Speech of Love: Absence (2022)
For their first work together, the choreographer and visual artist Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwé proposed to the director Monika Gintersdorfer “Fragments d’un discours amoureux” by Roland Barthes as a starting point. This text, published in 1977, is a space for reflection on and a plea for the philosophy of passionate love.
Barthes divides different aspects of love into ‘figures of thought’, which create a text without underlying narrative, hierarchy or development; through alphabetical order, the sequences are juxtaposed, unrelated and of equal weight.
Love is an unknown situation in which one can get lost. People who constantly want to be in control of their lives will (avoid) passionate, desperate love. People who are afraid of falling, who want to manipulate everything like an object, will distance themselves from love. The lovers swim in the middle of a paradox, in a permanent distortion of time and space, where the presence and above all, the absence of the loved one become decisive for life. Here it is indeed this figure, the one that Barthes calls the figure of deprivation: the Absence.
A very simple dispositiv, close to a communication network. Where the performers, the installation of cords, the screen and the camera coexist on the same stage. This performance is in a way an attempt to critical exploration of our relation to the other.