FOLLOW ME wanted to become a radio play but then became a collective performance before it took the shape of a radio play. The radio play and the performance are both about the question: How much can we see when observing strangers who briefly pass our way? The project follows this question in a playful way that draws on art traditions from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Man of the Crowd” to Following to Antje Vowinckel’s Automatic Speaking.
Four performers follow people on the street. While doing so, the followers immediately express all their perceptions in voice and develop stories about the people they follow based on their observations. For this Automatic Speaking is used – a method of voice impro that comes into being by not pausing to speak and vocalizing anything that comes to mind unfiltered. Via mobile phones these voices are transmitted from public space to a mixer and to the audience.
The experimental set-up establishes in the analogue world what is long usual in the digital world – following people, observing their culinary habits and the paths they take… Effortless the piece raises questions of privacy, voyeurism, drawing boundaries, and public space. Always present is the question of projection and reconnecting with oneself via other people.
The performance was created during the master class “La Radio Performée” by Alessandro Bosetti at Phonurgia Nova in Arles, France. In contrast to the radio play it stays on the level of projecting and reflects that process. The performance is for four performing voices, one mixer, and an audience in front of two speakers. It is divided into three parts.
Lauriane Houbey, Fanny Dujardin, Elen Huynh, Audrey Houdart
Constanze Flamme, Marc Jacquin
own production 2020
Phonurgia Nova, Alessandro Bosetti
During the first part the performers follow people in public space, describe them, their actions, their movements, and develop a story about the followed person. Two of the performers follow strangers, two follow another performer. No one knows who is following whom.
The second part consists of the way to the audience at the venue, on which the performers reflect upon their observations, imaginations, and the story they came up with.
Once the performers enter the venue, they gather around a microphone in the middle of the room. Now, they speak as one I and recreate the experience together. One performer starts with a sentence, leaves it incomplete and another performer continues the sentence. They all talk about the same experience but from a different point of view revealing the ambiguity and diversity of life.
All three parts draw on the idea of those books that have a sentence written across the page. But the page is cut into parts. Each of these parts can be turned separately. When you turn one of these fragmented page the sentence changes but still makes sense.