University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Object Animates: Displacement and Humility in the Theatre of Philippe Quesne

Allen, Richard (2013) The Object Animates: Displacement and Humility in the Theatre of Philippe Quesne. Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 18 (3). pp. 119-125. ISSN Print: 1352-8165 Online: 1469-9990

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This article considers the animating role that objects play in the theatre of Philippe Quesne and Vivarium Studio (France). The conventional role of object animation is often characterised by the performer manipulating objects and scenic material on the stage, asserting a control over the environment they are implicated in. In Quesne's theatre, this relationship is democratised. The theatrical apparatus, both materially and conceptually, is set up to enable the flow of animation to be interchangeable, affording an equal agency to the objects being used much as that of the performers. This theatre of animation is drawn through the framing concepts of displacement and humility. Displacement is considered as a compositional strategy that makes us aware of the volume of the stage space beyond the proscenium frame as a plane of composition. The introduction of large inflatable objects, real cars or large roles of fake snow foreground the objects material presence allows Quesne to play with moments of equilibrium, tipping, excess and absence. Humility is traced as a philosophy of objects that transcends the choice, handling and use of material items in Quesne's work. Simple objects take on a specific vibrancy because of how they give shape to the human participants on stage, animating moments of recognition that allows the human figure, its ethics, emotions and humour, to appear.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Philippe Quesne, object animation, theatre, displacement
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
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Depositing User: Richard Allen
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 14:25
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:14

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