The simplicity of Jerome Bel’s Pichet Klunchun and Myself is surprising not only in it’s beauty, but also it’s scope. The performance is a reenactment of conversation that took place several years ago. Bel begins by asking several introductory questions, name, age, etc. then slowly and earnestly moves to explore the Thai traditional dance called “Khon” that Pichet practices. Through verbal responses and demonstration the audience and Bel get a glimpse of the meaning and skill behind this lost art that is now sadly performed solely for tourists. Next, the rolls are reversed. Pichet questions Bel about his art. Bel explains that he is interested in contemporary dance and again through conversation and demonstration Pichet and the audience are given insight into Bel’s work.
That’s all, that was the performance. Innocent, playful, unassuming. But through this simplicity I was exposed to something extremely powerful and ambitious. Here are two artists explaining their art, explaining why they practice their art, explaining why their art is important. And through this simple conversation, I remembered why art is important to me.
It was a moving and emotional experience for me, quite a moral boost. I think I’ll be viewing the rest of the festival through the lens of this performance.
Posted By: Matthew