Known for her distinguished aesthetic sense, and working within several artistic genres, the renowned young director Gisèle Vienne's newest creation "This is how you will disappear" is an international co-production featuring both Western and Japanese artists. A crossover of theatre, literature, music, dance, video and plastic arts, "This is how you will disappear" features Shiro Takatani from Dumb Type, internationally renowned "fog artist" Fujiko Nakaya, American underground writer Dennis Cooper, and musicians Stephen O'Malley and Peter Rehberg. Gisèle Vienne was a resident artist at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto over a period of five months in 2007, and at the Steep Slope Studio in Yokohama for ten days in 2009. World premièring at the Avignon Festival in July, the Tokyo première of "This is how you will disappear" at festival/Tokyo is Gisèle Vienne's first appearance in Japan.
Set in a very naturalistic forest, the story of "This is how you will disappear" evolves according to the meeting of three archetypes embodying opposite aesthetic ideals.
A young athlete stands for beauty linked to perfection, or the Nietzschean "Apollonian beauty", a young male rock star that brings up memories of Kurt Cobain stand for beauty linked to ruin, or the "Dionysian beauty". These contradictory yet inseparable notions of beauty are a result of contemporary culture. The third archetype is the trainer, representing authority and orderliness. Motivated by self-control and willpower, the athlete is constantly working to improve her skills. Guided by the trainer, we witness the two of them exercise in the forest. Striving for perfection while painfully aware of their own imperfection, we get glimpses of their deep inner conflicts. When a young suicidal rock star in search of exile strays into the forest, primitive urges are unleashed within the trainer. Aroused by the masochistic words of the rock star, his long-repressed desires are triggered, resulting in a fatal outcome. Sharing the quest of a spiritual experience, although on different levels, the meeting of the three characters veers into savagery, which in turn is reflected by the forest. Mirroring the character's inner moods, the initially pleasant and safe forest turns into a frightening and dangerous place. What seems to be a realistic forest emerges throughout the performance to be a mental landscape reflecting the trainer's psyche. The changes of the forest further make the other characters appear as ghosts, haunting him and playing their roles as archetypes. This way of depicting a change in nature according to the changing psychology of the humans is exactly in line with the Romantic tradition of painting.
"This is how you will disappear" is also especially worth noticing because of its unique collaboration of artists from different fields. Gisèle Vienne is widely known for putting her own her life-size dolls together with real actors on stage. Frequently treating themes such as popular culture and the darker sides of man, Gisèle Vienne has been collaborating with writer Dennis Cooper since 2004. Known for his unique and explicit writing style dealing with subjects like sexual fantasy, existentialism, death, troubled teenagers and drug abuse, Cooper has reached cult status with a notable amount of publication and awards. The video and light installations of Shiro Takatani and Patrick Riou respectively, together with Fujiko Nakaya's fog sculpture fully exploits the depiction of nature onstage, as well as the transformation that the forest goes through. The music of Stephen O'Malley and Peter Rehberg, known for experimenting in the genres of drone-metal (post-metal) and electronica, reflects the various inner harmonies and conflicts of the characters where words fall short. Stephen O'Malley collaborated for this piece with, amongst others, several well-known underground musicians from Tokyo on the score, recording much material in Tokyo. Atsuo (from the rock band Boris), Michio Kurahara (from the bands Ghost, White Heaven, Boris and The Stars), Masami Akita (also known as Merzbow), Noriko Tujiko and indeed also Jim O'Rourke. These collaborations give the music a defined flavor very generous in the personality of the musicians involved and create rich and complex results. Gathering international pioneering artists from various fields, "This is how you will disappear" is a must-see!