La Ribot b. 1963
Laughing Hole (2006)
Duration: 36:26

s Premiere June 12th 2006 at Art Unlimited – Art Basel 37 (Switzerland), produced by Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid, Spain.

Written and directed by La Ribot
Interpretation Marie-Caroline Hominal, La Ribot, Delphine Rosay
Sound design and performance Clive Jenkins
English translation with Catherine Phelps
La Ribot is supported by La Ville de Genève, La République et Canton de Genève, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, and La Loterie Romande

The floor of the empty room is covered with countless cardboards panels lying in what seem to be indiscriminate piles one on top of the others. Some 900 cardboard signs featuring bizarre handwritten words are affixed to the walls with adhesive tape, one after the other.

Shaken by eccentric laughter often indistinguishable with crying, the three performers continually throw themselves to the floor to then get up again. In between time they raise their arms holding one of the written signs.

Obviously, they carry the burden of the weight of the words and the invasion of associations they bring. “Guantanamo beach”, “over 40’s mum”, “clean up” – declarations, orders, headlines, banal, personal or political words overlap and involve us in a game of meanings in all their different forms. In this way rows form: “Brutal fun, brutally lost, lost occupation, still here…” Line up one after another in no apparent order the words occupy the space allowing it to become a room of image and speech. The bodies leave the field to the anonymous pile of exhibited words and allow them to act. At some stage or other the room resembles a battlefield.

La Ribot’s work demonstrates how the terms “performance” and “exhibition” once marking the difference between dance and fine art have now in fact merged in performative art. The audience can come and go at any point over the eight hours of her latest project – and they can be part of an image in the making.

With her performance La Ribot confuses both the meanings fixed in images and words and the position of the spectator. Between laughter and action she breaks the image space down into its physical dimension – bringing it down to a human size and making it possible to while one’s time in this mysterious hole shaking with eerie laughter.