time is passing... time is passing... Apr 16, 2011

by Tania Kupczak

I try not to categorize artwork by nationality, but there is something, well, particularly french about L'Effet de Serge. Whether intentional or accidental, I felt an intellectual alignment with French philosophers such as de Certeau who examined the daily. It a play that is charmingly uncomfortable, hilariously underplayed, and quite possibly making fun of itself even as it takes itself too seriously. Serge's armchair performances sent me home to pull Bachelard's Poetics of Space off my book shelf. Without too many page-turns, I found the phrase I was looking for:

"A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space."

This is how an apartment within a theater is transformed from artifice into a human experience. The brilliance of Vivarium Studio (and Philippe Quesne's direction) is the simplicity of the concept and the latitude it allows for failure, awkwardness and triumphs of all scales. I once interviewed for a job with a film company, during which I was asked, "Beauty: yes or no?"

We think about this question often in contemporary art, and in Serge's microcosm, the answer is most definitely yes, though not before an uncomfortably long pause.