French company created in Rennes, in 1999, by two alumni of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM) in Charleville-Mézières, France, Julika Mayer (Erlangen, Germany, 1973) and Renaud Herbin (Bourg-la-Reine, 1974). Là Où’s process crosses the artistic disciplines of the visual arts and the stage arts to explore the relation between the living and the inert, thought and organism, using puppets as a tool to question the perception of the self and the environment. Since they are in turn creators, stage managers, puppeteers and performers, Renaud Herbin and Julika Mayer share or alternate the creation of projects, at times involving other artists.
Un rêve (A Dream, 1999) based on Franz Kafka, was staged with a sand box, a microphone, and a puppet by Renaud Herbin who performed without saying a word emitting only gurgling sounds, creating an emotionally troubling universe close to that of the British group, Faulty Optic. This same style is found again in Vrai! Je suis très nerveux (True! I Am Very Nervous) that Herbin staged in 2003. In 2000, with support from the writer Roland Fichet and the Théâtre de Folle Pensée, the young company created Petits Chaos (Small Chaos) comprised of three successive adaptations of texts by Kossi Efoui, Roland Fichet and Lothar Trolle. In 2002, Julika Mayer and Renaud Herbin also collaborated on the creation of (Détails) Les grands poissons mangent les petits (Details, Big Fish Eat Little Ones) a series of visual poems condensing in miniature the great history of the organism.
Aside from the company’s work in prisons and concerning the problems of territoriality, in 2003 Julika Mayer, as a solo artist, conceived Habitable, a play for a lounge chair, an actress, and an electro-acoustic musician, thus beginning an exploration on the interweaving of contact dancing in puppetry manipulation.