Philippe Blanchard

Research Space: Artificial Facts | 12-16 July 2021

*This workshop takes place at Middlesex University*

Philippe Blanchard leads an in-depth five-day lab that combines somatic practices with questions related to spectatorship. Using technology of camera and projector as mediating tools this research raises questions on the subject of the view that one poses on others, and subtly questions us on the right and obligations to act and to react.
The work will involve practical, experiential combination of embodied moving, connecting to skeletal structures and bodily systems; playful seeing and witnessing; and using the technology as a tool to question somatic meaning-making.

“I consider this approach as a research laboratory around a practice, where our questions are summarised in the role of the viewer and the democracy between the viewer and the performer. What are the responsibilities of each? Does the artist have much more power than his audience? Can we accept as a viewer to be a witness, a voyeur, an observer attending an anticipated event or occasionally accept to play a role that is more debatable and controversial? What role does an artist offer to an audience?”

The workshop is part of Kinesthesia, in partnership with Middlesex University.


French-born Philippe Blanchard has created both independent and commissioned performances at the forefront of Swedish contemporary dance and the European dance companies for nearly twenty years. His works developing into installation-like studies with skilled performers and untrained performers. Suggesting rather than telling, Blanchard's finely layered pieces address the creative potential of each viewer by making room for interpretation, uncertainty and wonder while consistently providing subtle details to rely on. He is in a continual process of investigation where every project is bound to its own rules but yet describes his work as one whole piece. After creating works such as "Airbag", "Noodles", "Quiproquo", "One's company is a crowd” , "How about you?” which toured in more than 14 countries, Philippe decided to relocate himself in UK, where he created two works "This is that" in 2013 and " There are no such thing such as silly things” in 2015. His research in recent years have been focused on the question of the community of performing art in capitalism and how it may evolve in the future. Philippe is often invited to speak and teach his practice in universities, conservatories but also see his responsibility as a social/activist to work with untrained community and groups defending ideas on alternative education and ecology.