drama in Perpignan

January 20, 2012

An eclectic grouping by Pont Arago in Perpignan. Buildings with differing functions? I kept driving past  thinking how interesting the installation looked. So, eventually, on my last morning . . .

discovered that this is Théâtre de l’Archipel  designed by Jean Nouvel and it all started to make sense! Since visiting Cartier Foundation and Musée du Quai Branly  in Paris, I’ve become a fan of him and his buildings. So there’s something silver, gold some building that looks like local sandstone although it isn’t and something that looks like a doughnut finished with a layer of blood red nail polish. OK and why not – it’s theatrical anyway. The supporting landscape elements – pines, escallonias and  clethra –  are recently planted so need time to knit in and start to flourish.

Corten steel is a good backdrop and contrast for green foliage.

A galvanised steel structure – about 4 metres high – will be covered with Trachelospermum within 12 months. Crazy enough to fit in well. Loved it!

And the outside face of the auditorium looks like this – 2 large shiny buttocks!  . . .

. . . . no compromise on anything with this construction. So in relation to the previous blog, lets see how this stands up in 50 years . . . .

A few quotes on the theeaarrtrical:

(Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), French theatre producer, actor,theorist. “Preface: The Theater and Culture,” The Theater and its Double (1938, trans. 1958).)

The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything—gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness—rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations…. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.


There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.


Where there is a stink of shit
there is a smell of being.

Wonderful foresight from Artaud. How did he know that the French have to have pets  in their apartments. These pets then cover the streets in shit because they can’t help it!  And the French see the cleaning up of this as beneath them!

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