Valérie Mréjen / Mohamed El Khatib
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya 05/07 - 06/07
"Where is the restroom?" Surely it's not surprising to anyone, but this question, so far from the spiritual atmosphere we like to attribute to art, is the one that is most often answered by museum security guards around the world. Their job is to watch without attracting attention, make sure we don't touch anything we're not supposed to, monitor the bags we carry, and occasionally, tell us which room a Matisse is in or tell us that no, we can't see La Gioconda because that painting is in the Louvre museum in Paris, thousands of miles away... How do they cope with the boredom when the rooms are empty and they want nothing more than to be able to sleep standing up? What do they think about the people around them and what aesthetic experience do they have, living surrounded by works of art that they must see all day, every day while they work? Eight security guards from museums in different cities of the world momentarily outshine the works of art they care for and become protagonists in an artistic performance. This intimate work shows us the connections and common points between art spaces that are immersed in different cultural contexts.
It's a joint creation between playwright, theatre director, and producer Mohamed El Khatib, a specialist in documentary-type artistic proposals who presented the works Finir en beaute and C'est la vie at the 2021 Grec Festival, and Valerie Mréjen, a French writer, visual artist, and video creator who bases her work on everyday life. Her creations have been shown both abroad and in France, where in 2008, the Jeu de Paume in Paris dedicated an exhibit to her.
A production by Zirlib.
Coproductions : les Spectacles-Vivants, Centre Pompidou - Théâtre de la Ville, Paris - Festival d’Automne à Paris - Malraux, Scène nationale Chambéry Savoie - TNB, Théâtre national de Bretagne - Théâtre Garonne, Scène d’Europe - Grand T, Théâtre de Loire-Atlantique - Tandem Douai-Arras Scène nationale - Théâtre de Choisy-le-Roi with the cooperation of PANTHEA.
With the support of : festival ActOral et Montévidéo, du Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne et le soutien du Cnap - Centre National des Arts Plastiques.
With the support of : de la Fondation d’entreprise Hermès dans le cadre du programme New Settings et de l’Institut français dans le cadre du programme Théâtre Export.
With the participation of the museums and art centres MUseum MOderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) of Vienna, Le Centre Pompidou of Paris, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) of New York, MUDO Musée de l'Oise of Beauvais (France), The Moderna museet - Museum of modern art of Stockholm, The Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, and Le Musée des Beaux-Arts of Orleans (France).
Zirlib is financed by the Région Centre-Val de Loire, the Ministry of Culture –DRAC Centre-Val-de-Loire, and the city of Orléans.
Mohamed El Khatib is an associate artist at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Théâtre national Wallonie-Bruxelles and Malraux – Scène nationale in Chambéry. Valerie Mréjen and Mohamed El Khatib are artists associated with the Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes.
Conceived and put on by: Mohamed El Khatib, Valérie Mréjen With : Nathalie Conio Vavilova, Boney Fields, Carolina Hindsjö, Seung Hee Kim, Jean-Claude Oudoul, Jean-Paul Sidolle Set design: Frédéric Hocké, Louise Sari Project assistant: Vassia Chavaroche Linguistic collaboration: Marianne Segol, Iris Raffetseder, Ludmila Anisimova Production: Arnaud Léger, Zacharie Dutertre Zirlib Production: Sylvia Courty Zirlib Administration: Alice Le Diouron Photography: Yohanne Lamoulère - Tendance Floue