Corps Noir is a choreographed self-portrait of the artist Stéphane Gladyszewski, a scenic work of art in which his body, the objects he has at hand and the images projected on them awaken new emotions.
Interested in the body, images and light, Stéphane Gladyszewski worked as a photographer before graduating in Fine Arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and from Concordia University. Attracted by movement, he made his first inroads into dance through improvisation, putting himself forward for an audition with Daniel Léveillé Danse in 2004 and taking part in his trilogy Amour, acide et noix, The Modesty of Icebergs and Twilight of the Oceans. With Aura (2005), presented in Tangente and at the Festival TransAmériques (Montreal), Stéphane Gladyszewski consolidated the development of his own surrealist language combining matter, the body and bewitching dreams. In 2008, he created an innovative “thermal video” projection system which allows him to manipulate images. He premièred this system with Corps noir, winning the Art + Émergence award from Montreal Art Council and the Conférence Régionale des Élus de Montréal.
In Corps Noir, Gladyszewski chooses to become the medium of the message, exposing his inner self and producing an explosive self-portrait based on the complexity of his identity and the phantasmagorical constructions of the psyche. In this work, in which powerful foetal and erotic images permeate our retina, the father serves as the raw material from which the son will seek his identity, his self-image and some references on which to build his virility. In the words of the reputed dance historian Michèle Febvre: “To invoke the subconscious, Gladyszewski subjects himself to a page from the Rorschach test in which he projects the uncertain puzzle of his life: the recurrent nature of obsession, talking about words you can't talk about and the confusion of feelings. He opens himself to the unknown, he opens the floodgates of the father, sex, desire, birth, and death”. This work is a bazaar of the subconscious and of memory where objects and the artist's body (which serves as a canvas) present different textures, images and voices somewhere between solid and liquid, frozen screens, ice and water, heat and cold, clumsiness and transparency: Metaphors of identity transmitted by a cutting-edge technology that enables Gladyszewski to overlap, embed, merge, and excite.
Conceptor, video creator and performer: Stéphane Gladyszewski
Performer: Lucie Vigneault
Project assistant and projectionist (at creation): Justine Ricard
Lighting designer: Yan Lee Chan
Sound designer: Éric Forget
Technical direction: Jean Jauvin
Artistic consultants: Marie-Stéphane Ledoux and Julie Andrée T.
Programmer: Alexandre Burton
Photographers: Stéphane Gladyszewski and Nicholas MInns
Production: Stéphane Gladyszewski and DLD - Daniel Léveillé Danse
Coproduction: Tangente, Agora de la danse, Cirque du Soleil
With the support of: Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Arts Council
Language: English with Spanish subtitles