Via a series of singing tableaux vivants drawn from a wealth of historic and anachronistic sources as diverse as witchcraft, voguing, and the animal kingdom, the artist plays across sixteenth-century pageantries. The performance pays tribute to Renaissance dark sides and “misfits,” among them painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, ceramicist Bernard Palissy, and writer François Rabelais, all known for the overgrown and carnivalesque saturation of natural elements in their work. With her way of juxtaposing incongruous elements—where regenerative animals such as lizards and cicadas meet allegories of planets—Curnier Jardin creates an eccentric “Gesamtkunstwerk” that reconsiders the Renaissance from a subversive perspective, challenging the figure of the “Renaissance White Man” and its conquering hubris, and plays with the invention of a body mutation during the Renaissance.
Costumes and set design by Rachel Garcia, assisted by Marjorie Potiron and Julia Stadelmann
Performed by Pauline Curnier Jardin, Simon Fravéga d’Amore, Hélène Iratchet,Mikey Mahar, Viviana Moin and Claire Vailler
Choreography & direction by Pauline Curnier Jardin in collaboration with the performers and Rachel Garcia
Music composed and performed by Claire Vailler
Tracks: “Le légume mésopotamien” by Mocke, and “Red Sex” by Vessel
Narrator’s text: Pauline Curnier Jardin and Gunter von Hagens with extracts of The Prose of the World by Michel Foucault
Photos by Paula Court.