In Conversation with Philippe Quesne: Between space, stage design and bodies

Iceland Academy of the Arts

French theatre artist Philippe Quesne – in conversation with Iceland-based curator Alexander Roberts – will introduce his idiosyncratic approach and attitudes towards theatre making and dramaturgy. The discussion between the two will look closely at the aesthetics of Quesne and the practices behind them, as well as invite Quesne to elaborate further on his broader experiences and ideas of working with "Vivarium Studio"; a laboratory of theatrical innovation that he founded in Paris in 2003. Quesne’s approach to dramaturgy hinges on a central dialogue between space, stage design and bodies, where the staged world of the work comes first and all of the activity we then see on the stage unfurls from the specific urgencies, crises and desires that that specific staged world generates. Today, Philippe Quesne not only continues to be prolific in his theatre making, but is also Artistic Director of Theater Nanterre–Amandiers, as such conversation with the artist will also drill down into how his approach to theatre-making is informing his work as a curator and Director of this house.


About the Artist

Philippe Quesne, born in 1970, studied fine arts, visual design and stage design in Paris. In recent years he has been responsible for the stage design of operas, concerts, theater performances and art exhibitions. In 2003 he inaugurated the “Vivarium Studio” in Paris, a laboratory for theatrical innovation, where
 painters, actors, dancers and musicians collaborate. Philippe Quesne conceives and stages performances whose dramaturgy is based on a strong link between space, stage design and bodies. His settings frequently become work studios or vivariums representing the human microcosm. His works include “L’Effet de Serge” (2007), “La Mélancolie des Dragons” (2008), “Big Bang” (2010), “Pièce pour la Technique du Schauspiel de Hanovre” (2011) and “Next Day” (2014). His multi-disciplinary performances can be seen at international festivals. Since 2014 Philippe Quesne has been director of the Theater Nanterre – Amandiers in Paris.