Try Me Under Water is a nocturnal journey punctuated by interventions — sometimes minimalist, sometimes spectacular — that reconfigure the landscape and the contemplative experience that the audience have of it. Before gathering around a big fire, the spectators spend a long time watching, in the middle of a body of water, a video projection, from 1 to 9 tracks, made by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier. In this film, which took him four years to make, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier frees himself from the rules — if there were any — of the film-essay which marked his previous opuses and plunges full feet into pure video art.
Extract of the program leaflet distributed to the audience.
The performance constantly overflows its supposed limits. It appears on the side, and it goes behind the spectators, and then we have to follow it down to the nearby lake where a screen waits for us in the water. It is impossible to distinguish, eventually, whether small events are or are not part of the show. The entire night started playing for us, with us.
Patrice Maniglier, “What Global Art Might Look Like”, Fabrique de l’art, n°3/4, 2017-2018, p. 101.
Jean-Frédéric Chevallier uses also a kind of “Landscape Theatre”, where we were taken through the field in utter darkness, with a small light showing the way. And then we went near a large water body, which wasn’t really a pond, and some of his theatre troupe members went into it. And in another place there are images of us, the spectators, taken during the performance, projected onto the trunk of a tree… In a third spot, there is this depression in the ground and a fire is lit…
Samantak Das, “Conversation After The Night”, Fabrique de l’art, n°3/4, 2017-2018, p. 96.
TRY ME UNDER WATER night wandering + video installation
directed b production Sukla Bar Chevallier coordination, sound design and video art Jean-Frédéric Chevallier produced by Sukla Bar Chevallier for Trimukhi Platform with the support of Chaire de recherche du Canada en Dramaturgie sonore from Université du Québec à Chicoutimi interventions on the landscape conceived and performed by Dhananjoy Hansda, Dhani Hansda, Dulal Hansda, Joba Hansda, Ramjit Hansda, Salkhan Hansda, Chintamani Hansda, Sukul Hansda, Surujmoni Hansda, Pini Soren, Bhudray Besra and Chandrai Murmu collaboration to the video Alejandro Orozco editing advisers Léo Jalais and Chittrovanu Mazumdar sound and video assistants Arnab Banerjee, Sunny Prosun Bor, Krishnandu Makhar, Himadri Mondal and Chandrai Murmu aditional music for the video Abraham Calvachi actresses on the video Surujmoni Hansda, Raima Mondal, Falguni Hansda, Shreya Mallick, Raima Mondal and Borsha Sharda
dry rehearsal of the night wandering on March 12, 2016 at Trimukhi Cultural Centre • première of the video installation on September 29, 2016 at La Pulperie de Chicoutimi during the international conference Les pratiques contemporaines de l’écriture textuelle pour la scène • Québec • Canada • première of the video installation together with the night wandering on January 28, 2017 during Night of Theatre n°9 • La Nuit des Idées at Trimukhi Cultural Centre • Borotalpada village • West Bengal • India
presentation on September 1, 2017 at Alliance Française du Bengale, Calcutta on the occasion of the Launch of Fabrique de l’art n°2 • presentations on February 5 and 6 2018 at Open Air Theatre (OAT) in Jadavpur University, Calcutta during Theatre Today with Ariane Mnouchkine and Trimukhi Platform
in the press