Some People Still Do Exist

On the white stage enclosed within a thin white curtain, there are a concert piano and three performers: two opera singers, Bianca Iannuzzi and Laurent Deleuil, accompanied on the piano by Denis Chouillet. In terms of iconography, this is a festive and pleasant surrounding (stage design and light design: Florian Leduc) in which some unpleasant and not at all festive things are uttered. And that is exactly how Suite functions: showing two sides of Europe - its outer purity and allure, and under the allure lurks what cannot be seen behind the white curtains.


Against Pierre-Yves Macé’s music, Iannuzzi and Deleuil reproduce “archive” recordings collected over the years by Lacoste and his collective Échelle 1:1, in the frame of the project Encyclopédie de la parole. The recordings are of different content; in almost regular intervals we listen to (horrifyingly right-wing) politicians’ statements, succeeded by some recordings from everyday life - YouTube vlogs, street recording, job interview tutorials, etc. In a truly masterly manner, the two singers reproduce the content in the languages in which they were originally uttered, demonstrating thus, among other things, the amazing musicality of all the languages.


Exactly by the fact that they originate from different languages and that they present different countries does Suite No. 3 mercilessly criticize the entire Europe: its consumerism, its dehumanization, police violence, hypocrisy, the rise of the right wing. And yet, it does it in a satirical way; the contrasting nature of the excerpts have an important comic effect. For example, when the official statement by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on how to behave in the event of a terrorist attack is contrasted to a YouTube consumer’s vlog in which a woman enumerates what she has bought, and about which of the things she is happy and about which not that much - humor inevitably ensues. Comedy is also brought by the music which, in a way, gives some estranged, in a way light tone.


The recordings are developed in an imaginative manner although the pace occasionally slows down and creates the feeling that certain parts are unnecessarily long. Still, one of the most striking parts is definitely “Job Interview Coaching Video”, in which the piano becomes one of the participants: the questions posed by Iannuzzi and Deleuil are answered by the piano played by Chouillet. By this ironic treatment of the large companies’ needs to mercilessly use and dehumanize, Lacoste gives an excellent comic commentary about large corporations and a small man’s place within them.

Ivona Janjić