With the end of sacred rites and religion, sacrifice is now diffusing through Western society like a tumor. Permanent sacrifice of the self on the altar of narcissism (“Naked, I am free”), and sacrifice of the ‘other’ to whom singularity is denied, by conformity, mediocrity and/or rotten joy – a Schadenfreude – on the globalized stage of the contemporary theatre of cruelty.
Beginning from this point, the operation in which Arno Bouchard engages consists in resetting a ritual by starting from its most original and cutting-edge possibility: a sacrificial rite, with the intention of returning to the centre the danger inherent in all reciprocity, thus creating by his performances the appearance of a ghost of love. I say “ghost of love” firstly because we stay within the order of representation, but also because to achieve this surging, the risk – whether physical or mental – becomes literally omnipresent, suffocating, as if the specter of suffering haunted the entire experience of these two performances conceived in Japan between 2017 and 2020, whether they were set in still images, as for one, or animated, for the second.
Arno Bouchard studied literature and cinema. He is a multidisciplinary artist – film, photography, sculpture, performance – who lives and works in Paris. Words remain the main material he works with before choosing the medium likely to express his ideas.