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A strange performance

Maxime Fleuriot

Me and my stranger belongs to that particular kind of performances that is called « lecture performances». During one hour, Sarah Vanhee is bringing to the stage her various thoughts on the very topic of strangerness which she refers as something that fascinates her. The whole lecture tries to link the very political understanding of what is usually refered to when talking about a stranger (politically speaking) and the very presence of strangerness in a biological, organic perspective. In that perspective, Sarah Vanhee uses various materials : she shows extracts of films dealing with the issue (Vers Nancy by Claire Denis, Theoreme by Pasolini), refers to vegetal developments (the mutual interdepedency of the orchaida and its lungus), reads scientific contributions about the immune system or shows the results of a street random video inquiry with people being asked two questions : what is a stranger?

Did you feel stranger in your life ? She ends the performance by a soft speech which sounds like a love declaration, calling for the coming of a stranger and its power of transformation in her life. Of course, the whole performance is somehow schoolish and sounds too often like an exposé. The very simple, plain presence of Sarah Vanhee on stage makes one doubt that she is even performing anything. There seems to be no will to twist anything in her performance. On the contrary, she tries to stick all the more to her own self. To some extent, it can get a little bit boring. Yet one can feel some real concern and authenticity in this performance as well as, following the connections established by the performer. It gives the opportunity for the viewer to enlarge one own reflection.

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