Futuristiquement partout


At the invitation of the Théâtre de Liège as part of the Pays de Danse festival and the Trinkhall Museum in Liège – a contemporary art museum with a collection of works mainly by artists with mental disabilities – Thomas Hauert created “Futuristiquement partout”, a small choreographic form that dialogues with a clay sculpture by the Belgian artist Serge Delaunay, which was part of the “Visages/Frontières” exhibition.

The intriguing sculpture evokes a seated male figure, characterised by his twisted posture, his oversized hands, feet and sex. Like the tension of a wound spring, the spiral of his twisted posture shows a dynamic, and creates a movement that extends outwards through the directions of his legs, arms, sex and eyes. The sculpture radiates over a 360° perimeter. Its presence is posed, simple, of a mysterious obviousness, it invites the gaze.

Serge Delaunay has created only a few sculptures. The majority of his work consists of drawings representing technological or scientific subjects: engines, cars, robots, futuristic buildings and, in particular, rockets, spaceships, telescopes, missions to Mars, planets and galaxies. Fascinated by astronomy and space travel, he followed the scientific and technological developments that inspired him through specialized magazines and radio broadcasts. He recognized the importance of the Hubble Space Telescope which appears in several of his drawings.

In the middle of the work process of “Futuristiquement partout”, Serge Delaunay passed away. As fate would have it, the date of his death, 23 December 2021, comes only two days before the launch of the new space telescope named James Webb by the European Space Agency. This major event for space research will suddenly open a window on the unheard-of depths of space and time.

In the performance “Futuristiquement partout” (a neologism coined by Serge Delaunay), Thomas Hauert literally puts himself in the skin of the clay character sculpted by the artist. The costume, infused in the same red clay, transforms the dancer into a human-sized replica of the sculpture’s body. A radio placed between the two figures broadcasts a report on the launch of the James Webb Telescope on 25 December 2021. The little clay man, now grown up, moves, accompanied or driven by the sounds of the rocket launch. While going nowhere, while remaining present, he quietly extracts himself from the earth, tangles with gravity and lets himself be drawn into the unknowns of the universe, following the path taken two days before by Serge Delaunay.

Concept, choreography, dance, costume Thomas Hauert
Sculptor Serge Delaunay (1956-2021)
Sound James Webb Space Telescope Launch — Official NASA Broadcast (extract)
Production ZOO/Thomas Hauert
Coproduction Théâtre de Liège, Trinkhall Museum
With the support of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles – Service de la danse
Thanks to Carl Havelange, Pierre Thijs, Bertrand Lahaut

21 January 2022