The body of a bogeyman is composed of many kinds of alarming characters (such as soldiers), all with the purpose of frightening children. His role is often to warn us of dangerous moments or places. He is an entanglement of arms and legs, as if pushed by a strong wind. He is stretched to extremes.
He comes and goes with strange gestures, sudden obliterations and expansions, giving the impression of some kind of otherworldly being that would be weakened by the approach of a human face.
He takes as his duty to be a righter of wrongs, not to languish on his stake. He was born that way, in a fit of anger and in a time rage.
“(…) a completely different suspension is delivered by the remarkable dancer, Claudio Stellato. In the solo Fidèle à l’éclair, choreographed by the Belgian Karine Ponties, he manages to assume the form of a scarecrow. Constrained by his (wooden) stake, Stellato is a tangle of arms and legs. As if pushed by a strong wind he exaggeratedly stretches out, then frees himself and gambles in the garden, falling over and getting up again. The blood rushes to his head: his cheeks swell and he seems about to explode. Everything is beautifully phrased; the solo is a performance. It is not certain whether he is chasing away the birds, which in actual fact should perch upon him. This is the first in a series of pieces (more to follow) created around the theme of the scarecrow: ancestral, disturbing and poetic.” Marie-Christine VERNAY, Libération, 20 June 2008
A poet of ancient times who still reigns from the corner of the field, it is difficult to describe the scarecrow: an impostor, a bogeyman, an ogre, a phantom, a protester, a crucifix, a no-through sign, a tower, an hourglass…
For me, a scarecrow is both a touching and contradictory figure, a lonely soldier of terror who has never scared anyone. He belongs to the imagination. This vertical being is man’s double, a self-portrait that does not speak its name, a no-through sign, and a protester who opens his arms to us when he is not hanged, crucified or bound.
This is a being of abandonment, in abandonment.
Giving life to a scarecrow is to become alive again, to revive, reconstruct, and to relearn. Trying to reach that place where the dual movement of vertical falling and elevation is produced, a contradiction vital to a living being.
The difficult birth of a body and a word that are linked and which begin over and over again, in perpetuity.
Fidèle à l’éclair is part of the Scarecrow Cycle, as well as “havran” and “babil”. The three figures reunite at last in the work “Humus vertebra”, the absurd encounter of the three.
A fourth solo, “Benedetto Pacifico”, joins the Cycle in September 2011.