I’LL LICK THE FOG OFF YOUR SKIN, VERSION 2019
EMMANUEL GUILLAUD / TAKAO KAWAGUCHI / CAMILLE GUYOT
“Where is the man who has shown himself furtively, like the sprigs of grass growing in the snows of Kasugano?”
(Hanjo, Noh play, 14th century)
Freely inspired by queer theory and forgotten tales from ancient Japan, “I’ll lick the fog off your skin, version 2019” is a performance of projected images synchronised with movements by French dancer Camille Guyot.
The performance is part of a long term project started a year before in Kyoto. During an artist residency at Villa Kujoyama, French visual artist Emmanuel Guillaud and Japanese dancer Takao Kawaguchi discovered the proximity between the concept of sexual energy in 17th century Japan (精気) and queer theorist Paul Preciado’s concept of Potentia Gaudendis: the “orgasmic force [which] is neither male nor female, nor human or animal, [which] unites all somatic and psychic forces, calls upon all biochemical resources and all structures of the soul.” Desire is no longer perceived as a fixed expression of an inner self, but is felt an external upsetting force, which transports, transforms, and dissolves the barriers between the humans and the gods, the living and the dead, sexes, genders, and sexualities. “I’ll lick the fog off your skin” is a long term project with the desire to spread that energy.
Digging freely in the rich glossary of stories forgotten in Japan’s past, we projected motifs of kimonos on the bodies of dancers, turning them into half-human, half-demon ephebes. This first action was filmed and became the raw material for the performance.
At Collection Lambert, spectators were invited to enter a large, dark room in which thick, soft, black veils were hung from the ceiling. Videos of the half-human, half-demon creatures were projected on those fabrics, creating an array of specters. Like spirits of Japanese Noh plays, they awaited the public, inviting them to come and immerse themselves in this forest populated by ghostly images.
At specific times, the dancer infiltrated the space. At first he seemed like another visitor. But he suddenly reacted to the movements of the projected demons. Projected movements became stimuli to which he responded with new movements. Hence started a strange, queer nocturnal parade between real and projected bodies. A phantasmagoria, thought to be the passage of emotions and affects, through the visible and the invisible, the present and the past, between this world and others.