The ecology of the image: the environmental politics of Philippe Quesne and Vivarium Studio

Lavery, C. (2013) The ecology of the image: the environmental politics of Philippe Quesne and Vivarium Studio. French Cultural Studies, 24(3), pp. 264-278. (doi:10.1177/0957155813489095)

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This essay sets out to explore the relationship between French performance and ecology by concentrating on the work of Philippe Quesne and Vivarium Studio, one of the few experimental theatre companies in France to have attracted recognition by French and Anglophone scholars in recent years. The essay proceeds by explaining Quesne’s self-confessed concern with the environment before concentrating on the aesthetic and theoretical difference between ‘ecological images’ and ‘images of ecology’. The final section of the essay pays close attention to how the ecological image functions in several of Quesne’s plays including La Démangeaison des ailes (2003), Expériences (2004), D’après nature (2006a), L’Effet de Serge (2007) and Big Bang (2010). By weaving environmental discourse with aesthetic thought, the essay offers the first in-depth interpretation of Quesne’s work in English and French as well as expanding the discursive parameters of French theatre. In keeping with the fact that ‘ecological thinking’ problematises any attempt to separate the metaphorical from the literal, mind from matter, the aim of this essay is to perform its own act of ecology: by which I mean that my objective is to contest the reductive ‘monoculturism’ of Anglophone theatre research, which has shown little interest in work performed in a language other than English, while simultaneously increasing the ‘biodiversity’ of French theatre criticism, which, to date, has paid little attention to ecology in terms of theme or form.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lavery, Professor Carl
Authors: Lavery, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:French Cultural Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1740-2352

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