«Orlando» is an opera, an immersive experience combining conscious movement, video installation, architecture and live music performance, based on Virginia Woolf’s epic novel about an androgynous figure. For this artwork, Julie Beauvais choreographs expansive slow movements with seven precursors. These «Orlandos» of today embody the post-binary new paradigm in Berlin, Kinshasa, Marfa, London, Varanasi, Belo Horizonte, Lisboa, Chandolin and, after this residency, Patagonia. Horace Lundd films this ample, essential gesture at the blue hour, in a vast outdoors setting. The architects of EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) design a set allowing the videos to be projected simultaneously, side by side, connecting the seven horizon lines into one. The audio score was created by Christophe Fellay and can be interpreted by any musician across the world.
The artistic residency in Patagonia happened between March and April 2019, and was a collaboration between the Swiss Julie Beauvais (Artistic Director), Horace Lundd (Director of Photography), Natalia Chami (guest artist from Argentina) and the population of Peninsula Valdès, in Patagonia, Argentina. The main goal of the trip was to scout for locations, chasing vast horizons, powerful winds and «Orlandos», in order to prepare future filming sessions with local protagonists, who will later be added to the existing performance. Those elements were found mainly in Peninsula Valdes. Additionally, the expansive movement of Natalia Chami and Valentina Bordenave could already be filmed during this first residency.
During the trip process, the artists were invited to give a workshop at «Escuela Secundaria Patagonia Rebelde», the only high school in Puerto Piramides, a small village at the end of Peninsula Valdes. The encounter was composed by conversations about the tools available to us, as individual and as artists, when political, social and economic crisis are happening, the development and creative process for Orlando, and the wind – the main protagonist in this part of the project’s research. By the end, a body conscious collective dynamic shared a glimpse of the quality of movement that the project works with, while being filmed.
Julie Beauvais is a Swiss artist whose body of work ranges from opera, theatre and choreographic works, to architectural interventions, video works and performative installations. Her art is driven by her interests in embodied experience, conscience and elevation and has been performed and exhibited internationally since 2001.
Horace Lundd is a French artist dedicated to postmedia, video, performance, scenography and to the fabrication of a subtle dialogue with numerous current artists. His works are founded on staging the social construction of gender and investing in either neutralization strategies or the over-visibility of nature. This, in order to eliminate the assignment of binary identities inherited from cognitive frameworks distinctively linked to masculine domination.
Natalia Chami is an Argentinian artist who has been working professionally as a theatre performer, director and producer for a decade. She is the co-founder of lindalinda Theatre Company and has a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Education, as well as a graduate certificate from the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) where she studied physical, devised theatre.