be identical with death ! »

BIG 3rd episode has this bitter taste of failure and death. Everything looks perfect though : the show is sort of smart and funny ; the women on stage are beautiful, healthy and sexy ; the men are mean and cynical ; the dialogs perfectly fit the image of a clever provocative Superamas´ entertaining program.

 

But by using the strategies of repetition and decontextualisation Superamas digs under the surface of its representations. And what Superamas digs out is the power of this desire for happiness and at the same time its total vanity. These strategies applied to this topic create an auto-reflexive thinking process which leads the spectator to reflect its own parcours through the piece and its own expectations of happiness… and it occurres that those expectations are predictable and predicted.

Our more intimate desires are already calculated by social statistics and marketing. Therefore individual behaviour is nothing else than a copy of a cliché.
The modern vaudeville is statistics!

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
PHOTO PERFORMANCE Artist's Book
PHOTO PERFORMANCE
2006

PHOTO PERFORMANCE Artist's Book

Anyone who already holds on to what takes place on stage as a succession of stills and as it were flicks back through them, is naturally open to the medium of the cartoon strip. So it seems only logical that Superamas has now published Photo Performance with Imschoot Uitgevers.

On high-gloss paper, the typical Superamas personnel romp around in three handy books in a smart box: a woman in make-up and leather as “Cat Woman”, a long-legged, big-breasted woman in a swimming pool and women in high heels and mini-skirts. And apart from this, smooth guys who could have escaped from an American early evening TV series. But what happens to these standard dream figures of an over-sexed society, where they spend their time and how they express themselves, has nothing at all to do with the cheap screen-plays of the soap operas.

 

In the three photo performances, Superamas dispenses with such obvious means to create a meta-level such as the quote from a Derrida text at the end of “Big 3rd Episode” (“I often ask myself the question, why? why insist on deconstructing something that is so good?”). The distancing view of the stories will become clear in any case. Thus the photo performances effortlessly join the Superamas oeuvre: perfectly formed, with the easiest accessible surface, amusing through surprising switches from the normal to the obscure or the other way round, and nevertheless leaving more questions open than they answer.

Judith Helmer, corpusweb.net

A box that contains 3 books: Cat Woman, 52 pages full colour. Maine 150g / The Chamber of Ancestors, 60 pages full colour. Maine 150g / I Have Always Dreamed of Having a Cherry Tree in the Garden, 36 pages full colour. Maine 150g.

Credits  |  Press  |   Photos  |  Technical Rider  |  Video
EMPIRE Performance
2008
EMPIRE

EMPIRE Performance

The empire is a decentralised and deterritorialised governmental apparatus progressively taking over the space of the entire world (1).

The globe as the tangible representation of a space to be occupied makes the process of globalisation inexorable. The issue of movement, the free movement of goods, persons, ideas, images… is not and has never been an ethical problem, only one of possibilities and interests. The earth – which we are all familiar with, knowing all too well that we will not leave it alive – may be deceptive but it is also interesting. Expecting everything from this body and the other bodies on this body: that's the wisdom of our era (2).

Much along the same lines, modern capital, alive and kicking, is developing through its five avatars: goods, money, text, image and notoriety (3).

The problem our modern societies were faced with had to do with creating stable forms of relations making sure that the adventures of industry, commerce, science, art would not depend so much on external factors, the risks caused by bad luck, nature, negligence, barbarianism – or, in other words, from the alien, violent and wild.

The idea of a world order came to nothing. It was inevitable.

 

How can we re-present ourselves as identical with our Javan neighbours – a problem which can only be solved if we accept our similarity.

If our politicians dress like our businessmen, they seek to stress their similarity. Mao had his reason for dressing a billion Chinese in the same blue suit he was wearing! And the entire planet is clad in jeans for a reason, too.

Although empire and power each have several different meanings, they are synonyms when they denote “intellectual or moral influence, impact”. This is where we can identify a project of an empire.

 

In May 1809 Emperor Napoleon’s troops crossed the Danube just outside Vienna to crush the army of Archduke Charles. The battle of Aspern/Essling ensued. 40,000 died within two days. The first hecatombe of modern warfare. Napoleon’s imperial project was imbued with the heritage of the French Revolution, yet it was the Ausrian who sang the Marseillaise on the battlefield. The battle, in which both sides claimed victory, unites all the contradictions of modernity. Napoleon’s empire clashed with the patriotic feelings of the Austrians who confronted the occupier under the banner of Kakania (4)!

 

(1) « Empire », Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
(2) « The Crystal Palace », Peter Sloterdijk
(3) « The Crystal Palace », Peter Sloterdijk
(4) This is the term used by Robert Musil to denote the Habsburg empire, based on the acronym « K&K » for « Kaiserlich » (imperial) and « Königlich » (royal).

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