“In 2006, for the 60th edition of the Festival of Avignon, the painter and sculptor Miquel Barceló collaborated with the choreographer Josef Nadj, creating Paso Doble, a theatre piece combining his artistic universe with the other’s choreographic world.
Paso Doble brings together two artists in the creative process as they reshape a wall of wet clay. For forty minutes, the two protagonists create a sculpture before our eyes, modelling and manipulating the soft clay until they become one with it. Fruit of the imagination of these two exceptional mud men, this surprising ballet relates to art, ritual, pagan and sacral trance, and even gymnastics.
Paul Ardenne examines this creative collaboration in light of how artists and non-artists work with the body. He also explores the soft matter of clay as it evokes primitive body decoration, ritual coverings, and performance art that uses earth as its principal medium, such as the now-famous Challenge to the Mud by Kazuo Shiraga, an artist affiliated with the Gutai movement in 1950s Japan.”