Warner & Consorten

Review in Issue 14-3 | Autumn 2002

Into the pretty picture postcard location of Périgueux came Warner & Consorten from Amsterdam, a collective of artists who explore multi-disciplined work and blur the distinctions between artistic techniques,

Their work is full of imagery but is anything but picturesque. They set up in a tight little square and presented four different tableaux/performances which repeated slowly over a period of two hours. You walked from one to another and although each tableau operated in its own separate little world, sounds from one bled into another and you might be distracted by the audience’s reaction to a scene you weren’t watching. You could browse or watch one until you recognised when the sequence was starting to repeat.

The company’s aesthetic is very harsh; there is no expression of skilful art on show – the objects are a collage of crude woodwork, job-lots of unexpected day-to-day items and food stuffs – the costumes are charity shop items combined in unfamiliar ways. The performance style is understated: the performers carry out physical actions and tasks rather than act out characters – the aim is to create a scene where each element has an equal balance. The sounds and music are created by objects that function equally well as sculpture or musical instrument.

The four scenes take recognisable actions from normal life and abstract them so they take on a new dimension. The work consistently engages and has great humour within it but does not set out to entertain. Scenes may confuse you, challenge and even offend. The juxtaposition of moods is quite deliberate. In such a tourist haven of photo opportunities it was a pleasure to see such tough and uncompromising work.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-3
p. 29