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A Matter of Technique

23 Dec 2023–7 Jan 2024
Age restrictions

A show that presents imaginary stories of real inventions. Premiere of a play by director and artist Sergei Loban as part of the GES-2 New Year programme.

Schedule 


Our world is not ideal, but what if we tried to make it a bit better? The characters in this production think that it’s all just a matter of technique. Nine novellas tell the stories of people who fight for their personal freedom using their unlimited imagination. They are inventors who oppose the laws of the universe, nature, fate, their own body and society, challenging problems of different magnitudes. Their path involves constant mental efforts; their creations do not solve the world’s problems, but in a surprising way help the characters to preserve themselves.

Illustration: Aleksandra Kononova

On the stage at Prospekt, a number of strange devices will appear: Swimming Apparatus by Arthur Key Joy, Complete Isolator by Hugo Gernsbek, Air Biogenerator by Chiu Zhi, Personal fold-up flying apparatus by Ellis Kaps, SpaceRanger by Evgeny Glukharev and others. Many of them were created based on real blueprints from publicly available patents, others can only be accepted with a smile. The futuristic design of Walter Pichler’s tele-helmet is placed next to junk from a garage workshop — and this is all part of the same world.

The authors of the production were inspired by the idea of an outdoor theatre and circus performance. The result is an experimental production — something between a technical presentation, a performance and a variety show with elements of stand-up comedy: the host is played by stand-up comedian Mikhail Kostretsov.

Specially for A Matter of Technique, composer Zhak Polyakov wrote a soundtrack which includes new songs by his group Karamazov Twins. They will be performed in public for the first time by the inventors, turning into monologues about the most important things — solitude, misunderstanding and love.

The scenography of the production was devised by young theatre artist Evgenia Rzheznikova: her practical and conceptual designs fit precisely into the architecture of GES-2.

By bringing a stage performance from the theatre hall to the enormous space of Prospekt, the GES-2 curators continue to study the main public space of GES-2, to look for different ways to interact with it and within it. This search echoes the logic of the inventors from A Matter of Technique, for whom the process of invention and creativity is more important than achieving a clear result.

This is a story about how difficult it is to be a human being. You must constantly invent something to stay yourself.

—Sergei Loban, director


23, 24 Dec

Guests assemble — 11:20, performance starts —12:00
Guests assemble — 15:20, performance starts —16:00

The performances on 3 January at 16:00, 5 January at 12:00 and 7 January at 12:00 will be held with interpretation into Russian sign language. Please indicate if you require this when registering, so that we can book you a seat from where you can see the interpreter.

27 Dec

Guests assemble — 15:20, performance starts —16:00

30 Dec,
3, 5, 7 Jan

Guests assemble — 11:20, performance starts —12:00
Guests assemble — 15:20, performance starts —16:00

Direction and concept

Sergei Loban—theatre, film and television director, artist. Participant of the artistic associations “For Anonymous and Free Art,” “SVOI2000.” Director of the films Dust (2005) and Chapiteau-Show (2011).


Evgenia Rzheznikova—multidisciplinary artist. Works at the intersection of theatre and media art, addressing problems of private and collective memory. Graduate of Dmitry Krymov’s laboratory at GITIS (2016). Her installation Dead Souls received a special prize from the Institut français at the French embassy in Russia in the “Innovation” category (2021). Nominee of a Golden Mask prize (2021) for the site-specific production The Three Musketeers, staged at a garage cooperative in Lefortovo.


Zhak Polyakov—composer of music for the film Chapiteau-Show (2011), founder of the group Karamazov Twins.

Costume and prop artist

Yulia Komynina—artist, circus performer, participant of the Neteatr experimental theatre. Costume designer for the films Chapiteau-Show (2011), My Little Nighttime Secret (2023), and the TV series My Mother’s Penguins (2021).

Mikhail Kostretsov, Anton Krainy, Pavel Malstev, Elizaveta Popova, Kirill Seliverstov, Andrei Sergievsky, Alexander Khitev, Dmitry Khromtsov

Director’s assistant
Evgenia Furman

Andrei Sergievsky

Artist for construction of inventions
Alexander Vyatkin

Lighting artist
Maxim Biryukov

Sound engineer
Vladimir Markovkin

Costume artist’s assistant
Anna Sidorova

Production artist
Elena Zykova

Bastrigin Brothers

Stepan Ovchinnikov

Oksana Agapova, Yulia Buchinskaya, Darya Shadrina, Mikhail Yatsko

Project designer
Kirill Gorbunov

Technical support
Andrei Belov, Artem Kanifatov, Maxim Lapshin, Artem Marenkov, Mikhail Sarkisyants

Accessibility curators
Vera Zamyslova, Vlad Kolesnikov, Oksana Osadchaya

Media specialist
Anna Kolpakova

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