French duo Stéréoptik combines art forms to take its audience on a visionary voyage.
It's a tradition at
Romain Bermond was behind attached tables at stage left with a control board, lamps and camcorders, paper and painting equipment.
Jean-Baptiste Maillet was behind a drum set, keyboard and other music instruments at stage right.
Bermond worked on various pictures as viewers watched his progress on a large central screen and exercised their imagination guessing the outcome, entertained by his motions and Maillet's music.
The pace picked up when Maillet began assisting Bermond in using pre-painted objects. More colours were added and together they made deft use of sand and water.
In the space of an hour they took us on a delightful visual journey to many places, including into outer space, employing various techniques requiring different levels of skills.
The setting was the ballroom of the new Sofitel So hotel, which lent a nice ambience to the show, although the seating was set at a low angle, leaving those at the back with poor views of the paintings being created. (I'd earlier dined in the hotel's lovely restaurant, the Red Oven, and was tipped off to sit up front in the ballroom.)
They were asked whether the music from the show was available on CD. The answer was, "Maybe soon." Clearly the music has its fans, so the show might even be regarded as a concert, with one artistic discipline serving to enhance another and then later to recall the overall experience.
The performers were asked whether they seek to convey messages. They said they concoct their experiment in techniques first and then find stories to match. They were thinking, for example, of painting a car pink onstage, reckoning that pink vehicles are rare—until they saw
Another audience member loved the scene in which the videocam turned objects in an aquarium upside on the screen to amazing effect. Bermond gave credit to the idea to a heavy night on the rum, when he saw everything upside-down.
After two sold-out shows here last Wednesday and Thursday (22nd and 23rd February), "Stéréoptik" moved to
The appeal of multi-disciplinary productions is undeniable. A senior fellow theatre critic recently organised a seminar for scholars of different fields at the Jim Thompson Art Centre, which was staging a multimedia art exhibition. Many intriguing opinions were voiced.
Had Stéréoptik been able to stay in town longer, a workshop for local professionals and students might have fostered more interdisciplinary collaboration in
Keep track of this visionary duo at www.Stereoptik.com.
written by Pawit Mahasarinand
published in THE NATION on Tuesday 28th February, 2012
photos courtesy of
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