"During the creation of Mhmmmm, Barbara Manzetti, Audrey Gaisan and I developed an "aesthetical care" practice. One of the main points of interest in Mhmmmm was to take the idea of transformation that is implied in the historical and contemporary notion of performance and interpret it literally. Les Soins (a journey that began with the Bonbonnière Project) has only made one foray onto the stage; it has otherwise stayed in the studio. I would like to continue these beauty care sessions with Barbara and Audrey in the context of an actual beauty parlor. Each session will be made to measure for the customer. An interview with the customer will be followed by prep time and the dispensing of the care itself. The role of the Laboratoires in this particular project could be to help us find our ‘audience,’ that is our customers, during a trial period. This would allow us to test the ins and outs of the project before entering into a partnership with a beautician or osteopath. Because this practice is directly inspired by the late works of Lygia Clark, I would like to schedule a series of meetings of the Journal des Laboratoires around the notion of therapy as an artistic practice.” (Jennifer Lacey)

Aesthetical Care, credit Marta Popivoda
Aesthetical care. Credit: Marta Popivoda

At several sessions from May to November 2010, the choreographers and dancers Jennifer Lacey, Barbara Manzetti and Audrey Gaisan took over the dressing rooms of the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers and doled out "aesthetical care" on a one-on-one basis and by appointment. Using the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920-1988) as a springboard, they explored the potential of therapy as an artistic practice. Each care recipient was interviewed by the artists beforehand and debriefed afterwards, making them an integral part of the choreographic, bodily, discursive and mental framework of the piece, itself endowed by the dancer-beauticians with multiple implications, sensations and micro-events. Certain sessions took place at the salon Passion Beauté, 12 rue du Moutier in Aubervilliers, which generously agreed to accommodate the project.


Jennifer Lacey’s residency at the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers is made possible by the generous support of the Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis