Lenio Kaklea at Festival des Arts Vivants

Artist: Lenio Kaklea

Title: An Encyclopedia of Practices

This post is selected by: Emiliano Aversa

Venue: far°- Festival des Arts Vivants, Nyon, Switzerland

Photography: © Marc Domage / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Festival des Arts Vivants

Note: An Encyclopedia of Practices is a project by Lenio Kaklea featuring the performance Chosen Portraits ; the book & sound installation Portraits of Aubervilliers ; the video Portrait#7: Maryse Emel.

First performed on 7 – 10 March at  Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Aubervilliers, France.

November 20 – 21 An Encyclopedie of practices –Chosen Portraits, NEXT Festival, Espace Pasolini, Valenciennes, France.

October 8 An Encyclopedia of practices – Chosen Portraits, Radio Athens, Greece.

An Encyclopedia of Practices

“I call technique a traditional and efficient act and it has to be both traditional and efficient. There is no technique or transmission without a tradition.”
Marcel Mauss, Techniques du corps, 1934

Dance is a situated practice that permits the combining of multiple bodies. It supposes routine activities that lead to familiarization with materials. It articulates different manners of moving in the world, of inventing deviations, shortcuts, or detours. In societies marked by mutation—globalization, immigration, neoliberalism, climate change—where all has become exploitable—work force, appearance, origins, sex— dance is likewise undergoing transformation. Taken in the movement of her own shifting orientations, Lenio Kaklea wanted to reflect more broadly on these phenomena by making the portrait of a city, Aubervilliers, through the practices of its inhabitants.

Aubervilliers is a French commune of 77.452 inhabitants in the Seine Saint-Denis. In the frame of her yearlong residency (2017-2018) at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, an interdisciplinary art institution encored in the city, she conducted an eight-month survey throughout the municipality, collecting three hundred practices that have been edited into portraits. They are assembled in a book, Encyclopedia of Practices, Portraits of Aubervilliers. Through these pages one navigates a landscape of gestures and habits—invisible, social, or intimate—that constitute a city.

In the solo performance Encyclopedia of Practices, Chosen Portraits, Lenio Kaklea adopted an intimate rapport with the bodies that she encountered. She embodied their gestures; She contemplated the desires and the emptiness that animates them, that links the practices between them. On stage different choreographic procedures enable Lenio to present six of the practices concerned. She integrates, reproduces or elaborates on the actions involved, interconnecting the movements each time via a specific logic. She explored the space where the individual is constructed, where one’s own emancipation and self-exploitation occur. The stage work will ultimately develop into a choral one and an exploration of group practices.

Finally, in the video installation Portrait#7: Maryse Emel, she exposed a day of studio work with Maryse Emel, philosopher and inhabitant of the city.

The richness and complexity of her work in Aubervilliers, led Lenio Kaklea to continue her survey and expand Encyclopedie Pratique to different European cities. She’s currently conducting interviews with residents, travelers and users of six different European cities from four European countries: Guissény, Poitiers (France), Nyon (Switzerland), Essen (Germany) and Athens (Greece).

Through this investigation, she will collect nearly 800 stories revealing the diversity of habits, rituals and professions exercised by groups and individual people living in this European territory. The transcription of these testimonies will take the form of a choreographic piece for four female performers. This new stage work will propose to discover the organized repetition of gestures, the rhythms and temporalities that compose these cities, the modes of transmission implemented to make society.

The collected practices cover a very wide field: habits, rituals, uses, techniques, methods, trades, traditions, unconscious gestures, obsessions. They describe something quite difficult to grasp, that could be described as identity paths, forms of living or modes of existence – a certain way of constructing oneself as a subject in action. They are sometimes specific to a person but they are most often carried by groups and institutions. At the scale of a city, they constitute a network of relations, a particular arrangement that gives each territory a rhythm varying according to the districts, the times of the day or the periods of the year.

For this new group stage work, the premiere of which will take place in autumn 2019, Lenio Kaklea will address collective practices, those that engage groups and communities in collective exercises. This piece will have an epic dimension both by its duration and the geographical areas it crosses. We will discover nearly a hundred practices from one end of the continent to the other, served by four international female performers. The team of dancers will test the physical and temporal limits of daily rituals and draw the complex social landscapes of the spaces traversed by the investigation.

A project by Lenio Kaklea
In collaboration with Lou Forster
Curator: Alexandra Baudelot
Production: Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers
Executive production: abd

With the support of Fonds de dotation du Quartz/Brest

The project received the support of the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis

Choreographic piece: Portraits choisis
Duration: 50 min
Choreography and performance: Lenio Kaklea
Scenography and costume: Sotiris Vasiliou
Sound: Éric Yvelin
Light design: Amaury Seval
Assistant: Oscar Lozano
Lighting: Philippe Saltel
Monitoring: Agnès Henry – extrapole
Production and diffusion: Teresa Acevedo
Sound piece: Portraits d’Aubervilliers
Duration: 240 min
Conception: Lenio Kaklea
Sound composition: Éric Yvelin