SpO2 – Anne & Jean Rochat
14, 16, 18.09.2021
Saving one’s breath, becoming aware of the effort of one’s lungs, restoring the link shaped by a common breath: Anne and Jean Rochat immerse themselves in Lake Geneva with one air hose between them, the air supplied by volunteers pumping on the shore. An experience of air, water and duration, to be witnessed from La Becque’s lakeside garden.
Underwater in the distance, are two divers that we cannot make out. On the shore, a screen transmits the picture of the two suspended bodies. The air that allows them to breathe is supplied by manual bicycle pumps, wielded by a group of participants. In the water – matrix of life and major issue of survival – dependent on an output that is out of their control, the divers re-learn how to breathe together, one after the other, one for the other.
The two performers have to arrange a new economy of air by sharing their resource. They are as much in the womb of the planet – life-giving water – as they are in a hostile environment in which they must organise their survival. The water, the lake, become symbols of what enables life and what might begin to lack, threatening life itself. Forced to enter into an altered state of consciousness in order to save their efforts and needs, dependent on a minimal, homemade apparatus controlled by others, they cannot lose their connection to each other.
Becoming conscious of one’s breathing, acting in the present by accepting one’s anxieties about what might happen, exploring other ways of being in the world, linking oneself to the elements, accepting one’s dependence on constructed, shared economies: the threat here has the value of metaphor in a disrupted world in which humans are rethinking the space they occupy. With the close collaboration of Jean Rochat, Anne Rochat pursues her performance work in which confronting the body to elements, territories and durations becomes a meditation on the physical and social constraints of contemporary human becoming.
Conception and performance: Anne Rochat & Jean Rochat
Conception and music diffusion: Laurent Bruttin
Music diffusion: Olga Kokcharova
Project assistant: Sarah Anthony
Underwater images and light: Sven Fink
Underwater logistics manager: Jacques-Michel Meige
Curating: Olivier Kaeser / Arta Sperto
Administration: Mahias Gautschi
Co-directed by: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne ▼, La Becque | Résidence d’artistes et Arta Sperto