Corps Diplomatique

± 1h 30min

13/05 – 20:30
14/05 – 18:00
15/05 – 20:30

In 1972, NASA sent a golden record into space to testify to life on Earth. In 2015, Halory Goerger is taking up the torch and developing a spatial programme for the performing arts. Two years after his phenomenal Germinal , created in collaboration with Antoine Defoort, the artist is sending a theatre company through space and time – let’s say ten thousand years away – with one script and one mission: to create, rehearse and perform a show. What might a play evolving over such a long period turn into? How can a show convey the essence of mankind? And what meaning will theatre have in such a far-off future? Corps Diplomatique is a bold exercise in science fiction on the survival of our civilisation, a zany, but rigorously documented reverie of an artist who is as intelligent as he is adventurous. Halory Goerger places theatre in a time machine and eagerly observes what happens next. The future is now: fasten your seatbelts!

Concept & direction
Halory Goerger

Performance & artistic collaboration
Albane Aubry, Mélanie Bestel, Arnaud Boulogne, Dominique Gilliot, Halory Goerger

Stage manager
Emilie Godreuil

Antoine Villeret & Cyrille Henry

Sound & digital material
Robin Mignot / Stéphane Lévêque

Digital integration
Robin Mignot

Annie Leuridan

Aurélie Noble

Martin Granger

Outside eye
Mylène Benoit

Halory Goerger & Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers

Make up advice
Manue Brechet

Marion Le Guerroué/l’Amicale de production

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Halles de Schaerbeek

l’Amicale de production (Lille)

Kunstenfestivaldesarts in collaboration with Les Halles de Schaerbeek, le Phénix – Scène nationale Valenciennes, Dublin Theatre Festival, Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival (Groningen), Arsenic (Lausanne), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), BUDA Kunstencentrum (Kortrijk), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Ghent), Espace Malraux – Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie, Le CENTQUATRE (Paris), Le Manège de Reims, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, Le Quartz – Scène nationale de Brest, Espace des Arts (Chalon-sur-Saône)

With the support of
Beursschouwburg (Brussels), Le Vivat (Armentières), Szene Salzburg, APAP Network

In collaboration with
DICRéAM, DRAC Nord-Pas de Calais, spedidam

Performance in Brussels supported by
Institut français

Project coproduced by
NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union & APAP/Performing Europe

Project created with the support of
Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais)

Halory Goerger is associated artist at
CENTQUATRE (Paris) and the network APAP/Performing Europe (DGEAC – Programme Culture)

L’Amicale de production is associated with
Phénix-Scène Nationale de Valenciennes & Beursschouwburg (Brussels)

L’Amicale de production is supported by
Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (Conventionnement DRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais), Conseil régional du Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Ville de Lille

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Corps Diplomatique

A local journalist has made the journey to watch the departure of the Corps Diplomatique, a group of amateur astronauts who are preparing to drift off into space to write everyday theatre. Freed from the constraints of time and light years away from terrestrial agitation, they will be able to produce a work in a continuous creative motion. They leave with the means to ensure their autonomy and replenish their numbers by artificial reproduction. When an actor dies, another will take over his role. Touched by the purity of the approach, the journalist opts to stay behind and will regret it for the rest of his life. Corps Diplomatique presents the slow decline of a carefree and post-modern utopian community, and celebrates our sometimes pathetic attempts to construct a coherent artistic discourse in a failing society.

Conducting an experiment in thought, in physical or analytical philosophy, is about attempting to resolve a problem solely with the powers of our imagination following strange contortions of logic. Corps Diplomatique is the realisation on stage of what should probably only have been a thought experiment that could be formulated as follows: what would happen if you allowed a group to drift on board a space station for tens of thousands of years with the mission of reproducing, writing, rehearsing and performing a show until the end of time? What physiognomy would a show have that is designed to be seen by – literally – the whole universe? Wouldn’t there quite quickly be something rotten about it?

I haven’t been given responsibility for a space programme, but this project is what I would want to send into space, rather than letting NASA put any old thing in its rockets. We still have just enough energy to send something into the cosmos by classic propulsion – although this time instead of sending up test pilots, engineers or billionaires, let’s send artists. And let them rot to see what it produces. They will be our diplomatic corps. People who represent us in space and time. However in contrast to the time capsule that provides a snapshot of a civilisation, this group is going to be able to get civilisation to change, from generation to generation, and a good thing too because it needs it. And in particular, we hope, they are going to be able to dedicate themselves exclusively, unbroken in time and in complete continuity, to producing a work. The play therefore has a dual mission: to present the era, but also the production it brings about.

In Corps Diplomatique, the only prospect for the men and women who will be born in the station will be continuing the creative work started by their forefathers. The encounters with hypothetical spectators will provide sufficient opportunity to confront an audience in well-spaced work phases. Assuming that they spend half their time writing and the other half rehearsing, before reaching the nearest exoplanet they will have rehearsed the show a million times. In this respect, it will be the best-prepared show in the history of the universe.

Halory Goerger, 27 March 2015

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Halory Goerger (b. 1978) comes up with shows and installations rather than building houses or fixing animals because that way it’s better for everyone. He works on the history of ideas because everything else had already been taken by the time he came along. Born in 1978, he embarked on a primitive practice in 2004, influenced more by non-dance than by yes-theatre. Since then, he has developed his writing for the stage, now his principal medium, in plays such as Métrage Variable , &&&&& & &&& and Germinal . He is co-founder of L’Amicale de production.

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