Inbal Ben Haim

Residence / Production déléguée
22 June to 4 July 2020

An artist supported by Les SUBS*, Inbal Ben Haim was hosted in February and July 2020 for her project, PLI.

*Les SUBS is helping Inbal Ben Haim organize her activities, produce her shows, and organize a tour in France and abroad.

PLI is a project of acrobatic and poetic creation that blends the body and a raw material: paper. Combining circus arts and visual arts, PLI grew out of the meeting between circus artist Inbal Ben Haim and paper artist Alexis Merat. Artist and set designer Domitille Martin joined the project to work on designing circus equipment that is made entirely of paper and blends into the set.

Excerpt from the statement of intent

We were brought together by this material that has been with humans on a daily and very personal basis for more than 2000 years: newspapers and money, maps of the world and wrapping paper, the first notebook of a child learning to write, postcards, bills, shopping lists, love letters, identity papers (almost as important as toilet paper), a base for colors and words . . . A blank page can hold anything.

What does the circus perspective bring to this raw material?

Are these sheets of paper strong enough to hold my weight, my life?

Can circus equipment be made of paper?


Paper is both delicate and resistant. By starting a conversation between an acrobat’s body and this fragile material, as well as been a fragile body and a strong material, we touch on physical and human concepts. We’re talking about things that are both ordinary and unreal.

When it doesn’t go beyond its tipping point, the conversation between body and paper is held without ripping. The body bends at will or adapts to the paper’s resistance. The fold is the movement created through this exchange. It is also a trace of that movement. Every action leaves a mark, a fold, a new angle in the material. The fold becomes writing that constructs the history of the conversation between body and paper.


Inbal Ben Haim

Born in Jerusalem (Israel) in 1990, Inbal Ben Haim studied visual arts, sports and the art of movement. She discovered aerial circus arts when she was 13, at the Free Dome Project then the Shabazi Circus, where she found a place for physical expression that touched her deeply. After she completed her civil service in Israel, where she developed a method for teaching circus arts to problem youth, Ben Haim moved to France, where she perfected her aerial work at circus schools (Piste d’Azur, Centre National des Arts du Cirque à Châlons-en-Champagne). In 2018 she co-created RACINE(S) with the Attraction Compagnie. Specializing in the vertical rope, Ben Haim weaves a unique relationship between body and material, always looking to create visual poetry. Her artistic language is a blend of circus and visual arts, the intimate and the flamboyant, and the here and there.

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.

Domitille Martin graduated from the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, where she studied for five years, and spent seven months in the Parque Lage studios of the Visual Arts School in Rio de Janeiro. She is an artist who aspires to blend her visual arts work with set design. She has worked with artists from diverse fields on eclectic creations. For example, she helped the artist Janaina Mello set up her monumental work, Cyclotrama, at the Palais de Tokyo and a grant from the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation to support handcrafted work (“Le savoir-faire et la main”), for which she created a plant sculpture. Sculpting shapes inspired by nature, she moved from observing to manipulating and changing them. She is also the set designer for Anna Rodriguez’s choreographic work, in which the set provides essential creative support to the dancers. Most recently she worked on the circus creations La Chose, by the company Le jardin des délices, and Racine(s) by l’Attraction Cie.
Since 2015 she has been working on a joint project with aerial dancer Nina Harper. Together they are developing a unique writing method that blends the performing and visual arts. In 2017 she met dancer Kamma Rosenbeck, with whom she has taken a similar approach in connection with the CNRS in Marseille. Since 2018 she has been artist in residence at the “La Source” Association founded by Gérard Garouste, and in 2019 participated in the “Création en Cours” program on Reunion Island sponsored by the Ateliers Médicis and the Culture Ministry.

In a professional transversal journey of artist dancer, aerial acrobat, stuntwoman, choreographer, teacher, Sophie Lascombes has always, during her professional experience, sought to understand the body in movement.
In what state, with what tool, from what, from whom, towards what objective, what constraint, what support … What does this give to see, to share?
His career led him to express himself on stages both in France and internationally.
To work in the contemporary and traditional circus world, both in theaters and under big tops, in the street.
The profession of stuntwoman in French and American film and television productions has allowed her to gain rich experience in more than 50 films.
Television has also enabled him to fulfill various missions.
It is this plural journey in the company of big names, but above all with skills and experiences, that nourishes these exchanges with the artists she supports.

A guitarist by training, Max Bruckert alternated between jazz, rock, and industrial and experimental music for a while. Then he explored different ways to improvise by amplifying or combining his instrument with electroacoustic methods, such as recording and editing sound.
From 1999 to 2001 he studied instrumental and acousmatic composition at CNR de Lyon. He then co-founded Kolektif Undata, which offers improvised and spatialized electroacoustic musical forms, often combined with handling images directly. During this period, synthesizing and transforming sounds in real time became his main avenues of exploration.
From 1999 to 2003 he co-managed Vibrations Composées, an acousmatic music association, and worked on projects for Kafé Myzik and Grrrnd Zero, which play alternative music in Lyon.
From 2004 to 2012 he worked at Grame, Centre National de Création Musicale in Lyon, first as head of instruction, then as music computing director, helping composers in residence create mixed works (creation of computer tools for real-time writing).
Since 2012 he has alternated between music computing, sound engineering, and general management for a variety of musical ensembles, companies, and festivals, as well as creating electroacoustic compositions for dance and theater. Although he works mostly with sound in contemporary creation (concerts, visual arts, dance, etc.), he is also exploring various interactive tools, video mapping processes, and interactive sensors for digital art installations.
Since 2011 he has taught MaxMSP Signal Processing in the Music Computing Director Master Pro at the musicology school in Saint Etienne, as well as sound design classes at MADE iN Sainte-Marie (a private school in Lyon).
To write music he generally uses interactive software developed with MaxMSP, Reaktor, and VCV Rack and driven by interfaces and/or sensors. These programs are used during concerts, in the studio, to produce sound installations, and for live performances. The improv work he has done the past several years continues to be a source of inspiration and experimentation that allows him to speak a musical language that he refines.

Blown away by their staging of Les Coréens by Michel Vinaver, Marie Sol Kim joined the Wuturi company in Seoul in 2011 for Wuturi Baby Giant. Her first theater job was with this company, which is trying to create a new repertoire between traditional and contemporary Korean theater. She met the director Marion Schoevaert, with whom she designed the lights for a shadow play for two marionettists, one of whom was Gwenael LeBoulluec. In 2012 she began three years of lighting studies at ENSATT. She then interned in Italy with the Motus company for the opera King Arthur and met Paola Stella Minni. That meeting led to close, fertile collaboration with Minni and her choreography partner, Konstantinos Rizos, both of whom are associate artists at the Pacifique in Grenoble. Kim also works with Aline Reviriaud d’Idem Collectif. She created Le Grand Sommeil by Marion Siefert with Juliette Romens and designed the lighting. She worked as lighting manager for the two-part circus piece Face A Comme ça / Face B Tel quel. In doing so she discovered the circus repertory and met the choreographer Anna Rodriguez. She has continued to work with Greek-Italian companies, for example on Emilio o sull’educazione, an incarnation of Rousseau’s book. She joined Les Esquimots for the creation of La Compétition, a show for teens, as well as the 7 Prime collective for Bovary by Tiago Rodriguez. Her meeting with set designer Domitille Martin on the two-part circus piece led her to join Martin for PLI.

Conception and interpretation : Inbal Ben Haim
Construction and handling of paper, collaboration in writing : Alexis Mérat
Scenography and writing collaboration : Domitille Martin
External gaze, body and movement : Sophie Lascombes
Lighting creation : Marie-Sol Kim
Sound creation : Max Bruckert

Les SUBS – lieu vivant d’expériences artistiques, Lyon

With the support of the Hermès Corporate Foundation as part of the New Settings program

Coproductions & résidences
Le CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble ; La Plateforme 2 Pôles Cirque en Normandie | La Brèche à Cherbourg – Cirque-Théâtre d’Elbeuf ; Le Théâtre de Rungis ; ARCHAOS – Pôle National Cirque Méditerranée, Marseille ; Les utoPistes, Lyon ; 6 mettre – Pôle de création dédié aux arts vivants, Fresnes ; Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde, Bagneux, CDN d’Orléans

La DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes ; La Région Ile-de-France – FoRTE, Fonds Régional pour les Talents Émergents ; La Nationale des papeteries ; Gascogne Papier ; La SACD – Processus Cirque

La culture avec la copie privée

Thanks to
Piste d’Azur – Centre Régional des Arts du Cirque ; Le CNAC – Centre National des Arts du Cirque Châlons-en-Champagne ; ICiMa – Chaire d’Innovation Cirque et Marionnette ; ON – Center for Contemporary Circus Création, Israël

Inbal Ben Haim is associated artist with CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble (2020 – 2021)
Project selected as part of the Newsettings program of the Hermès Corporate Foundation
Project selected as part of the “SACD / Circus Process” scheme
2020 winning project of the Regional Fund for Emerging Talents (FoRTE), funded by the Île-de-France Region.
Pli is shortlisted to Circusnext 2020 – 2021, project co-financed by the Europe Creative program of the European Union.