“The exhibition”: the thinking machine

«L’exhibition»: la machine à penser

Photo: David Ospina
The spectacle of Emmanuel Schwartz, Benoît Gob, and Francis The Hague deploys a form to say the least, unusual for fiction stage.

Created in 2017, on the occasion of the Festival TransAmériques, The exhibition is back these days in The Chapel. Developed in collaboration with Alice Ronfard, the spectacle of Benoît Gob, Francis Hague, and Emmanuel Schwartz deploys a form to say the least, unusual for fiction stage, an interlacing of monologues, introspection, about turns serious and absurd, the voice-overs are accompanied by actions more or less comical, carried out by three men… in combinations of laboratory workers.

It was first the feeling of attending the opening of an exhibition. In this gallery of living art, standing between four sheets of plastic, the visitor observed, sipping her glass of wine, a light installation, a cube in which three men are preparing to “show off” their souls, or at least their states of mind, thoughts, often deep, sometimes aesthetic, typically existential. But before the trio runs, before the representation begins, the viewer will have to cross the fourth wall and choose a seat in the room.

“The viewer could understand that it is not something organized, but rather in a trial, the result of an experimental work at the intersection of art and science. “It is a synthetic voice that pronounced these words, that an onboard computer in the stamp a little disembodied intelligence that you could say artificial, but probably erroneously, a device crucial here that refers to himself in speaking of” machine to extract the pure thought “, in sum, a machine… that thinks.

The least we can say is that there is friendship in the air, a closeness that appears to be fundamental, essential to the course of this adventure and scenic a bit extravagant, and without a doubt cathartic, at least for its creators. Emmanuel has known Francis during his studies in theatre at Sainte-Thérèse. This went at the beginning of the millennium. Then he commiserated with Benedict in Brussels, in 2013, during the gestation of marketplace 76 to the Needcompany and Jan Lauwers. Not without humour, first in group, then a solo, the three men make us enter into their creative processes (theatre, but also musical and plastic) as surely as in the workings of their psyches tormented.

Thus, while the metaphysical questions of the most various issues are addressed, that actions the most whimsical are executed, the performance allows for three artists to create freely, to translate their obsessions and their hopes, fulfill their fantasies, all without having to comply with the desires of any director, without having to fulfill the vision of someone else, without having to serve another imaginary than the one that was bubbling in them, in a sum without having to apologize.

The exhibition

Text : Emmanuel Schwartz. Visual : Benoît Gob. Sound : Francis The Hague. A co-production with the Festival TransAmériques, the Theatre is the Anchor of Charleroi, and of the Chapel of The Contemporary stage. At The Chapel until 9 march.