Joris Lacoste is mostly known for his stage work. Since 2003, he has directed several shows, including 9 lyriques pour actrice et caisse claire in 2005 with Stéphanie Béghain, Purgatoire at the Théâtre National de la Colline in 2007 and Parlement, created in 2009 within the frame of the collective project Encyclopédie de la Parole. Whether through theatre, performance, radio or now visual arts, his writing is characterized by the great importance given to the spectator's imagination.
Along with his involvement with theatre, Joris Lacoste has been training himself in hypnosis since 2004 and has been exploring its artistic potentialities. Under the generic word of hypnography, this approach has been made public in various ways since 2009 : the radiophonic piece Au Musée du Sommeil (France Culture, 2009), the performance Restitution (Villa Arson, 2010), the performed exhibition Le Cabinet d'hypnose (Printemps de Septembre, 2010), and more recently Le vrai spectacle (Festival d'Automne, 2011, shortly to be restaged at the Centre Pompidou).
Hypnosis is a state of consciousness which allows new relations to fiction. The process developed by Joris Lacoste involves the writing of a scenario to be performed for a spectator under hypnosis, giving rise to a particular dream into the spectator's mind. Indeed, the hypnosis provokes visual, aural or tactile hallucinations which plunge the spectator into a fiction experienced in the first person. Led by a text and a voice, this "prepared", scripted dream nonetheless remains unpredictable : between the word pronounced and the image it arouses lies the irreducible gap of the imagination of each person being hypnotised.
For his solo show at Level One, Joris Lacoste has devised an initial series of twelve scenarios, presented in the space simply by way of their title and a short synopsis. Each scenario is a fiction meant to be dreamt by one person only during a one-toone hypnosis session. Thus, the artist invites us to consider the possibility of hypnosis as a fully-fledged artistic medium. The work of art here is not the proposed scenario, nor the performance, let alone any secondary documentation, but really the dream aroused in the spectator's imagination.
People who would like to acquire one of these 12 prepared dreams will be first invited to meet the artist and Level One to discuss the conditions of the exchange. After this negociation, a time will be arranged for inducing the piece.