Vanitas - Pierre Jodlowski International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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The piece evokes the relationship of artists to nature in our contemporary period. Could nature still be a source of inspiration today, as it was, for example, for artists of the Romantic era? I have chosen to treat this subject from the angle of Utopia / Dystopia; as if to let hope arise from our relationship to nature even though, in the Anthropocene, man has undertook a kind of systematic destruction of it. 

On the stage: two pianos, two drums and two tables. In the background, a video screen, on which two tables are projected (the same as those in the foreground). The performers control this video using principles based on the correlation between physical gestures and visual phenomena. In the video, objects are falling on these tables and are later taken away from them. We will thus see a succession of pots of flowers, real or plastic, living or artificial animals, organic matter, waste, insects, plants, pebbles, artificial materials... A game is thus established between nature that continues to express its power through the organicity that characterises it and its modern “avatars,” toys and plastic objects. Visual and gestural choreography will be born between the stage and the video, structuring the discourse in the form of a constant question about our use of natural resources, their beauty and their power, which are contradicted by the disasters generated by the consumer society. 

Vanitas was commissioned by the Berlin Percussions-Piano Ensemble. 

Pierre Jodlowski