Bagnolet Chamanique 4K is a posthumous tribute, where ritualized dance until exhaustion heals wounds, regenerates and reconnects with what surrounds us: time passing, friendship, our bodies, the memories and spirits of those who have left and of “those who remain” 1. This moment of ritual, a half-savage half-warrior ceremonial, has been developed in different shapes to serve as a cement for a community.
Simultaneously a performance, a video and a sculpture, Bagnolet Chamanique 4K was produced during an opera by the Wonder/Liebert in 2017, when the Wonder collective was based in Bagnolet. In this industrial and raw setting, the dancers or warriors, costumed and carrying fireworks, move slowly, like the animist smugglers to a more spiritual world. The film is in slow motion and the sound of the fireworks becomes a haunting whale song. The gloomy melancholy surrounding this work is soon broken by the glare of the fires and the apparent fury for life of these urban dancers, contemporary shamans, neighbors of the Parisian ring road.
Pierre Gaignard is co-founder of the Wonder collective which temporarily occupies and transforms vacant places into artists’ studios on the outskirts of Paris.