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KompleXKapharnaüM Figures Libres –  creation 2012

Main contact

PR contact

Maud Robert KompleXKapharnaüM

Anne Lacombe Zinc production

+33 (0)4 72 37 94 78 / +33 (0)6 64 38 50 12 9 rue Francia - 69100 Villeurbanne FRANCE

+33 (0) 1 49 29 00 08 / +33 (0)6 07 04 15 94 9 rue de la Pierre Levée - 75011 Paris FRANCE

Who remains standing ? First, erase your name, Unravel your years, Destroy your surroundings, Uproot what you seem, And who remains standing ? Then, rewrite your name, Restore your age, Rebuild your house, Pursue your path, And then, Endlessly, Start over, All over again. Andrée Chédid

index Presentation p.4 The matter of identity at the heart of the project p.5 Work on the portrait p.5 An original visual and musical show p.6 A mobile broadcasting apparatus p.6 A show tailored for the town p.6 Creative process p.7 Presentation KompleXKapharnaüM p.10 Partners p.10 Cast p.11 2013 and 2012 tour dates p.11

Figures Libres Création 2012



Figures Libres  Figures Libres starts off with these words : who are we, who are you, who am I ? An eternal and existential wondering that doesn’t call for any answers but that will pursue every one of us, bringing us back to the complex notion of identity. How can we define ourselves ? What makes us who we are? With a succession of overlapping scenes throughout a fragmented procession Figures Libres approaches the notion of identity in its polysemous dimension.

On the buildings, faces appear, all different, each one a testimony of a singular story. Generations of men and women meet on the town’s walls.

Without a word being said, through their looks and expressions only, they are talking to us, their humanity addressing ours. Figures Libres invites us to look at the “other”, to consider its singularity and accept its differences.

In a spectacular procession, scenes follow each other, each one accompanied by its own original soundscape on which words are dropped. The words, coming either from poetry, sociology or philosophy, become songs asking us what it is that brings us together or apart.

Figures Libres Création 2012



The matter of identity   at the heart of the project    Work on the portrait  We are constantly asked to define ourselves and choose what category we belong to : last name, first name, nationality, date of birth, marital status, profession. But also, gender, religion, tastes, etc. Dozens of intersecting diagrams and charts would reveal our profile. Our identity would then become the combination of statistical data.

The first cry tears the space and announces the birth of a new being. Its features will evolve as time goes on, but for now they can only be guessed. Four generations of women from the same family are facing us, alike and yet so different. The portrait of an old man lost in his memories, with the film of his life flashing before his eyes. A young girl is getting ready to go out, checking herself one last time in the mirror before going out to meet the world. Figures Libres embraces the shape of life, the evolution of people from one generation to the next. Faces are offered to us in their full beauty and truth. They are the witnesses of a story, of a unique path. They subtly reveal an array of feelings and emotions. The face is what makes us identifiable amongst other people; it is the representation of our personality. Projected on the city’s walls, those portraits are presented to us as a face-to-face. They are observing us as much as we observe them. Immobile but never static they are calling us, silently talking to us. Several mechanisms such as empathy, recognition or identification, are triggered as we are confronted to the “other”; they allow us to better accept and respect the other person in its uniqueness.

But how can we quantify or measure the weight of our story, our education or our environment ? And what about our amazing capacity at reinventing ourselves every day ? According to sociologist Vincent de Gaujelac, identity is a complex and incredibly psychosociological notion. It is a synonym of permanence through time while people keep evolving, trying to master their destiny.

These interactions are reinforced by the projection of images of the audience itself. In several parts of the show, their faces are captured and broadcast simultaneously, subtly mixed to the other portraits collected in advance. The audience can also interact with the actual content of Figures Libres by sending text messages broadcast live. The audience member becomes subject and actor of the show.

Figures Libres focuses on the idea of identity and the way it changes over time and through the people we meet. Identity questions our deepest desire, our concern on how to appear and how to be, and the importance of the context in which we evolve. Indefinable and constantly changing, identity is what makes us unique and irreplaceable beings.

Figures Libres Création 2012



The images are broadcast by video-projectionists equipped with portable devices. Autonomous and mobile they use the urban landscape, invite themselves to people’s windows, balconies, terraces, stand on the bus’ rooftop or on the satellite vehicle to project high up. The projectionists of these wandering images contribute to a choreography of moving images.

  An original   visual and musical show  Over 300 people took part in the video shoots since the project started in autumn 2009. They accepted to play the game and to let go for a moment. A shooting protocol was being followed according to the scenes in order to create a collection of portraits. The faces, eyes or silhouettes that have been captured all tell a story in their own way, together forming a unique mosaic. These images were at the heart of the writing process and throughout the show are mixed with the archives and live images.

The sound, lighting and video are operated remotely via a Wi-Fi network specially designed for Figures Libres. It also enables the transfer and retransmission of live captured images.

  A show   tailored for the town 

The soundtrack has been developed alongside and in interaction with the audiovisual material. It is performed live by four musicians stationed on top of the vehicles. The “electro-pop/trip hop” music mixes classical instruments (guitar, clarinet, ukulele), keyboards, sampling, DJ-ing, singing and spoken words.

Figures Libres has been written for large audiences and made for the town, transforming its public spaces for an evening. There you will (re)discover the streets through deep colours and through the façades, turned into a theatre of majestic and ephemeral projections.

The texts used in the show come from different sources : some are original writings, some are poetry extracts, and some are philosophical or sociological texts on identity. Sometimes spoken, sometimes sung, the words echo and mix with the soundtrack; spoken in foreign language depending on the performing context.

The lighting on board the vehicles along with the colour gels placed on the street lights contribute to creating a singular atmosphere, transforming the urban environment and inviting the audience to look at their town in another light. The coloured lights and the projection of video images mix and complement each other creating a monumental global image.

  A mobile   broadcasting apparatus 

The structure of the show is adapted to each and every town it is performed in through the choice of the itinerary, the architecture and the projection surfaces encountered. During an hour and a half the audience strolls through a section of the town transformed by the performance of Figures Libres. The public is guided on its journey through the town by directions communicated via the projected images or sound. In line with the succession of scenes, the audience is at times split into several groups meeting each other again later.

The scenography takes over boulevards and squares ; it encompasses a bus and two satellite vehicles on which perform an actress, musicians, projectionists and technicians. Using our experience in the mobility of image and sound acquired through our previous shows (SquarE télévision locale de rue, Mémento), we have developed a monumental mobile broadcasting apparatus that combines live : sound, image projections and architectural lighting.

Figures Libres Création 2012



november 2009 with l’Allan first video shoots in Montbéliard and Villeurbanne december 2009 with l’Abattoir first trials with the convoy and presentation to an audience in Chalon-sur-Saône december 2009 at Citée Rêvée public performance for New Year’s Eve in Montbéliard juin 2010 at La Strada video shoots in situ in Graz, Austria

 Creative process 

july 2010 at Villeurbanne (re)creation of images and sound

The creative process of Figures Libres has been thought out in several stages. Dedicated projects, sorts of in situ creations, were used to feed into the script of the show and were a way to try out and directly experience the scenographic choices.

july 2010 at La Strada performance dedicated to Graz, Austria june 2011 at les Invites de Villeurbanne implementation of the technical devices as part of a meeting with High Tone (Fool) november 2011 with Art’R video shoots in Paris XXe and Bagnolet

Periods of R&D complemented the aforementioned ‘’dedicated’’ first stages and led to the production of new audio-visual and music material.

november 2011 with Le Hangar work on the mobility of the video-projectionists in Amiens december 2011 with l’Abattoir combination of the images and sound in Chalon-sur-Saône

The final stage of the development consisted of periods of making, rehearsals and end of residencies performances.

january 2012 with le Parapluie first audience participation trials in Aurillac february 2012 with les Ateliers Frappaz work on adapting the projectionists into the town environment in Villeurbanne

In 2013 the show was reworked; new scenes, images and original music were added, further developing the original version.

mars 2012 with Lieux Publics presentation of the bus and satellite vehicles convoy in Marseille april 2012 with l’Atelier 231 1st dress rehearsal in Sotteville-lès-Rouen april 2012 with l’Usine finalisation of the project in Tournefeuille and Toulouse april 2013 with the Paperie reworking of several scenes, work on the images captured live

Figures Libres Création 2012



Description   of the operation 

KompleXKapharnaüM  A team of visual artists, video directors, writers and musicians, KompleXKapharnaüM is based in Villeurbanne, in the neighbourhood of La Soie. Since 1995, the company has been offering urban performances created and implemented for and in the streets, the walls, the squares… The city is their framework. KompleXKapharnaüM explores its stratums to extract and recreate the city’s grain, its asperities when touching, like snippets of humanity. They are words collected throughout encounters, video shots, sounds, interviews, recorded or filmed portraits, archives, traces or memories… This documentary material is put together and presented during spectacular performances (processional or in situ) wherein are mixed live : sounds, videos, graffiti, collage and bricolage. Sensible interpretation of the city, between fiction and documentary, the KompleXKapharnaüM creative process involves the appropriation of the public realm where humanity reclaims its rightful place. From its beginning, when the company was accumulating draft works in their experimental workshop (1995-1999) until today, the team has been marked by its emblematic performance : SquarE, télévision locale de rue, created in 2000. Appropriating the public space, SquarE is a processional show that projects, on buildings fronts, monumental videos that were filmed and edited in the heart of the city. In five years, SquarE will have been performed in twenty-five cities across France and Europe.

As well as performing their set shows KompleXKapharnaüM is regularly called up for site specific installations or performances. These projects are created to purposely fit the context they will be performed in. For instance, in 2012, the Festival d’Avignon commissioned the company to create a unique homage to Jean Vilar. Called Place Public, it was performed on the 14th July, on the Palais de Papes square. Since 2002, KompleXKapharnaüMis has also been developing EnCourS, a scheme of artist residencies and artist interventions in the neighbourhood of La Soie, spanning the towns of Villeurbanne and Vaulx-en-Velin.

 Partners  Residencies and coprodutions : Art’R, Paris-Bagnolet | l’Abattoir – national centre for street arts, Chalon-sur-Saône City Council | l’Atelier 23 – national centre for street arts-Sotteville-lèsRouen | the Ateliers Frappaz-metropolitan centre of urban arts, Villeurbanne |  Festival Furies, Châlonsen-Champagne | le Hangar – street arts factory, Amiens |  Lieux Publics – national centre for the creation, Marseille | Nicéphore Cité, Chalon-sur-Saône |  le Parapluie – international centre for the creation, Aurillac |  les Tombées de la Nuit, Rennes | l’Usine – venue dedicated to street arts, Tournefeuille, Grand Toulouse | La Paperie, national centre for street arts, Angers

This journey carried on on the net with the project SquarE Net, and in the public space with L’Arbre à Palabres.

Project Funding : Rhône-Alpes Region – SCAN funds, Spedidam

With the support of : Fa Musique, Le Bras Communication – Marseille

With the complicity of :

In 2006, KompleXKapharnaüM created PlayRec, a show that explores the social memory of a town by taking over a symbolic site of its history. Performed live by video directors, musicians, readers, painters and acrobats, this creation is a multimedia bigbang implemented in situ.

Nicéphore Niépce Museum, Chalon-sur-Saône

Work on initial stages at : L’Abattoir, national centre for the street arts, Chalon-sur-Saône City Council and l’Allan, scène nationale, Montbéliard in 2009, la Strada, Graz (Austria) in 2010, the Ateliers Frappaz, metropolitan centre for urban arts, Villeurbanne in 2011

In 2009 the company launched a new creation : Mémento, about the resistances of yesterday and today. Commandos go through a neighbourhood and commit bomb attacks; they fabricate frescos with graffiti, collages and projected images, in a sound environment created live.

KompleXKapharnaüM, is a regularly funded company and is supported by : Ministry of Culture and Communication – Drac Rhône-Alpes, Rhône-Alpes Region and Villeurbanne City Council

At the end of 2009, the company took on a new large scale processional project, going through a city and transforming it : Figures Libres is created in 2012.

Figures Libres Création 2012

Funding for production residencies : Ministry of Culture and Communication – DGCA



Touring dates 2013  24 & 25 may

   The team 

Brighton Festival, United Kingdom

Artistic Direction for the company

5 & 6 july

Stéphane Bonnard and Pierre Duforeau

Les Tombées de la Nuit, Rennes – France

Artistic Direction and script for Figures Libres Pierre Duforeau assisted by Doriane Roche

23 august

Script co-writer

Culture Nova Summer festival, Heerlen – Netherlands

Stéphane Bonnard


20 & 21 september

Marc-Antoine Granier, Mathieu Monnot, François Payrastre, Lorette Zitouni

Lieux Publics – Métamorphoses, Marseille – France Marseille-Provence 2013

Video Marcelo Valente, Nicolas Thiry


   Touring dates 2012 

Géraldine Berger, Elphège Berthelot, David Bourbon, Sylvain Dumaine, Marc-Antoine Granier, Thomas Hakenholz, Jorge Lorca, Mathieu Monnot, François Payrastre, Marion Piqué, Violeta Todo Gonzales, Marcelo Valente, Lorette Zitouni

5 may 2012 French preview in Toulouse, presented by L’Usine – venue dedicated to street arts – Tournefeuille –  Grand Toulouse, in partnership with the Garonne theatre and ARTO

Production Management Katia Mozet

Technical Conception

26 & 27 may 2012

Gilles Gallet

international preview at the European festival of street theatre in Detmold – Germany


9 june 2012

Balyam Ballabéni, Isabelle Cagnard, Xavier Ferreira, Richard Fontaine, Sébastien Guichard, Brice Marin, Pierre Hoezelle, Jonathan Moncada, Nicolas Thiry

première at the Furies festival in Châlons-en-Champagne

Video control

30 june 2012

Thomas Bohl, Jérémie Forge

Viva Cité-street arts festival in Sotteville-lès-Rouen


18 & 19 july 2012

Maud Lantelme-Faisan – Il était une fois les créateurs

Chalon dans la Rue festival – Chalon-sur-Saône


23 & 24 august 2012

Maud Robert, Mélaine Lefront

Aurillac international festival for street theatre


22 september 2012

Julie Kalt, Mathilde LeCain et Géraldine Winckler

as part of Art’R – touring art factory – Paris, Bagnolet 

Photographer Vincent Muteau

To find out more about the other projects of the company, go to :

Figures Libres Création 2012



Figures Libres Création 2012



Figures libres presentation pack 2013  
Figures libres presentation pack 2013