Q&A with La Ma­chine’s Frédette Lampé

Where Ottawa - - HERE & NOW -

How will Ot­tawans be­come the pub­lic to a theatre with­out en­ter­ing a play­house?

It will be told to every­one and any­one, what­ever the age or cul­ture. The free piece will play out in places that peo­ple cross on the daily, where they work and shop reg­u­larly. They be­come view­ers with­out it be­ing planned. We are putting the city in mo­tion.

What are the crea­tures made of?

We use two prin­ci­pal ma­te­ri­als: steel, which is es­sen­tially the skele­ton, and wood, which is the skin. Ev­ery wooden piece is sculpted in our ware­house. We also use cop­per, leather, horse­hair, and some­times rub­ber and some pneu­matic ma­chines, but never any plas­tic.

How do so many op­er­a­tors from La Ma­chine make these beasts seem alive?

There is a di­rec­tor on the ground that acts like an or­ches­tra con­duc­tor and ev­ery op­er­a­tor is linked by walkie-talkie. Ev­ery driver has one role, one func­tion, and all to­gether (they) make the ma­chines emo­tive as well as mo­bile. The link be­tween the op­er­a­tors and the ma­chines is not dis­sim­i­lar to that of a mar­i­on­net­tiste to its mar­i­onette, but we call them ar­chi­tec­ture in move­ment.

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