PuSh Blog

Les SUBS – Inbal Ben Haim / Domitille Martin / Alexis Mérat (France)

October 19, 2023

Born in Jerusalem in 1990, Inbal Ben Haim grew up in the Israeli countryside. After studying visual arts, she discovered the circus in 2004 at the Free Dome Project then the Shabazi Circus. The call of heights and creating with her body led her to specialize first in the static trapeze, then the rich minimalism of the aerial rope.In 2011 she left her homeland to follow her artistic path in France, furthering her research through important artistic encounters and training: first at the Centre Régional des Arts du Cirque PACA – Piste d’Azur, then the Centre National des Arts du Cirque in Châlons-en-Champagne, from which she graduated in December 2017 (29th graduating class).

In Summer 2018, she premiered Racine(s) (Root(s)), which developed from her meeting the musician, composer, and arranger David Amar and the director Jean Jacques Minazio. At the same time, she developed a teaching method for therapeutic circus and worked in various contexts in Israel and France.

By blending circus, dance, theatre, improvisation, and visual arts, Ben Haim has created her own form of poetic expression. Largely inspired by the human bond made possible by the stage, the ring, and the street, she aims to create strong connections between the audience and the artist, the intimate and the spectacular, the earth and air, and the here and there.

Domitille Martin is a visual artist who sculpts composite materials and creates artistic installations in space. Her work is inspired by nature and deals with the transformation of animals, plants, minerals, and humans. Since graduating from École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2015, she has worked with performance and circus artists, bringing creations to life for the likes of Nina Harper, Kamma Rosenbeck and Quentin Folcher. She designs sets for the choreographic shows of Anna Rodriguez, Cie Le jardin des délices, and worked with Inbal Ben Haim in Racine(s). Since 2018 she has been artist in residence with La Source, a non-profit organization, and took part in the 2019 “Création en Cours” program run by Ateliers Médicis and the French Ministry of Culture. In May 2021 she created a monumental paper work called “La Tornade” with Alexis Mérat. It is installed under the Skylight at Les Subsistances. Martin is a Pierre Gautier-Delaye prize winner and was in residence at Cité Internationale des Arts from 2020 to 2021.

Alvaro Valdes, a circus artist and dancer, is a graduate of the Circo del Mundo school in Chili. He has worked on numerous circus and dance projects as director and outside eye. He co-directed “La Texture as an interpretive piece (circus, visual arts, and fine crafts) with José Luis Cordova, then with Charles Dubois founded Compagnie ÑO, which will create “Girafe”. Emotional memory is his primary creative resource. He examines the relationship between fluidity and acrobatics on aerial equipment. This research is motivated by his intent to organically build and inhabit a body/object. Alvaro currently works with Cie Lunatic, Cie Barks, the theater dance collective Poetic Punkers, La Muse en Circuit, Inbal Ben Haïm, and the Nok dance collective.

An engineer by training, Alexis Mérat has degrees in Systems Mechanics with digital simulation as a specialty, and Advanced Materials Technology and Mechanics (University of Troyes). Fascinated with paperwork, he specializes in folding techniques (origami) and more specifically creasing, a more intuitive, holistic technique. His work is both artistic and scientific: he has exhibited works mostly in group exhibitions such as the TIM Future Centre in Venice, Biennale animalière de Châlons-en-Champagne, INART in the Netherlands, Centre d’Histoire de Saragosse, etc., and published several articles on the technical properties of creased paper. 

Over the past several years, he has developed partnerships in the performing arts world, and more specifically with marionettists and circus artists. He is interested in stage sets as well as costumes and circus equipment, especially ropes made of paper, and puts his knowledge to work for the arts. In particular, he has worked with the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (CNAC), the Succursale 101 company, the Pseudonymo company during the Orbis Pictus festival in Reims, and the Lagoon Pirates collective for various editions of the Carnival in Venice. After doing joint research on paper at the CNAC in 2017, he worked with the circus artist Inbal Ben Haim in May 2019 to create Pli, which was shortlisted for Circusnext 2020 – 2021, a project co-financed by the European Union’s Creative Europe program. 

Alexis Mérat has been a member of the Centre de Recherche International de Modélisation par le Pli (CRIMP) since 2008, and a member of the Mouvement Français des Plieurs de Papiers since 2005.