Human Voice.Translations*, 2015
site-specific performance /
mise-en-scene of the play «Human Voice» by Jean Cocteau,
Church Saint Eustache, Paris
courtesy of the artists
(Katya Ev & Hanna Zubkova)
ENG // FR
24 hours before the total solar eclipse
On a table in a church there is a laptop. It’s monitor is black. Katya is in the empty church.
Suddenly a Skype call occurs. Hanna is calling from abroad, she is by a seashore.
With unemotional, impersonal voices the women exchange utterances. This conversation might look like a real dialogue, but in fact Katya is reading reviews on the first mis-en-scene of the «Human voice» by Jean Cocteau at Comedie Française in 1930, while her interlocuter is reading news from different online media about the forthcoming total solar eclipse, while her interlocuteur
Katya is narrating a from the past in an empty stillness of the temple. Hanna is «predicting» the inevitable astronomic future in the setting of eternal natural vibes of sea movements.
«Yesterday the 16 of February 1830...»
«Tomorrow the 20 of March 2015...»
The two events, one from the past, another from the future - intersect through a gadget of virtual connection. One by one reciting text from media resources a meta- dialogue is constructed, comprising found media messages and forming at the same time discrete monologues.
12 hours before the total solar eclipse
The hall of the church. In the setting of a medieval temple, under a painting go the Last supper, a table stands. There are two laptops facing each other on it. Their screens are black. People start to come to the hall and approach the table.
One of the laptops starts to Skype ring. It rings for quite a while, until some- one from the audience decides to answer. A young woman Hanna in a pink dress, lying in a bed, appears on the screen. She is waiting for her friend to appear «in this place» to talk about her lover. The second laptop is Skype ringing. the «friend» appears on the screen, she is in a Parisien residence, while Hanna is in a hotel not far from the seashore.
The two women meet in the space of the church through a technology, which translates their physical distanced being into presence incorpo- rated in their voices.
Their conversation that could resemble at a usual one between two friends, is in fact a monologue of Hanna translated and transmitted to public by Ekaterina, who is translating Hanna’s narration from russian to french.
Hanna is telling about her lover, with whom she is traveling by the sea. Recently he left his wife, and she continues to call him and threatens to commit suicide. Hanna confides that it’s not the ex-wife who disturbs her, but the guilt that her lover feels. Hanna thinks he cannot be completely happy.
Without receiving any answer to what she was saying, as if she is talking to a phantom, Hanna is finishing her story. This story is a personal melodramatic narration of real life events. At the same time it is an interpretation of the play «Human voice» by Cocteau, on behalf of a new lover of the illusionary man from Cocteau play.
at the moment of the total solar eclipse
20 March 2015, 09:15, Total Solar Eclipse (Parisien time)
The next day, 12 hours late, in the same place in the hall of the church, there is a table with a laptop on it. It shows an online translation of the solar eclipse.
The transcendency and technology continue to co-exist. The solar eclipse is an apocalyptic phenomenon from the standpoint of religious imaginary, it is of a mysterious origin. At the same time it appears in the church as an astronomic fact, with no intended omen-like content.