St-Pierre / by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Last week of rehearsals…hardcore. Next week Mau is off to Florence to prepare the production with the company he is in. Next time we meet is the day of the performance. Hardcore indeed.

Creating is one thing, performing is quite another. It requires a state of mind that is quite different from any other. Every movement one makes on stage is of importance, so the only way not to let it look cramped is to actually get into that special state of mind place and `perform` what you normally `just do`.So it happens that while I am in that state I started looking at my tools from a different state of mind, and suddenly they bring stories, which lead to memories, to not forgetting, because if there is one thing that can interrupt that cruel loop of life and death it is stories, telling stories to remember.

I would like to tell you something about the special tool I use for making the print on the mask.

This tool once belonged to my grandfather. He had it made especially out of bronze and had `St-Pierre` engraved in it. Why St-Pierre? because Pierre was his name and  St is what he aimed for.He used the tool to make his butter cookies, style petit beurre. As a child I watched him while he skilfully placed the dough under the heavy machine and the machine, holding the mould, squeezed the dough in between the board and the mould. When the dough reappeared it had been transformed from anonymous, bleak dough into printed treasures. I found that magical, that transformation. In my now adult child`s experience I watched this process for hours, it was monotonous and made time stand still. After both my grandparents had passed away and we were cleaning out the house, throwing away all the useless things, I saved the tool from in between the useless and forgotten things to be thrown away. I had no idea what to use it for, I only knew that it was going to use it one day. A couple of years ago, I experimentally started to use the tool to make prints on clay and other materials, and in doing so a whole process of thoughts unrolled itself under my mind`s eye. What is our raw material, what is ours and what is printed on us, can we change the print or is it so engraved in our raw material that we can not undo it, and if we undo it what is left of us, if anything? I placed the printed clay on my face to feel what it meant to be all print and not able to breathe through the thick layer of clay. I could not stand it, and freed my mouth after a few seconds already. While the clay was on my face another string of thoughts found it`s way to my mind,this time it was about masks and their functions, traditions and meanings.

And so I started reading books about masks and so Anna and me we came to the idea of the performance and so it happens that I am back where I started, to create and to perform…quite a different thing.

When people ask me why I am doing all these different things instead of just making sculptures and becoming steady in that, the only thing I feel is fire, fire like life, like being in love, like not knowing, like surprise…like not being labelled, like freedom.x

the blueprint tool

the blueprint tool