Part of the project Attraction
Johann Le Guillerm has remarked: “I don’t make new shows, I continue them…” Secret, the vision of a life, reflects this process, fusing continuity, transformation and movement.
Johann Le Guillerm, acrobat, juggler, creator and manipulator of objects, is one of the most unusual figures on the contemporary circus scene. Drawing on the arts and sciences, he doggedly pursues his search for a 360° view of the world. Alone in the ring or in his “laboratory”, he explores and materialises his observations in strange machines, testimony to or expressions of the relationship between man and matter.
Two years after creating the company Cirque ici and when he was only 27 years old, Le Guillerm won the 1996 National Grand Prize for Circus, an award that crowned his career in the arts up till then. In 2001 he undertook a huge multifaceted project, Attraction, which is first and foremost the manifesto of a creator who makes invisible knowledge visible. This “mental circus” signals a utopia, with an all-encompassing eye that scrutinises everything around us, while our modern gaze has for decades been happy to take in only what’s right in front of us. A 360°vision, as imposed by the ring, the circus.
The universe is his playground; the ring the laboratory where he experiments with new laws to create some order in the tumult of the world and to shake up the supposed evidence.
Here, Le Guillerm is at one with matter, he tames atmospheric turbulences, he provokes unstable balances and plays with the elements. He is Don Quixote when he rides strange machines, part-spider, part-snail, and launches an attack on unfathomable challenges.
He is then Sisyphus, obstinately building giant mikados that he destroys without any qualms the moment their stability ensured.
There is also a bit of mystery in this show, a bit of of poetry, a bit of intuition, a bit of experience. Some fury, too. A secret that (re)creates itself year after year to draw a map of a placeless planet with sensitive perspectives and infinite utopias. A new landscape appears, show after show, familiar but imperceptibly reconfigured with each production.