Following collaborations with the French architects Jean Nouvel and Dominique Perrault, American architects Diller+Scofidio and Thom Mayne, the Iraqi-British architectural star Zaha Hadid and Brazilian designers Humberto and Fernando Campana, Frédéric Flamand has now chosen the Chinese architect and visual artist Ai Weiwei to design the sets for the Ballet National de Marseille’s new show.
Ai Weiwei offers a reinterpretation of major artistic trends that punctuated the last century as if seen through the eyes of a discoverer. His most widely known work, a collaboration with the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, is the “Bird’s Nest”, the emblematic stadium of the Beijing Olympic Games. But it is for his installations and performances at the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel that Frédéric Flamand first being acquainted with Ai Weiwei.
Having drawn inspiration from “Invisible Cities” to create “Silent Collisions”, Frédéric Flamand is renewing his association with the Italian writer Italo Calvino and for “The Truth 25 X a second” has sought inspiration – very freely – from one of Calvino’s major works: “The Baron in the Trees”.
When Calvino set the action of his story in the late 18th century, he was choosing an era which in his eyes was just as unsettled and subject to change as ours. And it is today that Frédéric Flamand would like to talk about.
The whole thing is a masterly work inspired by splendid tableaux. A real and beautiful show, in all senses of the word. Sophie Lesort, Danser