The circus in search of the absolute in Marseille
Boris Gibé's radical and vertiginous closed door. "The Absolute", caused a sensation at the Biennale du cirque
SCENE - Marseille - special envoy
Caracole with a slaughtered flange, the Biennale internationale des arts du cirque (BIAC) de Marseille. This is the third edition under this name - in fact the fourth, since it was created under a different name in 2013 - and it has become an essential event for both the region's public and programmers.
Read the review: The National Circus Arts Centre's 30th graduating class is having a blast Four weeks of performances (from January 11 to February 10), 66 shows including 29 creations, a "tent village" set up on the Prado beach... For all those who love the circus, as amateurs or professionals, it has become essential to go through BIAC, which now plays the same role for the circus arts as the Avignon Festival for the theatre.
Raquel Rache de Andrade and Guy Carrara, its directors, hold their line, which consists in offering a mirror to all the facets - many - of the contemporary circus of creation. During this biennial, we were able to see many of the stars of the discipline, from Vimala Pons to Johann Le Guillerm, Yoann Bourgeois and Raphaël Navarro, and we will be able to see the wonderful Campana of Cirque Trottola before the closing.
But the boy whose name is on everyone's lips is - for the moment - less known. His name is Boris Gibé, and he is the head of a company called Les Choses de rien. He presented to BIAC a creation entitled L'Absolu, which arrived in Marseille preceded by a flattering word of mouth. In a few evenings, it became the show that had to be seen, and that the programmers were so keen to see (he will be in Paris, notably at the Théâtre de la Cité internationale, in May).
And it is not just a fashion effect: the Absolute strikes by its originality, its radicality, its intensity and its plastic beauty. It offers itself as a scenic UFO, a closed door that takes you on a strange journey. It is not played under a tent, but in a structure that Boris Gibé calls the Silo, and that he designed specifically, with a team of architects and engineers.
Boris Gibé, acrobat and metaphysicist, asks himself vertiginous questions about life, and puts these questions to the test of the circus
As a spectator, you enter a 9-metre diameter, 12-metre high sheet metal cylinder, in which two peripheral stairs are entangled in each other. On these stairs are installed small seats in slight imbalance, which overlook the track. From your place, you observe the spirals that form the heads of the other spectators.
The darkness is done, the disorientation is total, a slight dizziness takes you. Little by little, the membrane roof of the cylinder lights up, a creature tries to appear, which emerges, man-animal which evokes that of Kafka's La Métamorphose. This man is Boris Gibé, acrobat and metaphysicist, who asks himself dizzying questions about life, and tests these questions with his art, the circus - the art of balance and imbalance, the art of taming the void.
Big bang poetic, spatial
Barely did this man appear, when he falls into a black hole, a crater of ashes that buries him and reveals at times the remains of a civilization: a book, a piece of golden armour, a painting... And a mirror, in which this Narcissus of apocalyptic times tries to read his face. It is a sumptuous and disturbing thing that this black and glittering magma that pulsates before your eyes and from which the young man finally emerges, in another striking image, his head covered with a nightclub faceted ball, turning his cylinder into a magic lantern. This singular diver of space, of a space that would be both past and future, of a future already past, takes us far into the feeling of the fragility of time.
We cannot tell everything about this poetic, spatial, visual, sensory big bang, which leaves you at the end wavering on your feet and your certainties. But the certainty we have is that we have crossed the path of a true artist, for whom the circus, in its very essence, is the means of expression of a total singularity, of existential doubts, of secret and profound palpitations.
The Certainty we have is the certainty of having crossed the path of a true artist
From this point of view, Boris Gibé can remind us of Johann Le Guillerm, even if their universes are very different. The two men have in common that they are researchers, and that they have life courses that would make all the current heralds of a normativity that has become overwhelming again disappear. Boris Gibé, whose parents were shepherds in Corsica, stopped school at the age of 14 and started working in the circus at the age of 16, without having attended any of the major schools recognised by the profession. This did not prevent him from developing his sensitivity to artists such as Andreï Tarkovski, Tadeusz Kantor or Samuel Beckett, whose one of the craziest texts, Le Dépeupleur, he would like to introduce into his cylinder of metal.
In Marseille, on Saturday evening, February 2, the audience, euphoric, never stopped hitting the wooden floors of the strange terraces of the Silo, in homage to the artistic happiness that had been offered to them.
Some other warm echoes of the first 20 representations of "The Absolute" at the Scène nationale de Besancon
Find all the news on the Facebook page "Le Silo"