How About You ?

is a celebration of life, exploring identity, the definition of self, as well as the search for oneself in someone else, the possibility of discovering who we are through other people, and our attempts to understand our similarities and differences.

photographer Jens Lasthein

Enfolding the diversity and complexity of what we call ‘self’, How about you? addresses the issue of complementary and opposition. How we interact and balance ourselves with others – who am I according to the other, and who is the other?

In this celebration of life, Blanchard inevitably looks not only at life but also at death. Indeed, what interests Blanchard is not the perfection of utopia but the balance of two complementary sides. In preparing for the work Blanchard carried out extensive research on East European and Asian philosophy looking into the concept of division versus interconnection/interdependency, such as just life and death and good and bad and the interdependent force created by such polar opposites.

Critically acclaimed by audiences and media alike, the piece has been selected by various platforms all over Europe, including Maison des Arts de Créteil in Paris, where it was performed on October 2 and the Nordic Dance Platform’s Ice Hot festival being held in Stockholm at the beginning of December, where it was chosen over 200 other dance works.

Concept and direction: Philippe Blanchard
Performers: Stifani brothers
Music: Philippe Boix-Vives
Lighting design: Maika Knoblich
Sound design: Peter Connelly
Costumes: Nadine Grellinger

This performance is made possible by Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs, Arts Grants Committee of Sweden, and the Culture Administration of Stockholm.

PRESS QUOTES

“If there’s anything that characterizes Philippe Blanchard it’s his headstrong way of giving the great, existential questions an everyday if not to say ordinary portrayal.”
DN

“Blanchard’s wide-eyed wonder over the human condition is just as contagious as it is thought-provoking.”
SvD

PHOTOS

All photographs © by Jens Lasthein

AVANT PROPOS

There is more of me somewhere else. Somewhere perhaps where I have never been. Someone that I have never met. Someone that I know, that looks like me or feels like me but is not me.
I even suspect that I am not myself. I am someone else who is looking for me.

A woman that has many lovers, a woman that smoke cigarettes, sings Johnny Cash and does not care about cancer. A man that does not limit love to sex or sex to love. An invisible naked person walking the streets or a naked person walking down the street who thinks he is invisible. A writer who thinks he is writing his biography. A brother, a sister or a friend that I haven’t met, an Almodovar character who mentions me in the middle of the film. If I am fiction, then so are you!
I am a hundred, a thousand, a million people but yet I own one body.

How are you? Fine thank you! How about you?

So in that particular moment I wonder who you are, in relation to who I am. That my interest in digging for answers is as big as my imagination allows me to be. Inventing or reinventing stories or lives about others, to discover that it is only about us, you, me, Miranda July, everyone that we know and everyone else.

I also have to consider that I have all ready met you or that I am using you to get to know me. I play you, while you play me and in that way in the end we will be one person divided in two.

Lots of possibility to be myself but I think all interpretations are mine only.

Philippe Blanchard

PURPOSE

It seems that my preoccupations lately are related to the role of the individual in our
society. And this drives me to investigate further in that direction than I have ever been
before. How do we stand as an individual in a world constantly focusing on
globalization?

As I focus on that question, I think my investigation does not come without a sense of
irony. As if the world as I see it in my mind is a feast full of parody, which is consuming
itself. It leads me to express myself, in areas that are seriously absurd or absolutely
serious or ironically sad or intentionally stupid or and or and or…

I come to the conclusion that we are all a single unit pushed together to form a society.
How do we co-exist with each other, and how do we find who we are in that situation?
As I write and read these sentences I think about the environment, the materialism,
which we construct around us to believe that “this is reality”.

The boundaries that we have created in order to define what is you or yours and me
and mine.

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