Compagnie Non Nova
All things laid bare. Compagnie Non Nova is the trading name of Phia Ménard – formerly Philippe Ménard – a transgender artist and juggler whose great work P.P.P. is a cold, furious, burning piece on the seething contradictions of his/her life and experience – of being lonely and in-between, of being lustful and giddy with optimism. Phia was also a member of the influential French company Que-Cir-Que, and collaborated with the sociologist and researcher Jean-Michel Guy on the juggling lecture Jongleur pas confondre.
In her last show P.P.P. the juggler Phia Ménard worked with ice — a substance that couldn't be held and that couldn't be dropped, and that would, slowly, change its state if left untouched; a substance that was 'unjuggleable'.
'I go to Stoa; a cold afternoon, a light rain. Walking out the back of the building where they load and unload the stage equipment there's a rank of entranceways with drawn-down metal shutters. No numbers or signs to differentiate the doors, but something catches the eye out on the concrete steps in front of one: two big lumps of ice, not sculpted, side-by-side, creature-like with melted runnels and reaching limbs. They're a little beautiful, and a little ugly, not really scintillating now in the weak sun, and they put me in mind of a throwaway replica of the stone statuettes that certain families place at the end of drives or on porches: for the time being at least, Compagnie Non Nova lives here.'
Sideshow goes to Helsinki to see Philippe Ménard's Position Parallèle au Plancher, a work of fear, elation and longing played out within a stark landscape of ice.