Everything is a question of translation

Karine Ponties

“I have the feeling that regardless of its form, writing always comes from the body – hence the need to forge ties by working with individuals, each of whom contains a script. Individual scripts with animal instincts that attempt to translate and thereby re-write existing languages – from sounds, words, gestures, colours; from erupting excesses of the world, from materials… raw materials to be processed. To translate and re-write, not our existence in the world, but the world within, like beings living amongst other living beings. With a certain helplessness, the individual, in the attempt to translate, is fragmented and exposed, for what he or she contains is not linear; instead these are oxygen-stories, without a true linear narrative, without details, without codes and without a logical turn of events. It is a question of searching, therefore, in this corporal contact, for every detail, every possibility inherent in this body that we push to the limit until it reveals a fault, one we can curl up in, where the body divests itself of its boundaries and exasperation. The detail becomes a pretext to explore and to sublimate, while the action transfigures the banality of the gesture in this absurd universe that questions the very finality of the act – its gratuitousness, its grandeur, its perversion and its subversion.

The individual is moved by a nomadic consciousness, not knowing where the adventure begins or ends. Several related solitary battles escalate; again in a physical contact, in an unleashing of opposites, in flights and stamping, coupled sporadically, with run-ups, releases and signals; the horizon, meanwhile, is a vertiginous complexity – and always, the helplessness remains in the act of translating.
This is true helplessness. The great difficulty of translating in the primary sense of the word lies in deciphering so as to understand oneself and with another out of love to share, out of love. Love of man, who is a magnificent being, at times unpredictable, though exhausting mostly to himself, hence the desire to make all of this visible – not by cancelling existing forms but by transforming, transfiguring and transposing them.

Bodies transpierced by the world come apart, appear, disappear, and give themselves up. They withdraw, transform themselves and become deformed; they find, lose and abandon themselves; they stiffen, fill up and empty themselves; they descend, climb, deploy themselves, burst forth, shine, grow pale, fall again and rise up.

We are always juggling the minuscule and the grandiose, fear and habit, sometimes showing the extreme to deal with normality and searching for the essence, with intuition as our guide.

To translate by playing with languages, by searching for an organic rhythm and by attempting to bring down the borders within the self in a bid to explore the universe occupied by the ‘between’. All this without ever setting the meaning and remaining open to each imaginary world, however fleeting and as fragile as can be.

Passionately and with detachment, by stepping back, filled with doubt, always questioning, with increasing forcefulness, the fact of being on stage.

How does one translate the unique revelations of each instant, of art or of persons upon whom we have stumbled? How do we perform this on stage using a body that is already a stage itself? How do we translate this physical relationship, this physical intimacy with the world, with others, with words and with gestures, which, by way of translation, give rise to other ideas?”

Karine Ponties