Movement in the wild

This visual diary is the story of us, human beings endowed with feelings and dreams. A story that takes place here and there, idealised by a single body, braving the natural elements of this world.

Beyond being an artwork, movement in the wild is a statement gathering photography, video and dance. The piece aspires to show that anything is possible, anywhere, at anytime. Several characters are embodied throughout the journey, played by nature, the human soul and a camera.

Finland as our heart, and the earth as our home.

 

The project was born of a conversation about life in general between Mikko and I. It followed an epic photoshoot during which we discussed life goals and our common needs to strive. Somewhat, each shot taken by Mikko told a story, and he had caught my movements with such perfect timing that the picture looked alive.

I must add at that point that dance is not an art that can be documented by photography. It is in forever motion, therefore, does not live in a single moment portrayed by a picture, but it lives in the succession of millions of these moments, but that is when our ideas came to a climax: how to tell a live story out of every single shot. The fantasy we came up with while watching the shots as we were taking them, felt so palpable, that the project was born before we even were able to phrase it with words. A storm was on its way.

 

And as we were getting excited by these new ideas rushing towards us, while keeping our conversation on life alive, one idea emerged, perhaps in the eye of the storm: Finland had to be the place where all this mess was to happen.

Why? Because of two opinions making one, within two diferent heads making a whole. One finnish man, attached to his country, living the duality brought by the roughness of its climate, and who yet strives to leave only to come back Home. One foreigner, whose heart belongs to a frozen land, walking through peace and quiet despite his southern roots.

Also, I must say the attachment we both feel for Finland isn't the only reason we decided to go explore the whole territory (as this kind of project could happen anywhere else otherwise). At the time, we also felt like the extremes existing within the borders, were just the perfect scenary to our story: a place serving you hate and love on a silver plate drawn by the most amazing landscapes in the world, in which growing stronger and wiser is necessary, but where growing as a loving soul is the most important thing.

 

But before I continue, here are our precious préface, as well as the pictures who gave birth to it.

«I remember, when that soul was still young, and I used to pray to god every night. Not that I believed in god, but actually because I wanted something to believe in me. I remember too, facing hardships too big to handle while growing up, so I'd set up a race with myself, which of course, resulted in my own disapointments.

 

I would always receive answers from this invisible world, where you sent thoughts and prayers, and got back signs and facts. But of course, these answers would be the ones created by that own imperfect mind of mine. So I stopped praying at night and began looking for myself, instead of a god supposed to think and look like me.

 

But it took unexpected turns, and just like any adventure, I followed different paths than the ones I had expected. Because god was no more, I felt lost, with no more religions and no more directions. I was only left with love and compassion, scared of losing them both as well.

So I went looking for love in places defying the imaginable. And because I visited them all, I went looking in the depths of time as well.

 

Instead I found moments. Moments that gave me a glimpse of what living with love and keeping it by my side forever would feel like. Happiness, joy, laughter, friendship... Each second brought me closer to the final conclusion that life had to be lived in and out of love, making me yearn to always walk through golden moments, and live in their shadows when their light would only be shimmering.

I also remember losing all hopes when the path would get too dark. Panic and fear beginning then to creep their way up to my heart. And I have to admit that eventually I would give it in, welcoming all frightning and hateful feelings in, letting them havoc all I had built from within. Because I knew that once the storm would be over, darkness would be no more, and love would be on his way back.»

Movement in the wild (c)

There it was, after our first ideas were born and thrown on paper, we could just realise the project travelling Finland and shooting here and there.

Unfortunately, we realised that going to shoot around Finland had a serious cost, and after looking for funding for a year, it seemed that our project did not excite private foundations as much as it excited us. But, because we are two strong vahva suomalainen mies, we took our sleeves up, and went to shoot here and there, by ourselves (below the previews from our shoot in Seurasaari, Helsinki).

 

I do feel like I would spoil the magic of it all if I told you everything there is to know about that project. And also it wouldn't be fair to my artistic partner, who would then need to add his own words into this already long presentation. I can speak for us both if I tell you that we spent a lot of time going through every aspects of our project, rehearsing it in the studio, even learning about angles and associating it to movement...

 

But anyway, to make it simple, the artpiece and its visual result is a voice for a mind swimming in a sea of billion minds. It is a story that could be yours as well as mine. It is a landscape where body and nature morph to make one. And it is a support for you to write a story as well.

 

Our main idea is also to make this piece adaptable to all kind of spaces, and it also is shot and performed outside for that particular reason. But the multi-disciplinarity and versatility of it make it a very special project, far from being a simple photoshoot/performance... It is all of that at once: It can be performed, as it includes movement, choreography, agreements between the photographer and the choreographer/dancer in time and space. It can be exhibited, as the performance of it has shooting sample shots out of it as a main purpose. And it can be installed as an art installation, including all of these elements, on top of having art performance happens in duration. And it can simply be watched, as a movie.

 

The idea to incorporate the photographer to the performance as well as the video editing came from me. I felt that otherwise you, as an audience, would lose the interest to watch the piece feeling like you could be part of it. And this is also a key element for us: the spectator is actually in direct conversation with what is happening, in a passive, or in an active way, but everything remains possible. You are invited to jump in the picture and become the performer by consciously printing your thoughts and feelings on what your senses are experiencing while you Watch any of the results we produced. It is as much an inner trip for you, as it is a performance for us.

What does it mean, and why proceeding in such ways? Well the answer is simple. We live in this very fast societies where we haven't even enough time to acknowledge the moment that it is already gone, this piece offers an alternative to that issue. Also, socially speaking, it very much digs into contextualizing a body and a mind going through hard moments in space and time. Literally, as one of the subjects is going through the process naked, he is directly exposed to hard physical and mental conditions.

The photographer as an evident role into the piece, representing and symbolizing modern and past clichés of our modern times.

 

This work includes video and sound editing,made and created by me with the help of Mikko. I felt like I really needed to do such thing in order to go deeper in my own artistic process on top of keeping on learning with creativity and exploring other art fields.

Most of the soundscapes the audience can witness are made from everyday life situations, mixed with music I used to create the movement that was caught on camera. It is also simply here to disconnect the visual from the aural, in order to make you think twice about the nature of what you are watching, and how to contextualize it on a mental and physical level.

 

At last, today art has become a product of mass consumption as well, to our own despair. Movement in the wild wants you to step out of the moment, and enter another time and space, perhaps a place where time has stopped, and where you can take a break to catch your breath before continuing your journey. The piece is the vehicle in motion, in which your are a simple passenger, who can not affect the course of it, but who can look it under every single aspects. It is a moment for you to go back to nature and witness its beauty, its importance and feel one with all the ideas proposed by us.

 

The project is continuing, and we have it planned on schedule. We are now looking for commercial partners as well as funding supporters.

One of our next steps is actually taking that artpiece and installing it somewhere near you, so keep your ears and eyes open (we are also looking for all kind of welcoming structures to give shelter to our storm).

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THIBAULT MONNIER

 

 

 

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Address: Helsinki, Finland, and around the world

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