La Ligne de Fuite
Zhao Duan’s art marches slowly on a “line of flight” – a concept Deleuze defined in “A Thousand Plateaus” like a movement of deterritorialisation, of breaking the walls, of fragment and of adventure. We encounter the “Line of flight” in Duan’s art, in a poetic way; a spirit of “flight” in exile; and substitute fade imagination with her vivid experience – “experience poetic (the performance), experience of encounter, experience of secret: fragile, temporary and temporal, filled with intensity and with reflection.
Every work of Duan composes a small song of flight: it can be a real experience of flight like “La Fugue de Paris”, the work was made from a long vagrancy that retrace a ghostly Paris, an invisible city with history and memory, fading and trace; it can also be a metaphorical flight like “De Esquirol à Eisenhower”, on a bus to work everyday, the artist let pencil run freely on the white paper where it drew an imaginative path – a moment escaping from daily routine or a joy of derailment. Every flight falls onto accidental encounters, new forms and unexpected enlighten.
As a performance artist, Zhao Duan keeps going back to a key point: rediscovering human body. The body in its tiniest shiver; the body and its choreographic language; the body redoing the space which surrounds us; the body being depleted to its final collapse (“Combien de”, 2015); the body drew with its skin (“Zhao Duan”, 2016).
In this bodily gesture one can find those unnoticeable things: time, energy, desire, vibrancy or fatigue. Those coincidences expose silently the creative spontaneity of body. The one who explored became the one who was explored. In her works, we can find an admirable circularity where interlace absence and presence, material and form, active and past.
At last, Duan’s flight took a centripetal direction, going towards a horizon of oneself where one can stay far from the noise of the world and only concentrate of the melody appearing. Duan’s art always requires an incredible endurance and a sacred intimacy. The process of creation remaining hidden, the audience find themselves confront in her work – no matter it’s a video, an installation, a photo, a painting, or a fascinating hybrid – something untouchable and floating. Creating the beautiful riddles without inviting us to guess the word, making a train came without telling us the route however all the views are already there. The art of Duan flee for attracting us.