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Frédéric Liwer

Les Quatre Mille Coups

V/MSP GALLERY Frédéric Liwer Installation View Les quatre mille coups

We are delighted to present our first solo exhibition with the French-Italian performance artist Frédéric Liver. The exhibition centers on the work Les Quatre Mille Coups, a film made by the artist in 2020. Collaborators in this production are Jean Guizerix, former solo dancer at the Paris Opera, and Sebastiano de Gennaro, who composed the soundtrack.


Without ever having danced in his life, Frédéric Liver attempts to master the Bolero in the choreography of Maurice Béjart. Fascinated in particular by Duska Sifnios' performance, this learning process now determines the rhythm of his everyday life. Arranged like an intimate diary, the film tells of this continuous and lonely process in which images of everyday life alternate between reality and fiction.


The work is an exploration of the relationship between the human body and the space it occupies, culminating in the performance of his own rendition of the Bolero. In one long sequence, we see the dancer in a state of complete concentration, where the movements are both fluid and precise-or at least as precise as you can get when you are not professionally trained. For the actual objective of the performance is not to achieve a perfect copy of the choreography. Rather, the artist is emphasizing that the process in itself is part of the artwork and is aiming to address the political dimension of labour in relation to the effort that has been committed to it. In the film, we see how the artist faces a series of challenges that test his mental and physical limits. It is also an exploration of the concept of perfection and the way we have come to define it.


To reinforce this aspect of the underlying philosophy in the artist's work we have woven elements from the project IMPATIENS- Le Jardin de Paresse, which was initiated in 2017, into the exhibition.


The garden, according to Cicero, is a place of imperfection. To do it justice we must see it for what it is: a moment of growth and decay, blossoming and fading. A garden is always in the making, it is an ever-changing image of perfection that is always being renewed and improved. It provides us with lessons in the precariousness of life, while offering both beauty and inspiration.



Olaf Pradhan & Sofie Verbrugghen, November 2022

V/MSP GALLERY Frédéric Liwer Installation View Les quatre mille coups Still
V/MSP GALLERY Frédéric Liwer Installation View Les quatre mille coups cahiers
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