Through New Settings, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports artists creating original, offbeat forms, who venture into unknown territories and new disciplines to create singular works that extend the possibilities of the performing arts. This year, Xavier Veilhan and Gerard & Kelly offer exceptional pieces that go far beyond the beaten track. French visual artist Veilhan orchestrates a Canadian dancer twirling across an ice rink installed in La Villette, while American duo Gerard & Kelly transpose their choreographic practice to the spaces of Le Corbusier’s modernist architecture. Other projects invoke original disciplines, with French company GdRA undertaking a project centred on an extended anthropological study. French duo Jeanne Moynot & Anne-Sophie Turion, meanwhile, offer a devilish take on the art of flower arranging, while self-taught French singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nosfell introduces us to his dreamlike universe. Finally, Turkish artist Begüm Erciyas draws on technology to offer an unsettling, immersive project.
From one edition to the next, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès reaffirms its support for artists as they take these radical steps, daring them to push their research and their creations ever further to conceive genuinely audacious pieces. Propelled by this dynamic, French choreographer and dancer Boris Charmatz builds on his previous work, 10000 gestes, with a new project that reaches for nothing less than infinity. A new trio composed of Spanish performer La Ribot, French choreographer Mathilde Monnier and Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, meanwhile, offers a humorous interpretation of the savage nature of theatre. This year also sees a new generation of artists look to the future of our world, with Portuguese choreographer Ana Rita Teodoro interrogating the distinction between the real and the virtual while Danish choreographer and dancer Mette Ingvartsen and Greek choreographer Kat Válastur both set out to consider our ability to confront technological developments. In New York, Cyril Teste will present his ambitious version of Opening Night, and lead a masterclass with students in the PIMA (Performance and Interactive Media Arts) programme at Brooklyn College thanks to a partnership with the FIAF (French Institute Alliance Française).
A resolutely living vision of transmission firmly anchored in our contemporary age constitutes a final dimension of the New Settings programme: this year, the Foundation’s support for the four evenings of the Merce Cunningham Portrait stems from a desire not only to pay tribute to the oeuvre of this major American artist but also to recognise his influence on new generations of dancers. For French choreographer Daniel Larrieu, transmission is indeed to be found precisely in the bodies, postures and movements of those who interpret his work. La Ribot, meanwhile, presents another step on her idiosyncratic but rigorous artistic trajectory in the form of a performance piece emblematic of her blend of choreography, visual art and the performing arts.
2019’s programme also attests to the Foundation’s long-term commitment to artists it has supported in previous editions of New Settings, including Mathilde Monnier, Boris Charmatz, Cyril Teste and Xavier Veilhan.
All of the works featured in New Settings are selected through an international call for projects launched by the Foundation each year. Ongoing exchanges with the programme’s partner institutions – Théâtre de la Cité Internationale, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Nanterre-Amandiers, Théâtre de la Ville, the Centre Pompidou, and the FIAF in New York – are also integral to the creation of each edition.