FARM FATALE | PHILIPPE QUESNE – VIVARIUM STUDIO
The curtain opens, the stage is empty, just a white almost threatening wall . In this silent atmosphere noises are produced by movements of people and objects: here appear the protagonists of Farm Fatale (2019), the hybrid and experimental work produced by Vivarium Studio and created by director and artist Philippe Quesne. Post punk scarecrows populate the austere scenography: wearing wax masks that, increasing human traits, they almost are transformed in grotesque puppets with dirty and torn clothes, survivors of a apocalyptic disaster. With them they also carry hay bales, neon and hand-written cardboard signs in which phrases like NO nature – NO future make you think that they are arriving from an environmental protest. To these objects are added a DIY radio equipment: a microphone stuck on a fork, an antenna implemented to a rake, a speaker attached to a plastic pig.
With these rudimentary objects, the five protagonists of Farm Fatale, put together a pirate radio station that becomes the fulcrum of this theatrical work, whose boundaries seem to fade into art performance. To animate the radio schedule are poems recited by the characters and revivals of the great classics of rock music. Suddenly, with a broken and wobbly voice, one of the scarecrows starts singing Stand by me. With this action it breaks down the distances that initially made the scene aseptic and creates a familiarity that brings the story of the protagonists and their fight against climate change to the viewer.
Philippe Quesne, creating this farm of poets, scarecrows and activists proposes a new way of doing activism that revolutionizes different areas to become art and theater, music and philosophy, carnival and poetry. Amazed by the simplicity of the objects that surround them on the scene and the excitement of the music, the characters of Farm Fatale create an unexpected union between art and activism, shorting out the most canonical definitions. And indeed, the light turns down and it remain on the scene some neon eggs, the music keeps on going searching for a change, perhaps an utopia, perhaps a dream in which these scarecrows can really come alive to tell their story and their thought.
Philippe Quesne – Vivarium Studio
Farm Fatale, 2019
© Photo: Martin Argyroglo, courtesy the artists