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QUARTET V2.0 (2002)


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QUARTET v2.0 (2002) is a cross-media performance/installation featuring the work of the WaxFactory ensemble, integrating an extensive use of video software technology and an unconventional blend of text- and movement-based live performance. The piece is centered on the theatrical text by German playwright Heiner Müller, and it explores the dynamics in a relationship between the characters of Valmont and Merteuil -- which Müller borrows from the Laclos novel Les Liasons Dangereuses.
WaxFactory’s interpretation adapts the play’s apocalyptic scenario to a stark, self-enclosed architectural structure. Heiner Müller’s text suggests a ritual that takes place in a bunker after the third world war; our production quarantines its protagonists -- the last survivors of a mankind decimated by a deadly plague -- to a sterile structure which serves as the arena for their vicious endgames. Constantly monitored by several surveillance cameras, the actors’ performance is simultaneously contrasted with video images captured from multiple angles, and edited, processed and projected on two large plasma monitors. The real-time video images are enhanced with animations operated through computers with the aid of original software developed by the programmer Ivan Klif Marusic from Croatia. Gender-bending role play indicated in Müller’s text is emphasized by futuristic and sculptural costume pieces (designed by Lithuanian avant-garde fashion designer Vilma Marè), which are exchanged throughout the performance by the two androgynous-looking performers as they progress from playing themselves to playing each other, as well as the objects of their sexual conquests. This aspect of the text is further enhanced by digital manipulation of actor’s voices, which are amplified and processed in real time.
This designed shelter can be installed in a variety of sites, both traditional performance venues as well as locations never intended for performance, allowing us to experiment with the interaction between a self-enclosed work of art and the space which houses and surrounds it. The show is suitable for performance in conventional theatrical settings. However, the transplantable architectural installation that comprises the set enabled us to present the piece site-specifically in locations as diverse as decrepit industrial buildings, abandoned cinemas, ancient ruins, a hotel devastated by the bombing during the war, etc.


text by | Heiner Müller (translated by Douglas Langworthy)
a WaxFactory project
co-production | Split Summer Festival / Croatian National Theatre (Split, Croatia)
directed/designed by | Ivan Talijančić
performed by | Erika Latta + Dion Doulis.
video | Sebastijan Nenad Vukusic
sound | Ivan Talijancic
costumes | Vilma Maré



January 2002 [version beta / workshop presentation]: CultureMart Festival, HERE Arts Center (New York, USA)
January / February 2002 [versions 1.0 + 1.5 / work-in-progress]: New York Center for Media Arts (Queens, NY, USA)
August 2002 [version 2.0 / premiere]: Split Summer Festival (Split, Croatia)
August 2002: Zadar Snova (Zadar, Croatia), Karantena Festival (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
October 2002: OLTRE90 International Festival (Milan, Italy)
September 2003: Ex Ponto Festival (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
October 2003: MESS Festival (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
January 2004: APAP conference at The Stable (Brooklyn, NY, USA)