16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 July
Outside. Bodies. Mischievous, distant, disinhibited, nonchalant. Naked. Windows open on the roofs of the city. Chinese artist Ren Hang photographed both cityscapes and nature, unclothing bodies like so many stylised, dreamlike landscapes. With tenderness, humour, or detachment, he exalted the grace of Chinese youths, rebellious, beautiful, and free. His poems, darker, are suffused with sex and loneliness, love and death. A life pulverised, persecuted, fragile, and melancholic. A much too short existence, which moved director Kirill Serebrennikov deeply. Two artists whose personal histories and works echo each other. Banned and attacked, they nonetheless managed to create their own art, free to explore themes of identity, sexuality, and of the place of the individual in his or her environment. Art as provocation, as a disturbing wake-up call. Raw, poetic, and insolent, it attacks conventional morality and totalitarianism. A necessary weapon in the fight to regain one's freedom of expression...
Born in Rostov-on-Don in Russia in 1969, Kirill Serebrennikov turned to theatre in 1992 after studying science at university. He adapted Maxime Gorki, William Shakespeare, Bertolt Brecht, or Mark Ravenhill for Moscow theatres and directed operas at the Bolshoi Theatre and in Europe. The winner of several awards for his work in television, he has also directed feature films (The Disciple, Leto). He has been the director of the Gogol Center in Moscow since 2012. His daring, impertinent theatre shows a great freedom and spirit of resistance. Outside is his third creation for the Festival d'Avignon, after The Idiots and Dead Souls. Since August 2017, he has been the object of a Kafkaesque trial.
A self-taught poet and photographer, Ren Hang was born in China in 1987 and lived in Beijing. Often banned, his subtle compositions feature bodies set against urban or natural backgrounds with a mix of eroticism, distance, and humour. His poetic images are known throughout the world for their great sense of freedom. Ren Hang committed suicide in 2017.