Sylvain Souklaye is a French performance and installation artist.
He is obsessed with sampling intimacies about people who don't belong to a determinate identity, gender, class, colour or nationality.
Sylvain Souklaye performances are a collage of individual memories which are relived for and via the audience.
Self-taught, he began performing with vandalism in Lyon, and then intimate happenings, radio experimentation and action poetry. He later developed digital art installations using field recording techniques as a narrative layer while pursuing his writer’s path.
Among his best known pieces are la blackline, a 5-year durational radio performance about socio-economic survival and urban absurdity, le déserteur a digital art installation dwelling on the notion of abandonment, TME a docudrama performance exploring self-inflicted amnesia and resilience and MIGRANT MARKET a remake of the slave market updated for the uber economy.
Sylvain Souklaye methods characteristically involve intense physical acts as well as the use of unsettling intimacy.
Sylvain Souklaye explores collective intimacies and epigenetic memories as a living language and the body as the last remaining proof.
Sylvain Souklaye questions the “Safe Space” while history always has been a minefield for his ancestors. Are minds, souls and bodies broken by generations able to accept peace? To process healing? Or are pain and warfare the only way because nothing and nowhere is safe?
Sylvain Souklaye body of work is a continuous and brutal flow of freedom and rage, anger and pain, past and future embodied into a collective moment.
His body language gives a natural rhythm to a mother tongue of an odd but primal togetherness.
It becomes one movement in which the audience swims or sinks.
It becomes an epiphany and an external exchange between Souklaye and the audience.
With Sylvain Souklaye’s practice, passive or voyeuristic people have to take a stand because History will not be kind with “Safe spacers”. For him, the audience must be accountable.
But what about Now and Then? They are the continuation of denunciation and a reconciliation process.
With the NOW Sylvain Souklaye documents the casual and disconnected barbary as endless storage information becomes the most efficient form of amnesia.
With the THEN he investigates, warns, theorises our automated civilization and the extinction of empathy.
Sylvain Souklaye offers his mind, soul, body and the unsettling space with the audience and makes them the new carrier of his epigenetic history.
It is not a social, gender or skin colour epigenetic.
Sylvain Souklaye’s body of work is epigenetic of the intimate.