Jean-Baptiste André, Intérieur Nuit

Review in Issue 17-2 | Summer 2005

Watching the first few minutes of this striking debut solo show reminded me just how complex a task it is to balance standing up. That JB André then spends most of his time standing up, unaided, on vertical walls or on his hands further heightened the sense of wonder at the body's possibilities. But Intérieur Nuit is not just a chance to show off a well-honed skill: it produces evocative images that connect us emotionally to a disorientated world where control seems to be beyond the characters that emerge.

The piece is a delicate skip, jump, slide and wriggle through a chain of images composed of slicing floor work and graceful balances, set against music and a projected live feed of the action. With his video double, André renders his extraordinary feats of balance ordinary and ordinary balances extraordinary. He re-orientates our perception of the stage space so that he seems to slide up walls and slowly tumble across multiple floors, and with this we come to feel as free from a single point of gravity as he does.

André has a delightful quality of play with the space, body and objects, exemplified in a final ‘quartet’, between his feet and hands-made-feet, that elicits a child-like naivety. Intérieur Nuit only momentarily loses focus in a frantic scene of the continual accretion of clothing. Despite this hiatus, André achieves a deft lightness of touch that sustains till the end.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-2
p. 26