top of page




15' 48”

This performance-video work is the fruit of art workshops that Qingmei YAO  carried out with ULIS class students at the Collège Jean Wiener of Marne-la-Vallée in  France in 2020. Coordinated by the Orange Rouge association, the workshop was interrupted during the first lockdown and resumed when the college reopened. Group physical activities were suspended, and the workshop was redesigned to explore possible body movements in the college with "one meter of distance". Guided by performances and readings, this video goes out to meet teenagers, documenting and exploring the "dys-dancibility" of the body, showing a youth of incredible spontaneity and sensitivity despite social distance. Punctuated by the interplay between the measured and the measured, the video questions the contradiction between collective security and individual freedom.

A group of students wearing giant, metre-long "collars" , they walk around the college and measuring the architecture. This accessory, typical of Renaissance aristocracy, is transformed into a body-control device, imposing distance and constraining movement.  Students adapt to the game and create their own body language with the collars. They condense and bond. Molecules moving together inside this immense enclosed building, these paper collars present an ordered yet extremely fragile beauty. Fearing damage, students must coordinate their movements and maintain a physical distance.

In a carnivalesque denouement, the students squeeze together, collide, free themselves and tear off their collars. The collective is rebuilt through play, shouting and laughter. The crushing of the ruffles produces a deafening sound, mingled with the shouts, illustrating the frenzy of the crowd, freedom, release and chaos.

bottom of page