Philosophical quiz | Robert Lepage, pilot of dreams

Once a month, The Pressinspired by the Socrates Questionnaire from the French magazine Philosophy, questions a personality on the great questions of life. This Sunday, Robert Lepage, whose latest theatrical creation, The Riopelle projectby Ex Machina, is presented in Montreal, then in Quebec, breaks the ice and inaugurates the section.

Who am I ?

A shy boy, who constantly hides behind the group and the collective adventure to try not to stand out too much. An artist lost in the repertoire who lights fires everywhere and then struggles to put them out. An irresponsible guide who misleads his collaborators in poorly lit paths.

The most surprising thing you’ve done for love?

Forget who I was. Giving the ascendancy to another person to the point of renouncing my personality, my opinions, my tastes, my sense of humor, to become only the shadow of myself. And all that… out of love.

What is your demon, which torments your conscience?

Never being able to tell things the way they really are. A handicap sometimes perceived by others as hypocrisy or dishonesty. It is true that I am always afraid of hurting certain people or offending certain sensitivities. However, I too often happen to be surrounded by well-meaning people who pride themselves on being honest and always telling the truth, when they prove themselves unable to hear it, this truth.

A philosopher or an author who has been with you for a long time?

Bertolt Brecht. One of the greatest playwrights and theoreticians of the XXe century. He defended the socialist utopia with a beautiful rigorous dialectic. Of course, he was full of contradictions, pretentious, opportunistic… but what a poet! He leaves us a legacy of an enlightened way of seeing the world and a work that we can afford to appropriate, adapt, plunder or tear to pieces as he himself did so well with the great authors who preceded.

The perfect place (or state of mind), in your opinion?

When professional problems combine with personal concerns in frantic chaos, I take refuge in erotic fantasies. These fantasies are high places of relaxation and creativity and do not only involve my brain, but seem to stabilize my whole organism. The peoples of the North, in the most difficult days of their hibernation, have they not developed an abounding repertoire of erotic tales which have nothing to envy to the Tales of a thousand and one nights ?

As Doug Wright has the Marquis de Sade say: “If God had not wanted me to use my imagination, he would not have provided me with two diligent hands. I write of one, leaving the other free to enjoy the fruits of the first!”

Robert LePage

A recurring dream (or nightmare)?

A few days before a premiere evening or in the week preceding the completion of a project, I systematically dream that I am on board a plane in full flight; sometimes as a passenger, but more often as a pilot in command. Obviously, the size of the cabin is often proportional to that of the projects and the flights are always precarious, full of turbulence. The fact that the device remains in the air is a miracle. Most of the time, the plane ends up landing safely on the tarmac, but there were a few times when I had to suffer the vagaries of a daredevil landing.

What other job would you have liked to do?

Professor of geography or, at least, cartographer. At 6 years old, I already knew the names of all the Canadian territories and provinces as well as their capitals. I could spend hours contemplating giant world maps explaining the divisions of the world. Obviously, I had to wait for the first trips abroad to understand why the world was so divided. In the 19the century, when the great photographer Nadar climbed for the first time in a hot air balloon, he was astonished to discover that from the air, the borders did not seem to exist, giving the illusory impression of a peaceful cohabitation between peoples.

What annoys you in life?

Ignorance. She is the cause of all evil. It breeds fear, racism, fascism. It is often taught from early school and is maintained by hateful political speeches made by ignorant men. But it’s hard to completely eradicate it from our lives, because ignorance is so comfortable.

A beautiful death, according to you…

I don’t have an ounce of suicidal tendencies in me, but I confess that I would rather choose my death than let it surprise me. It’s too important a moment that I would like to live fully. Morbid? No not at all.

Complete. If God exists…

… maybe he should make himself heard. It would silence the fools who have always put words in his mouth.

This Sunday, at 1:30 p.m., Robert Lepage will take part in the Le Diamant benefit event in Quebec City. The Ex Machina show will be on display at Le Diamant, from October 19 to November 19. All tickets are sold for performances at Duceppe in Montreal until June 11.

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