Agni Papadeli Rossetou

The Jouissance of Representation

How do we cope with time’s indelible imprint on the body? Halfway between the comic and the tragic, with subtle nuances and a multifaceted approach, choreographer Agni Papadeli Rossetou tackles the existential question of time and decay in her new piece The Jouissance of Representation. Her cornerstones are the concept of the “incomplete” pervading the grotesque, as theorized by Mikhail Bachtin, and Théodore Géricault’s painting.

The three performers of the piece, sometimes in contact with each other and forming clusters, sometimes solo, allow bodily forms to emerge through their dancing, snapshots of experience, familiar or uncanny images midway between reality and fantasy. Situations in which the flesh is present and spectators can recognize something familiar, something of their own, in them.

The incessant transformation of the dancers’ bodies from one form to the next generates jouissance. The term jouissance here is the one used in psychoanalysis, where it is not identified with pleasure but rather encompasses discomfort, pain and awkwardness; the response of the artist to wounds linked with the passing of time.