Freedom, happiness, and a pleasant drowsiness brought by the sensation one feels when relaxing. These are the main themes behind La Caresse du Coma, a performance created by French artist Anne-Lise Le Gac and structured in multiple chapters, an ongoing journey in search of happiness, set up in a fictional place, symbol of relaxation: a spa. Le Gac embraces experimentation as a fundamental principle of art, this leading her to create hybrid performances where videos, dances, songs, words, and installations coexist and contribute to the creation of diverse and always new experiences.

The imaginary spa is in Croatia and is frequented by a group of people who have come in search of Happiness. The group is divided into hierarchies, and new members are assigned the title of DOG – an animal that feels unconditional affection and love towards its owner, by nature – and identified with a single number. The artist, who is also the protagonist, takes on the name DOG (23).
La Caresse du Coma is a project divided into various performances, each one is set at different moments, narrate the encounters of DOG (23) with the other figures inhabiting the spa. The characters exchange advice, share practices, and thus learn about each other. This atmosphere, this return to origins – in the act of creating a group, a community, and sharing – is what Le Gac uses to characterize her project.

The artist stimulates viewer’s sight, hearing, sometimes even touch and smell, through sensory suggestions provided by typical elements used in rituals – leaves, smoke, bowls, candles – and sounds that lead to a predisposed imaginary. Among the recreated ritualistic and symbolic moments, Le Gac interprets the movements of a flamenco dancer, wearing classic lace-up shoes, covered by an imitation leather with a low heel. In accordance with the dance steps, focusing on the footwork, the artist taps her heels on a wooden platform, generating a rhythmic sound that creates a deep and hypnotic melody.
La Caresse du Coma is a journey into a dreamlike dimension, where the concept of life and infinity intertwine in the fascinating possibility of an endless happiness.


Anne-Lise Le Gac
La Caresse du Coma ft. YOLO, work in progress
Performance in collaboration with Loto Retina at Centrale Fies, Dro, Italy, 2021
© Courtesy the artist