The acclaimed French festival star Philippe Quesne makes his debut as a director at the Ruhrtriennale – with a project that also represents a large-scale retrospective of his previous works with the Vivarium Studio which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2023. Here the artist assembles leading protagonists and motifs from his earlier works and weaves them into a broad theatrical panorama. His artworks have consistently addressed the urgent and fundamental issues of our time. Philippe Quesne and his company are and have always been concerned with the big picture. They have repeatedly made fresh attempts to trace the course of human history, its high and low points, exploring its dreams, the motives for its endeavours, its will to power and its failures. They question the rules for how we form communities and our treatment of the environment. Where does our sense of crisis come from and how does humanity measure reality? Quesne intertwines processes of scientific and aesthetic enquiry in a highly poetic and playful manner. Work that regards itself as artistic research occupies a space where art, philosophy, politics and ecology intersect with childlike play. Vivarium Studios’ theatre productions are humorous and lucid celebrations of the power of the imagination as the answer to the fears of our time. For this large-scale anniversary performance, Philippe Quesne enters into a dialogue with the famous, almost 500-year-old painting The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, a masterpiece of art history. The picture represents the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Quesne joins it in questioning the core essence of human identity, humanity’s utopian visions, its relationship to itself as a species and its broken relationship to nature.
Vivarium Studio and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne.
Coproduced by Festival d’Avignon, Ruhrtriennale, Athens Epidaurus Festival, Tangente St. Pölten - Festival für Gegenwartskultur, Théâtre du Nord, Centre Dramatique National Lille Tourcoing Hauts-de-France, Maison de la Culture d’Amiens, Pôle européen de création et de production, Les 2 Scènes, Scène nationale de Besançon , Centro dramatico nacional, MC93, Maison de la culture de Seine-Saint-Denis Bobigny, Le Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg, Scène européenne – Kampnagel, Festival NEXT, Scène nationale Carré-Colonnes Bordeaux-Métropole, Berliner Festspiele