In Stéfan Piat’s interactive video-piece Isola, the viewer decides from how close or far away s/he sees the moving image. Coming too close means losing ‘the image’ – causing the performer to turn his back on the public – while seeing it from too far away means losing the ‘image’ - and the performer - too. So, is there an ideal spot, a time-space where and when the viewer won’t lose either the image/the gaze, or its possible imagination? The mysteries of the gaze, movement and time don’t give away their secrets in the work of Stéfan Piat. The performer and the viewer engage in dialogue in their aloneness, both continuing to live on their own islands. Even if there may be a desire for contact, communication or, on the contrary, to escape ‘social life’ through a rather untypical situation and choose instead an uncertain “freedom” (or prison), it is not sure why this performer (and maybe even the viewer) find themselves in this situation of aloneness/loneliness, which are two different some-things: is it a choice, is it selection, is it a consequence of consequences, what is it? In the meanwhile, the sea seduces and haunts both the performer and the viewer.
Sofie Van Loo