Interview Esther Mollo, director and actress, Diagonal Company
Have you fully accepted this new project?
Yes right now. But after the excitement, I asked myself the question of legitimacy: what would my role and my place in this experience?
Indeed, to the body of emotions from the works of the museum was not obvious at the start. And some paintings are very impressive … I think of Medea who wants to kill his children or to Belisarius who were blinded.
I first worked with students on the fundamentals of physical theater and on the portrayal of violence by the body beyond words. Initially, this testing ground seemed too wide but the meetings have confirmed to me that I was on track.
How did you approach this subject as director and actress?
I asked myself the question of violence itself: what violence should we talk?
Indeed, it was not to treat the theme of war but to address the violence of the everyday, ordinary violence that students suffer every day but do not identify as such. It took putting words, talk about degrees of violence and try together to find positive solutions to get out.
Can you give us some examples of exercises with the students ?
We did a lot of sketches where the mediator’s role was important. This allowed the triangular trade. Laughter could also be a solution to remotely dispute situations and out, by contradiction, conflict.
I have sometimes made the connection between the works and news. I think, in particular, the Judgment of Solomon Wicar where the mother prefers to leave her child to another to keep it alive. I made a parallel with the Syrian Parents leaving their children to other refugees in the hope they have a better life in a country at peace.
Another example: in a class, a Bulgarian child has just arrived. I used her story to illustrate the theme of isolation.
Which links with the works of the museum?
The works are still triggers debate and the stories told by the works are ultimately still relevant. And the work of a director and that of a painter are not so distant. Both have the same means to tell stories.
What would you add?
I want to clarify that the project’s success would not have been possible without the involvement of everyone: museum, teachers and artists … everyone is mobilized and invested in this adventure with a real team!