Superamas Works 2010/2020
LIBERTY CHERIE Short Movie
LIBERTY CHÉRIE is a dream that consists out of different layers. In a breathtaking and surreal way it questions the modes of representation and historical imagery used in contemporary Europe.
Maria Walewska is projected in the middle of the second World War. True to her beliefs she puts her own life at risk to save freedom.
Seven performers will be on stage, voicing quite a wide range of compounds of all kind, national, social, professional, gender...
Firstly, we see people connecting via internet on a « video-chat room ». Our point here is to depict an European digital realm that is supposed to bring people together by curbing distance and differences.
We all know that. But what is really happening now with all those platforms and community networks (i.e Facebook...). How do they really function and above all do not they ultimately create to the users new « profiles » that enable them to pursue another life in another space, being another one?
Dream, as a national goal.
Dream, as a vital function.
Dream, as a necessary lie.
Dream, as a strong yearning for sex.
Playing with what we can actually see on stage combined with what we know of them through their performance on the « chat », one will have at hand, at least two identities, and maybe even more.
As the chat cam only pictures a tiny part of one's reality, plenty is left for fantasy, abuse, humor, treason, promesses, confessions, story telling, belief, experiments among others.
A complex network of intimate and public datas will be thrown into that game of « making sure one has the life he/she deserves! ».
At the end of the day, some basic questions remain:
What makes me European, more that algerian, or egyptian?
Untill which extend my national identity is it linked to the past of my compatriots, more than to my personnal path through life, given a specific space and heritage (cultural and genetic).
With Youdream, SUPERAMAS deliberately digs into our real and fictionnal existence, playing out the necessary connection of both to create the most upper form of tolerance: complexity.
BIG 3 EPISODES (art \ discourse) Book
Edited by Jeroen Peeters \ Superamas
with contributions by
Alexandra Baudelot \ Paula Caspão \ Antoine De Baecque Rudi Laermans \ Jeroen Peeters \ Helmut Ploebst Pieter T’Jonck \ Elke Van Campenhout \ Frank Vande Veire
with photographs by Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker
Published by Les presses du réel (Dijon, France).
In their BIG-trilogy (2002-2006), the performance collective Superamas addresses themes such as reality TV, artificial intelligence, show business, and happiness, humorously deconstructing their formal conventions and social underpinnings. Next to dialogues with Superamas on their creative processes and a series of photographs, in this volume nine authors revisit and explore the BIG-trilogy with topical concepts and vocabularies. In the wayward realm of post-art, spectacle, unreality, criticality, and over-identification, one meets cheerleaders and desperate househusbands, a cadaverous stewardess and Adorno’s stuntman.
Buy | Credits | Press | Photos | Technical Rider | Video
"BERLUSCONI" Short Movie
Strasbourg, France / Kehl, Germany
Saturday 4 April 2009 - 09:15
NATO Summit meeting of Heads of State and Government
On a red carpet, Angela Merkel welcomes international leaders. Silvio Berlusconi steps out of his limousine, he is on the phone... and keeps talking over the phone. In front of journalists and TV cameras from around the world, Angela Merkel is waiting for him for ten minutes. She finally gives up and joins the meeting.
With humour SUPERAMAS re-enacts this over mediatized event where Berlusconi becomes the figurehead of a new barbaric smugness.
DIGGIN'UP Robotic Light Installation
With Diggin'up 2, we now dive in another space of representation.
This time with a strong focus on the ambiguity of the performer's "presence". The performance/installation can be played with and without performers. Therefore do we still need "live" performers? Or could we say that their representation is good enough to register their presence on stage?
This work obviously questions how we perceive the subject. It leads us to reconsider our own activating role within this setting. Something comes up, fades away and finally returns… this is what we are invited to experience.
Through this mechanism of emptying the subject and the object, we of course outline a shift from spectator to director. Each spectator will effectively realize his own personal piece according his optical abilities, the time span spent with the work… according to the present circumstances.
In today's distance free communication technologies, 3D images and avatars, "Diggin'up 2" powers a sensual experience of a space in constant motion.
When considering techniques of disseminating ideas, we often make an analogy between the invention of book-printing in the fifteenth century and the emergence of the Internet toward the end of the twentieth century. The technical quantum leap is the feature shared by the Renaissance and our day and age. Similar analogies exist between other feats of human creativity and developments: in a certain sense, the computer-generated 3-D images lead us back to the invention of perspective by the Italian painters of the fifteenth century.
The birth of perspective in painting is not all disconnected from political considerations. As art historians have pointed out, the first stage in the construction of perspective is not the definition of the vanishing point but the definition of the frame, and painters give us a “framed” and “orderly” view of the world.
So, what can we say about the view of the world brought to us by an onslaught of digital images which we are confronted with every day? Nothing much has changed since the day and age of the Renaissance, it is still an enormously political thing. The powers-that-be have well understood that, and they have invested massively in the theatre of new technologies to stage some illusions of politics through the politics of illusion.
THEATRE, the latest SUPERAMAS project, is about the representation of a world structured by the politics of illusion. In this context, various extended reality techniques, such as 3-D images, avatars and mapping, are used.
These techniques will enable us to re-enact distinctive or anecdotal scenes from the international political arena. You will remember the French veto against war in Iraq in the UN General Assembly, and surely, you have not forgotten how Silvio Berlusconi kept Angela Merkel waiting for a long time at the NATO summit.
The stage will also become a site of improbable encounters. What would Marshall Tito have said if Silvio Berlusconi had kept him waiting? Real persons, fictitious persons and avatars will meet. Important decisions will be taken. A war might be in the offing. The stage might become a theatre of operations.
What SUPERAMAS is interested in here is the interaction between reality and fiction and the way it is at work in reports on current politics. The point is to rediscover the reality of comedy or drama behind the illusion of the political.
When the private life of public figures is in the focus of the politics of illusion, when the Crown Prince’s wedding or the First Lady’s pregnancy become societal issues, fiction has long relegated reality to the background. But then again, did not the Renaissance painters also give their madonnas the traits of the prostitutes who were their models?
SUPERAMAS will play true and false stories, navigate between reality and virtuality, always seeking to keep politics and the image of politics apart. Or mix it even more. The inter-actors will, however, be given an opportunity to see clearly: the toolbox will be opened before their very eyes. And we hope that their attention will be directed at the frame as much as at the vanishing point.
WATERLOO Video Installation
When big History has passed, what can we still remember of it? And what specific aspects to recall?
French, British, German, Dutch are lying on the battlefield of Waterloo. The Napoleonic Empire has ceased to exist. The French monarchy is back on the throne.
How shall we recall these events 200 years later? What if Art would be dealing with this? What could be the outcome like?
Once again, SUPERAMAS embraces the subject and engages with these questions through different medias and sensations. SUPERAMAS infiltrates and diverts Woodkid « Iron » video clip to finally achieve a yearning for a wider understanding and a wider sensation.
This SUPERAMAS ' Waterloo film is usually presented next to a gigantic Diorama model from Jean-Pierre Leclerck that displays more than 10.000 soldiers in action. This setting allows the visitors to look at this tragedy from different viewpoints, playing with various scales of representation. Here mini and trivial history meets the most official one. And the most official History meets with tourism and pop culture.
IT'S A DATE! Serie of Performances
In the performance series by the Austrian-French-Belgian performance collective Superamas, everything revolves around the expectations and projections that always accompany the process of two people getting to know each other. Performer Philippe calls a multitude of personalities to the dialogue, in short: it’s a performance date!
The rules of classic dialogue have no place in this date with the Superamas. Both actors are campaigning with fictive, prepared dialogues. Instead of talking directly to each other, they get involved in their fantasy conversations full of expectations using question and answer cards they raise. The power to unashamedly put words into the mouths of the other beguiles them into conscious manipulations and inevitably brings the unspoken to the fore. The actors can react to the partly cheeky assumptions with acts of performance which they have brought along to the date as a gift.
It’s a date! is steeped in the wish to find out who the other really is and what they might think about the other. General topics such as politics, art and everyday life are mentioned in the process, which is as pre-programmed as questions of a more intimate nature. With It’s a date!, the Superamas test a new scenario for inter-human encounters with an in-house dating format!
#1 Markus Schinwald, visual artist
#2 Christopher Green, hypnotist, singer, comedian
#3 Philippe Gehmacher, choreographer
#4 Judith Rohrmoser, visual artist
Because the world has changed. Because we got older. Because girls got younger.
Facing new challenges in various fields such as economics, politics, technology, commercial business, sex, dance and theatre, SUPERAMAS turns itself into SuperamaX.
SuperamaX is a small enterprise generating substantial profits in various businesses. It is an outstanding start-up due to its courageous decisions in R&D.
SuperamaX cares about animal rights and well-being, but SuperamaX mostly cares for people. SuperamaX strives to merge with Cindy Gallop's website "makelovenotporn.com" because "good sex life means good life". SuperamaX's creative workers cooperate closely to produce high-end products at affordable prices for the public at large. They belong to the "young entrepreneurs", the inventors of "alternative" capitalism based on manufacturing individualised products and rendering modular and flexible services.
SuperamaX is a sweet-sour comedy.
FIREWORKS! Performative Event
SUPERAMAS sows performative and plastic works. Together or guided in small groups, come and discover the world of arts, its baselines ... like its foibles.
During Fireworks! you will be able, for example, to admire "Berlusconi" (short film) while thinking of "When We Were kings" (installation video exposing a game of strip poker), just before attending a concert of the Nations, carried by a load of national flags, on a music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Hight Art).
Fireworks! is a program of Superamas' works, composed according to the exhibition spaces.
HISTORY OF VIOLENCE Performance
Any given museum gives you the feeling that you now stand in a safe place. Actually, literally in a safe.
But one can also consider this valuable site as a space for extreme contradictions. Thanks to passionate and greedy collectors these items embody and acknowledge the fights they bear to finally end up before your eyes.
Let me try to lay out a few words that eventually register the contradictory journey one goes on in a museum:
Wealth / Courage / Arrogance / Theft / Preservation / Killing / Comprehension / Taming / Curiosity / Misrepresent / Openness... you name it.
For this welcoming act around 10 performers will dance the fear and the pride of hunting and being hunted. This performance is designed as a tribute to the past and upcoming fights for a better world.
RIOT Interactive Video Installation
RIOT is a confrontation,
RIOT is a situation of tension,
RIOT is the space between two camps.
In an international and sub-national context in which tensions between states and populations are increasingly intense, RIOT proposes “a state of fact”, a look at our western society in which the relations of forces between the ruling class and the people are exacerbated.
RIOT is an interactive video installation for two screens.
VIVE L'ARMEE ! Performance
France is at war !... « Yes, France is at war with terrorism ». This is what Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France said before the French National Assembly on 13 January 2015, a few days after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Vive l’Armée ! But what army? The army of drones, ballistic missiles and special forces? Or the army of World War I, the army of trench warfare and mustard gas? After all, when France adores its army today, the country equally celebrates the army of yesterday.
The army which from 1914 to 1918, saw 1.4 million casualties in its ranks and three times that number wounded.
What is the connection one can make between the soldiers of yesteryear and the soldiers of today? Between the conscripts drafted into the military and the professionals who join voluntarily?
The connection is the reason why they are deployed: to defend the country and the national interests of France. Although the army has undergone a radical change – from the incarnation of a nation in arms a century ago to a specialist force, a professional and permanent army, its raison d’être has remained the same: it is an instrument of national power epitomised.
The theatre of operation
Like other productions of the collectiveSuperamas, Vive l’Armée ! brings together a variety of art forms. Theatre, choreography, performance, music and cinema are woven into a epic and spectacular tapestry. A film on the silver screen; war on stage.
The mise-en-scène banks on the dialogue between the two media. Screen and stage respond to each other, repeat each other or contradict each other. The images on film provide a context for reality on stage. The bodies on stage flesh out the discourse on film. Their common language is sound which, from the actors’ voices to the music, moves from one to the other, comes from one to animate the other.
GET HIGH! Airport Performance
SUPERAMAS sneaks in the movement of the crowd and invites onlookers and passengers to enjoy the space and time of the airport.
Landing or taking off, the airport is an in-between space, an interstice. A still space matching with the still time of wait. Or rather of waits, because you wait there several times. Waits because airports are areas of possibilities.
The terminal represents this end toward which our waits lead us and, in our fancy market-driven society, the terminal is, naturally, its culmination. The culmination of the capitalistic model: compliant and docile individuals, caught in nets, carried away by organized, priced mass flow, satisfied to wait and to consume.
What if this space was not to spare but to take?
What if this docility was only lasciviousness?
Let us enjoy it and, nicely, LET'S GET HIGH!
CHEKHOV FAST & FURIOUS Performance
For six months Superamas worked with four youth groups in Amiens, Maubeuge, Reykjavik and Vienna. Starting from Chekhov's famous play “Uncle Vania”, young people were led to reflect and react on issues as diverse and personal as: What does it mean to succeed in life? What is happiness? What is sadness? What are the things you regret? What is love? Young people have seized these themes to express their doubts, anger and hopes at the beginning of the 21st century. Superamas, on the other hand, has been impertinently and ironically focused on re-contextualising some of the situations taken from Uncle Vania that portray the aging members of the artistic collective.
In the end, CHEKHOV Fast & Furious is a theatrical editing work that plays with the codes of representation. Full of winks, references, borrowings, games of doubles and mirrors, the show is a joyous kaleidoscope.A theatrical exercise off the beaten track which leaves pride to a sensitive and fragile youth, determined and generous.
Since 1999, Superamas has developed its artistic work and created nearly 60 works, including some twenty live shows. This work is always based on a critical reflection on the contemporary socio-political environment, and a formal research on theatrical and / or media representation as described by Guy Debord in "La société du spectacle". For Superamas, artists today have a political responsibility: not to leave Walt Disney the monopoly of entertainment. With Vive l'Armée!, created in 2016, the collective has begun a thorough reflection on the process of theatrical creation. Through artistic workshops, conducted for one year, high school students were associated and participated in the research and creation of the show. Superamas sought to reflect on the relationship between art and history, education and authority, and ultimately between art and authority. And this experience - putting the collective in a relationship with young people - has profoundly changed the methods of writing. In a way, writing has confronted experience, reality. The process has become, at least in part, the subject of the show.
For its new CHEKHOV Fast & Furious project, Superamas continues in this direction and questions the "theatrical project". It is a question of re-qualifying the theater, its writing, its production, its consumption; bringing into the theater space people who do not know each other, who are not specialists in order to do something together: to share a collective experience. It will be a question of putting the theater to the test of the meeting. To see if the theater can be a common place, more familiar. A friendly place; partner in crime; comprehensive; welcoming; warm. Sad and cheerful.
THE CREATION PROCESS
In Amiens, Maubeuge, Reykjavik and Vienna, each group of young people has created a part of the show that reflects their point of view on Uncle Vania and its understanding of the play. CHEKHOV Fast & Furious ultimately represents the process that allows Superamas to resonate Chekhov's play with the energy, the fears, and the desires of sixty young people of the 21st century. What young people have experienced during this creation is the exercise of representation. In other words, that of re-transposition. By reacting to Chekhov, by asking questions about what they think about the play, about how they feel personally, and then by thinking about how to pass it on, to reproduce it for and in front of an audience, they had to "represent". There are many things of themselves in the room, but transposed to the stage: revealed to be seen and heard, to be watched and shared.It is this sharing that interests Superamas. This moment of the theater. For this reason, Superamas has left as much room as possible for the live performance, the dramaturgical device, in order to privilege this moment of the passage. No theater effects, but a dramaturgy of the media at the service of meaning and interpreters.
THE MAN WHO SHOT MUAMMAR GADDAFI (working title) Performance
For the first time on a theater stage, a former member of the DGSE, the French intelligence service, agrees to unveil the hidden reality of his profession. Far from the stereotypes conveyed by fiction, he reveals the methods and techniques used by the secret services by illustrating them with concrete cases. Recruitment and manipulation of a source, exfiltration of hostages or targeted assassinations: the mysteries of parallel diplomacy dissipate under the well-informed light of a man who knows them by heart, for he has been immersed in them for nearly ten years.
SUPERAMAS met this man -who wishes to remain anonymous- for the first time in 2013. If he resolves to testify today, it is because he is the object of pressure, if not of threats, in the context of the investigation into the Libyan financing of Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign. Engaged during the 2011 Western military intervention in Libya, abandoned by the political authorities of the time, he now speaks to give his part of the truth on France’s most potentially explosive political scandal in decades. The allegations at stake here are not only the most serious accusations levelled at a former president in French history, they also raise questions about the country’s leading role in the action that led to Gaddafi’s death. On the background of corruption, unexplained disappearances and a war that led to chaos, this show puts onstage the confessions of a man in the shadow, who now has to seek the light, sole guarantor of his security.
In this show, which belongs to the register of documentary theater and will take the form of a live interview on stage, SUPERAMAS poses the question of the status of the truth at a time of alternative facts and the resurgence of state propaganda. Intelligence services seek true information, theater tends to give a representation of reality. And yet this quest for truth carries within itself its negation: the spy manipulates, the playwright too. There remains what Julia Kristeva calls our Incredible need to believe. Believe in a truth that rather than an idea, a thing or a situation is more of an experience. This experience is precisely at the heart of the play: for our part, we have judged the story of this man believable, but in the end, it will be up to the audience to decide.