Introducing some of those teaching in the 2017/18 cycle:
“I am not sure if there are any other artists working today whose work echoes the aesthetics of Philippe Quesne. His practice is singular and exceptional – both artistically and philosophically. His history as a set designer and visual artist provides him with a very specific entry point into performance making – where the world of the work comes first and all of the activity we then see on the stage then unfurls out of the specific urgencies, crises and desires that that specific staged world generates. If you believe in magic, then we can agree he is a magician”.
Alexander Graham Roberts, programme director.
The theatre of Philippe Quesne is grafted on common rituals of contemporary life, altering these on stage into small ceremonies, both derisory and playful, but extremely symptomatic of the shortcomings of our society. The stage is a laboratory, a "vivarium space", where extreme situations of the ordinary take place. Philippe Quesne’s work has the capacity to catapult us into another world, developing simple actions using everyday objects, used in ways that are clearly outside their - and our comfort zone.
Born in 1970, Philippe Quesne received his education in Visual Arts. For 10 years he designed sets for theater, operas and exhibitions. In 2003, he created the Vivarium Studio Company, and directed his first show, La Démangeaison des ailes, based on the acts of taking off and falling down. Philippe Quesne hunts the marvelous, the tiny, and pushes to the extreme experiences of our daily lives as well as the relationship between mankind and nature. As he did as a child, collecting insects, he now works and studies small communities under his microscope. The scenography is used as an ecosystem in which he immerses his actors into. His shows, such as La Démangeaison des ailes (2003), Des expériences (2004), D’après nature (2006), L’Effet de Serge (2007), La Mélancolie des dragons (2008), Big Bang (2010), Swamp Club (2013), Next Day (2014), compose a repertory that tours all over the world. In addition to his work for the theater, he creates performances and interventions in public spaces or natural sites, and displays his installations in the context of exhibitions. Since January 2014, he has been serving as the co-director of Nanterre-Amandiers, National Dramatic Center. In 2016, he will create Caspar Western Friedrich at Kammerspiele in Munich and Welcome to Caveland! at Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels.
Photo: Martin Argyroglo