Cooke-Sasseville and “Good retirement, Jocelyne”: the scenography of the cave

Cooke-Sasseville et «Bonne retraite, Jocelyne»: la scénographie de la caverne

The room “Good luck in your retirement, Jocelyne”, which will open in the year 2019 at the Trident, marks the first adventure stage of the duo of visual artists in the Cooke-Sasseville. Those who had already collaborated with Fabien Cloutier for the galilee “Where you go when you sleep walking…?” in 2011 agreed to enter with both feet into her world of theatre.

“The challenges of the job function we are interested in. We make sculptures, but also installations, environments that encompass the audience. Have the actors in there, it pleased us”, explains Jean-François Cooke. “Even if it came with tracks, Fabien left us a carte blanche. It leaves a lot of room to the designers. It was quickly understood that it was imperative that our work will serve the piece, that it accentuates the power of the text”, adds Pierre Sasseville.

Used to be created, and designer of his own projects, both for exhibitions and for works of public art, such as The meeting, at the Place Jean-Béliveau, the duo had to find his place in a new dynamic of creation. Their proposal exploded creates a contrast with the text, the costumes and the game, hyper-realistic, Good retirement, Jocelyne, where the viewer is present at a meeting of the family who are degenerates.

“By working with Cooke-Sasseville, I want to blow up the place, the scenography takes off, stated Fabien Cloutier in the Sun last April. Me, I don’t need walls in the theatre. If, in a reading, we already feel the kitchen and the living room, we don’t need to see him on stage. We wondered how we could expose this family. Sometimes, we go into a museum and there is only one object in the center of a large empty room. There is a bit like that : to give the impression that there is this family-as if she were a work of art.”

However, the duo of visual arts of Quebec has the lovely habit of never go where one expects it. Rather than a space clean, they have designed a decor that is located somewhere between the universe of the Flintstones and the laboratory of the human species. “We wanted to work with the cave, the aspect prehistoric, but developed,” says Sasseville. “The characters are in survival mode, they are shipwrecked,” notes Cooke. However, even in this context, some fare better than others. “We can envy the person who has this camp, continues the artist. She has beautiful rock flat stacked, more beautiful than the ones that the neighbor can afford.” This jungle fitted has led to the idea of creating a vivarium. “In a family, we are part of a clan that one has not chosen and when you want to from it strikes the nose to a glass. We are taken together”, illustrated by Cooke.

“By working with Cooke-Sasseville, I want to blow up the place, the scenography takes off ”


Fabien Cloutier, writer and director of “happy retirement, Jocelyne”

This track has inspired the lighting designer, Leticia Hamaoui, who used a light fluorescent, while the bickering family swells. The staging, Fabien Cloutier has also embraced the idea of the vivarium. The characters want to go, players had to leave the set, but they are still sitting in the decor, stuck, off, “a bit like avatars in a video game,” noted Sasseville. “We liked the idea of incorporating the part in a human story, far away, as if there were defects behavioral, hereditary, that the human species going on from generation to generation”.

As a small island or kitchen table, which serves as a focal point in many family meetings, Cooke-Sasseville has designed a fire, vapour, and infrared light. In this strange backyard, the palm trees and artificial plants alongside the skulls and piles of bones. “This is the cave of the predator. They are carnivores, cannibals, they cannibalisent,” notes Cooke.

This scenery is part of the practice of the duo of visual art because it elicits an initial reaction amused, surprised, or taken aback, but that it has various layers, symbolic, for who decides to spend time there. “These are the words said in the piece that reveal new meaning, which give it its dynamic side,” says Sasseville. In the family meeting imagined by Fabien Cloutier, the characters do not see their own stupidity and their own prejudices and isolate themselves in their beliefs. In the same way, underlines Cooke : “We wanted the actors don’t pay attention to the decor, skulls, fire, rocks. They are in a living room. It is we, the public, who are hallucinating, and omniscient.”

Good luck in your retirement, Jocelyne will be on display at the Trident from January 15 to February 9, 2019.

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