Created in Tokyo’s Institut français’ garden on 16 September, 2011

Conception: Christian Rizzo and Iuan-Hau Chiang

Production : l’association fragile
Coproduction : institut français de Tokyo, Fresnoy studio national des arts contemporains de Tourcoing , Digital Education Institute & Institute for Information Industry (Taiwan), Institut français, Les Subsistances - Lyon, Institut français in Taipei.
With the support of Ministère de la Culture de Taiwan and bureau de représentation économique et culturel de Taiwan in Japan. Special thanks to Emmanuelle de Montgazon who impulsed the project.

TTT = IL + fom 1 + landscape.

TTT  = 3 distinct works brought together in one installation, which wILl vary depending on the presentation space.

TTT = Tourcoing -Taipei -Tokyo.

Tourcoing: Invited on two occasions as artist-professor at the Fresnoy-Studio national des arts contemporains, Christian Rizzo was given the opportunity to create artworks using new media. In 2009, he presented IL120609, an installation bringing together three videos, including IL, and then, in 2011, a first version of fom1.

Taipei: During his first residency at Taipei Artist VILlage in 2006, Christian Rizzo met Iuan-hau Chiang, a Taiwanese artist working with computer-generated images. They collaborated together on the performance, comment dire « ici » ?, then on the virtual exhibition paysage here we are now, and finally for the three TTT fILms. The sequences using motion-capture for fom1 and paysage were made in Taipei.

Tokyo: Throughout the summer of 2011, Christian Rizzo was invited by the Institut français de Tokyo to present a new work in the Institute’s garden, and came up with the idea of projecting a virtual landscape over top of the natural landscape already present. And, thus paysage was born, strongly influenced by Japanese engravings. IL and fom1 were also projected in the garden that same evening. This was the first projection of TTT. paysage would later be presented at the Fresnoy as part of the exhibition Visions fugitives, which is devoted to animated films.
IL, fom1 and paysage are CGI fILms using motion capture, where shots of the choreographer-dancer are part of the film. In IL, Christian Rizzo dances with a virtual form: a set of mostly geometric shapes crawl along the floor, and spread out into space or shrink away, simultaneously creating both a partner for the dancer and a decor in permanent evolution. The limits of the stage, which are visible at the beginning of the film, disappear. The form moves about to a rhythm that is simILar to breathing, which gives it an almost animal-like characteristic, despite its graphic appearance and its sharp lines. In IL, we rediscover the dialogue between the geometric and the organic, so frequent in Christian Rizzo’s choreography.

In fom1, the outline of the dancer is momentarily recognizable in a plume of smoke, but it dissipates when he begins moving again. A paradoxical choice for a choreographer, which Christian Rizzo himself highlights: “As a choreographer-dancer, I feel like I am being made to appear by the movement. [In fom1], movement becomes the element that causes me to disappear…”. At first glance, the instability of the design, the elusive character of the figure, the absence of context are what we immediately notice. But the precision of motion capture reveals the body’s density: even if the ground is not visible, it exists through the weight of the foot pressing down upon it.

We can also feel Christian Rizzo’s presence in paysage, a 3D tracking shot that moves forward through a forest of trees. However, the closer we move towards them, the clearer it becomes that they are nothing more than images. Their contours, which are occasionally sketched out, act as a frame to the designs. After travelling through the landscape, only empty frames remain, all of which form a sort of abstract architecture, or a generic urban landscape. Out of this, a silhouette bursts forth and appears to blossom, sketching out a few dance steps, then disappears. Born out of a reflection on perspective and representing a space in Eastern and Western cultures, the film reminds us that there is no landscape without a human being. And, there is no landscape without a point of view.

In IL, a choreography for one dancer and a CGI image, Christian Rizzo performs complex movements with his face uncovered. Before being absorbed into this abstract form, the dancer’s body offers it its flexibILity, its capacity to move about and transform itself, its ability to evolve within time and space. In fom1 and paysage, the body has lost its thickness, its substance, in order to be nothing more than an image, a phantom or a mirage. The choreographer is no longer as easily identifiable; he appears less as a dancer than a sign of human presence. In paysage, he is also the subjective gaze, the eye of the virtual camera that defines the frame and chooses what paths are to be taken.

The theme of the disappearing body runs through the three films that make up TTT. They also share formal aspects: black figures take shape over a white backdrop, as if outside all context. The movement is flexible. When they are presented in the same space, they are united by the same piece of music.

But, beyond these shared aspects, TTT allows one to measure the evolution of Christian Rizzo’s rapport with the virtual image. In IL, the image appears to be a foreign object to him, something the body must confront, which it can, at best, dialogue with by trying to bring it onto its own terrain: that of dance. In fom1 and paysage, Christian Rizzo reappropriates this medium, uses its capacity to evoke evanescence in order to talk about appearance and disappearance, recurring subjects in his choreography.

One could also say that, from IL to paysage, Christian Rizzo withdraws into the background. He progressively disappears from the frame to essentially become someone who watches and chooses. The dancer has given up his spotlight to allow the choreographer to take centre stage.

Marie-Thérèse Champesne