Video capture of the performance «Tropismes» as presented at Saw Video Febuary 16 2013 in Ottawa with Lori Freedman.
List of «Tropismes »performances

The «Tropismes» performance appeared as an offspring of a drawing project bearing the same title. Afer reading the complete works of the french writer Nathalie Sarraute (this reading was suggested to me by a friend who was struck by many correspondances between my work and Sarraute’s writing), I feltcompelled to do something out of it. I made several series of drawings, of wich those entitled Tropismes and Inner Shields were shown in different exhibitions and were subject of catalogues. They were always drawings that had a direct, although sometimes altered, relationship to the features of a human face with the objective of transmitting the vibrating mental states that Sarraute designates by the term of «tropismes».

The performances continued in the same direction as the drawings, mainly with the connivence of clarinettist Lori Freedman. It apppeared to me as a necessity to work with solo instrumentalists and as much as possible without electronic processing in order to keep the music on a rather minimalist line with a strong personnal and physical character and quite wide dynamic variations. It was also understood that the piece would not be structured as a progrssion toward a climax. It was expected that they would be free improvisation constantly alternating between order and chaos. If Lori Freedman was a key person to define the scope of the project, other musicians, according to circomstances, were associated to the project : Jean Derome, Joaquim Pavao, Eduardo Raon, Sam Chalabi, John Wayward and Stefan Smulovitz.

This very mobile approach raised important chalenges for me in relation to my way of understanding the link between my visual work and the music and transformed profoundly my practice of performing animation live. The first performances only included material that was drawn live in the course of the show, but later a visual component made with the drawings of the series «Inner Shields» was introduced as a background to the live animation and is currently part of the performances, giving it a more defined form in three parts.

The performance is about forty minutes long and when possible can be preceded by the reading of texts by Nathalie Sarraute.


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Different series of drawings can be seen : Tropimes, Tropisms – here, Tropismes-2, Blue Mountain and Inner Shields.