Work from the Collection

And You Were Wonderful, On Stage

Date: 2013-2015
Medium: Video
Collection: Lafayette anticipations - Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin
Domain: Installation vidéo
The video installation And You Were Wonderful, On Stage is the culmination of the performance of the same name presented at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Performa 13 in New York in 2013, and at the Tate Modern in 2014. The live performance was inspired by situations where the performers’ bodies had been dehumanised. Beyoncé lip-synching at President Obama’s inauguration for fear of failing, Justin Bieber’s manager presenting tricks for maximising the young singer’s results, or cyclist Lance Armstrong’s largely staged confession on Oprah Winfrey’s programme to win the public over are some of the examples used by the artist. In each situation, the focus was on “technicity”, in the words of the philosopher Bernard Stiegler. Conversely, sung a cappella by a choir of young girls, Cally Spooner’s performance re-inscribed human fragility and the possibility of the flaw at the centre of the artist’s project.

As part of the Lafayette Anticipations programme, And You Were Wonderful, On Stage benefited from a working residency in December 2013 within the fondation's rue du Plâtre building to develop the piece’s choreographic elements.

The video installation shows the final performance filmed on a professional film set. Shot simultaneously by six cameras, the video is recomposed and broken up across the space on five screens that surround the visitor. Catchy songs based on advertising agency speak are interspersed over the 46 minutes of the piece. Cameras continuously move through this collective workspace, while the mistakes and hesitations of the singers and dancers, as well as the typically off-screen work of the technical team, are on show, and even central to the piece. The filmic apparatus is laid bare and the “ecology” of filmmaking is embraced in its entirety.


Cally Spooner - And You Were Wonderful, On Stage
Tate Britain, Londres (Royaume-Uni)
from 16 Jan to 24 Apr 2016