Tickets available online until 2 p.m. on show day.
Presented by Casteliers, in collaboration with Mois Multi Festival international d’arts multidisciplinaires et électroniques, as part of the 14th Festival de Casteliers Program Launch
Ersatz is Julien Mellano’s freely fantasized projection of a future man. A potential monster, this man is the absurd result of the alchemy between humans and machines. The solitary specimen in Ersatz seems to be a remnant of a disenchanted future, as he suffers the consequences of a technological revolution that hasn’t entirely regained its footing.
In this show without words, Julien Mellano scorns narration, choosing instead to hold a one-on-one exchange between a man and an object. Moving between an entertaining performance and a disturbing farce, Mellano invites the audience to be part of a comical and mysterious treasure hunt, where symbols come together to create an allegorical tableau that is strangely reminiscent of 17th century vanitas paintings.
Like a poem or a frog, Ersatz cannot be dissected because its isolated elements can’t explain any of the entanglements within. Here, the absurd and the miraculous jostle and weave together in a black hole, as they attempt to reach the vanishing point of our humanity – whether it be real, virtual or augmented. Far from being a neatly organized narrative about the future, Ersatz is a journey without commentary into the troubled world hidden within ourselves, and it delves into our most deeply buried roots. A cross between Jacques Tati and Black Mirror, under the watchful eye of Alan Turing, Ersatz is a frozen shard from an already present future.
RUNNING TIME: 30 minutes
TECHNIQUE: Object Theatre
Photo : Laurent Guizard
Stage director and performer Julien Mellano creates shows where conventions are toppled and narratives are cleverly scrambled. His object and sound manipulation experiments, character actor skills and careful attention to creating images give rise to theatrical forms that cut across disciplines, but that can be characterized by attention to detail, the bizarre and the presence of monsters. In 2002, the short, table top solo piece Mon Œil marked the beginning of his stage directing his own projects. Other productions followed: first there was Hippotheatron, based on the movie Freaks by Todd Browning, followed by a solo version of Rabelais’ Gargantua. At the same time, he also worked with Denis Athimon (Bob Théâtre) on the adaptation, staging and performance of Nosferatu, Demiurge and Bartleby. He co-wrote Beastie, Queen and Ma Biche et mon Lapin with Charlotte Blin. He is also regularly called upon as a scenographer and outside eye for various dance, storytelling, theatre and music projects.
AÏE AÏE AÏE came together around Julien Mellano’s projects. Since 2007, the collective has been connecting creative minds in France and around the world.
Development, Stage Direction and Performance: Julien Mellano
Outside Eye: Étienne Manceau
Lighting and Stage Managment: Sébastien Thomas
Music: Olivier Mellano and Mauricio Kagel
Production: Collectif AÏE AÏE AÏE
Coproduction: Festival 11, Biennale de la marionnette et des formes manipulées and Scène nationale du Sud-Aquitain
With support from: Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication DRAC Bretagne, Conseil Général de Bretagne, Conseil Départemental d’Ille-et-Vilaine de Rennes Métropole and Ville de Rennes
Creative residencies: Au bout du Plongeoir – Site d’expérimentation artistique de Tizé; Le Volume, Centre culturel de Vern-sur-Seiche; Le Pôle Sud – Centre culturel de Chartres de Bretagne; Le Théâtre de Laval, scène conventionnée; Le Théâtre La Paillette à Rennes; et Le Théâtre Quintaou à Anglet.
Casteliers wishes to thank the Consulate General of France in Québec City for its support.