The work of Artist and Stage Director Théo Mercier forms a critical inquiry at the intersection of anthropology, ethnography, geopolitics and tourism. Between choreographed performance works and the exploration of diverse materials, he is both a creator and a collector, involved in a rich dialogue between past, present and future, between animate and inanimate, truth and lies, artisanal and industrial, sacred and profane, real and imaginary.
Most of Mercier’s pieces turn on the anthropomorphisation of objects – whether they are found, assembled, in collage or grafted together. He tends to work in series, forming communities of pieces – roughly grouped as young or old, male or female.
By producing and collecting such hybridity – polymorphic, polyvocal, ambiguous, of uncertain origin and use – Théo Mercier gives shape to a very distinct exoticism: transcultural, transgeographic and transtemporal. Between real and imagined anthropology, the artist’s approach is like that of an explorer bringing back objects from real or fictional worlds, as evidence of journeys that may or may not have happened.
Théo Mercier constantly plays with the confusion, even the loss, of the artist's presence in the creation of a work, a game that also appears in his performance piece Radio Vinci Park. At Nanterre-Amandiers, he presented two theater plays : La Fille du collectionneur (2017) and Affordable Solution for Better Living (2018).
Steven Michel (France, 1986) studied mime and circus from an early age, and dance and percussion as a teenager, before settling in Brussels in 2006 for his training at P.A.R.T.S. dance school.
He has worked as an interpreter with choreographers, directors and filmmakers such as David Zambrano, Anouk Van Dijk and Falk Richter, Lukas Dhont, Daniel Linehan and Maud Le Pladec, as well as visual artists Théo Mercier and Sarah&Charles. Since 2012 he has been collaborating with the Belgian choreographer Jan Martens (Sweat Baby Sweat, The Dog Days are Over) and in 2016 he produced They Might Be Giants, a solo that questions the relations between the artificial, the natural, the animate, the inanimate, the immaterial and the monumental.
Steven Michel's goal is to not limit himself to a single discipline or tool, but to experience different roles and approaches, to explore diverse objects and to blur the boundaries between modes of expression, such as: fiction and science; harmony and chaos; the eye and the ear; the analogue and the digital.
Steven Michel received a Silver Lion at La Biennale di Venezia 2019 for the show he conceived with visual artist Théo Mercier: Affordable Solution for Better Living.