A N A Ï S L E L I È V R E
|visuels||fabrication||fictions de projet|
|textes||schéma||grands dessins CLOC|
|livre||making of||têtes de CLOC|
CLOC is a live sculpture-performance project by visual artist, Anaïs Lelièvre. The first CLOCS prototypes were hand sewn in December 2012, and have been brought to life by performers since January 2013. They continue to evolve, constantly being faced with new situations.
CLOCS are improvised sculpture performances which undergo incessant metamorphoses and interact with all contexts. These undefined beings rediscover the world independent from established points of reference.
Hand-sewn from piles of used clothing and pieced together with elastic, CLOCS are fabric envelopes worn on the bodies of the artists as skins which come alive during performance. These relational membranes are folded and unpredictable, adapt to various situations and create a continual element of surprise. A form of life hatching and becoming, CLOCS are also matrices which create multiple reactions for passers-by. Their sudden apparition at the bend of alleys and other common nooks renew and question our way of existing in public space, of encountering others and cohabiting with them.
A sleeve which brandishes its black hole until it becomes a gaze. Seams which remove the tension between two beings. A mad dance. A sprawling or hermaphroditic eye. A rattle, screams between laughs and death throes. A hand-to-hand which is both a fusion and a conflict. From the animal pack to the cellular division. Here a worm, no, there a dead heap, soft hills, or a cuddly toy of flesh, turned over skin, a collapsed tent, fragments of haute-couture lava, the invasion of a red tide, the aspiration of an animal wave, the elephantine spider which hangs under your bed, a non-identified extraterrestrial, a matrix from the bottom of time, meanders without a name. The stranger acting, the unspeakable resistance, the irreducible presence. The thing crawls at our feet. Maybe we dare to touch it. The hesitation on one’s fingertip. It turns round, grabs our eyes then our legs. It insists. We are caught. We caress it; it taps us as if it knocks on a door. Until we are familiarised with its soft worry. Then, it giggles and whispers us some inaudible secrets. It grows underneath. It wriggles, it lives. The tension of the interstices. The birth of an eye or a mouth which smiles at you. The swiftness of a peak. An arm pierces with a snap. Abject tear. The horizontal outgrowth takes the form of a head. A gaping head, still dumb. Over there, another body which protrudes. It struggles. It fights in itself. Things get out, everywhere. They hatch there, all at the same time. They help each other to be born. They extract themselves. A collective birth. Bewildered heads. Undone hair as hardly extracted from the original chaos. Glances which cut through. Fixed. They stare at us. Mirror effect. Then, they leave us.
CLOCS are sculpture-performances, the divide between the body and the cloth, between the inert and the living, the fluctuation in the indeterminacy of a boundary.
CLOCS are balls of clothes sewed together, mixing up velvet or sequined party dresses, worn working overalls, cashmere or angora pullovers, bikers’ leather, stained blouses, badly-cut jackets, coats with golden buttons, sport tracksuits, children-sized tee-shirts, twirling skirts… The seam is made with an elastic thread, which stretches, contracts and retracts, taking in its movements the fabrics which crease, open out, bend and open out again. This complex and fluctuating magma undoes the clothing’s structure, as formal or symbolic, involving and destroying their psychological, cultural and sociological systems. Between the folds, the apparent thread tightens, relaxes and tightens again, playing elasticity in the extreme. If it aims to join, to merge, it also affirms by its presence an insistent cut. Sometimes, it even breaks and bursts. What it shows in action is the tension between two clothes, as between people who bear their own scars. Between merger and separation, the stitch spacing which continuously moves apart and narrows, suggests a problematical relationship, irreducible, which actually keeps pulsing.
CLOCS are pleated covers which only come to life when living bodies enter inside to animate them. Thanks to their improvised movements, they open themselves to discover a multiplicity of shapes and evocations, which are contained but still open to potential. These mobile sculptures are defined as undefined, always in metamorphosis, never definitive: strengths rather than a shape. The used clothes, such as second abandoned skins, are thus revitalised by carnal flows which give birth to another existing: changing and nomadic being, situated in a vague area between the individual and the collective with fluctuating links, the psychological bubble and the social body, the human being and the animal, the dead and the living, the destructive chaos and the original matrix… Like a still undetermined cell, power of life without accomplished shape, endless reserve of possibility of which the future is each time reinvented. Deliberately opened, unpredictable, CLOCS in principle exceed any stranglehold, to explode any border, to create surprise.
CLOCS are real and incredible, existential and without reason to be, tactile and elusive, defined and fluctuating, completed and larval, pleated and germinated, exhausted and explosive, held back and excessive, sprawling and retracted, nascent and smothered, strong and powerless, vain and combatant, living and dying, inhabited and abandoned, lost and found, chaotic and matrix, archaic and utopian, present and elsewhere, contextual and without fixed place, nomadic and insistent, cellular and urban, carnal and public, around and inside, skins and viscera, clothes and open bodies, internal and external, shown and hidden, organic and disorganised, monstrous and familiar, crazy and ordinary, close and unpredictable, discreet and uncontrolled, unbearable and inseparable, wrapped and untied, isolated and half-open, enclosed and porous, mute and interactive, individual and collective, enigmatic and shared, secret and observed, direct and disorientated, integrated and inappropriate, protective and disturbing, soft and violent, subversive and peaceful, light and serious, funny and worrying, ridiculous and fantastical, burlesque and tragic, hyper sociable and unaware, senseless and too much full of sense, ignorant and questioning.
TO DISRUPT THE ORDINARY
CLOCS are not only multi-shapes, but also multi-contexts. They adapt to diverse environments, creep into the urban spaces and infiltrate the banality of everyday life to question points of reference. CLOCS continuously explore new places where they can perform and reproduce: places to inhabit and places to bring life to, places to invade to create a sensation, places to encounter people, to interact, places to turn upside down and to renew… CLOCS can appear in private dwellings or public areas, children’s games or workrooms, luxury or second-hand clothes shops, modern buildings or ancient ruins, landscaped gardens or virgin forests, abandoned no man’s land or overpopulated areas, tube stations, zoos, cages, cellars, stairs, balconies, bathtubs, washbasins, launderettes, tunnels, car parks, markets, monuments, manholes, museums,… CLOCS can interact with furniture and buildings, talk in their own way with people on a sofa around a drink, in back alley way… CLOCS like to be surprised by atypical places or create sensations in configured places.
CLOCS are designed and built as open and metaphoric shapes, destined to adapt to all contexts. Their definition is completely relative and relational. In order to explore new possibilities and variations, the project also rolls out over time, during experimental sessions. Facing diversified surroundings, CLOCS trigger new situations, explore and unveil other versions of themselves, feeling the elasticity of their limits.
CLOCS, unpredictable by nature, can only be realised as improvisations. If any main lines can be established beforehand to guide the performance, CLOCS cross the lines and even explode any form of framing. Given the complex material of a CLOC, the body is unaware of what the repercussions of its gesticulation will be, depending on whether it acts on a flat area particularly tightly, a sleeve which will madly shake, or a convergence condensing a multiplicity of intensely sensitive and reactive folds. The performer moves almost blindly, especially as small openings between stitches, which sometimes permit a quick outward glance, are not enough to aid the performer to orient themselves in their physical environment. Thus, even if the CLOC had to get from one point to another, it would very often deviate from the trajectory, get lost in incomprehensible zigzags, turning over itself without knowing it.
CLOCS are impossible to control, their improvisation cannot be choreographed. The experimentation can be launched by a slight common thread, which will often be diverted or forgotten, to open up the possibility of unexpected incidents which create the event. What CLOCS look for, despite their blindness which makes them grope their way forward, is that something happens, but “we don’t know what”. What determines their improvisation are CLOCS themselves, their covers and with them all what they imply and arouse: their folds, their structure, their shapes, their materials, their elasticity, their lengths, their tensions, their seams to this or that point of a cloth in connection with this or that point of another cloth. Thus, CLOCS escape from their author and from their actors. They develop from their own life, like an organism which spreads out autonomously, according to a logic both internal and relative that we would never know how to grasp completely.
TO INTERACT WITH THE PUBLIC
CLOCS are especially unpredictable, unaware of the outcomes they may trigger. If they react to a context, the context reacts back. Often, it is the reaction of a passer-by which creates an event. A passer-by who, through his regard, his attention, his reaction, his action, gives rise to this absurd and wandering CLOC, which had been a mere pile of thrown together clothes. The attitudes of the public vary from the extreme of a crowd which gathers around to a feigned or evasive indifference which make us ask so many questions. CLOCS appear to join other CLOCS in a space to come alive, shake, roll, rush at a guided group or remain barely mobile, bordering on the alive and the inanimate, but which quickly find themselves surrounded. Heads which turn and look away, wonder, ask the other onlookers. From amazement and smiles, worry and laughter, caresses or withdrawal. The absence of speech or a dialogue with the CLOC, passiveness or the act of making the sewn thread rip to open an exit, the belief in an authentic situation or the reassuring classification into the category “spectacle”, to the donation of a coin to which a CLOC will end up stretching out its hand to accept…
CLOCS are powers of disruption which reconsider everything. The being to oneself, the being in the world, the being together. Their intense and odd presence revives the ambivalence of the first encounter with the Other. To the Other opposite and to the Other within oneself. To the other monster or alien, born of our imagination, like to the other animal, foetal, cellular, from a deep-rooted memory in the body. The surprise of a new thing mixes with reflux of a forgotten origin. Both the absurd of an impossible communication and the opening to other interaction, ways of which we still wonder about the meanings.
CLOCS are small particles, tiny grains of sand, which interfere with an established space, oriented by a defined function, to impact on wider issues. They provoke existential questioning on how we inhabit and cohabit, as well as psychological questions about the relationship between the ego and the Other. They equally cause us to investigate political issues such as the marginality of wandering and homeless people, and bring in to play social questions concerning public space, and particularly to the institutional system.
A PROJECT IN GROWTH
CLOCS are the continuation of ZIP, the first project of sculpture-performance, made of black leather clothing.
CLOCS are developed through investigation in the form of texts and drawings.
CLOCS are experimented in diversified contexts, during sessions documented through photographs and videos.
CLOCS plan to proliferate again to the point of being able to explore the depth of a landscape.
Derivatives are also in creation: CLOCS in plastic bags, paper and other materials; and MÂ, the gigantic matrices from which CLOCS have evolved.
© Anaïs Lelièvre 2012-2015