Affordable Solution for Better Living

Affordable Solution for Better Living by visual artist Théo Mercier and choreographer Steven Michel

Affordable Solution for Better Living

The Invisible Dog | Cobble Hill

In Affordable Solution for Better Living, visual artist Théo Mercier and choreographer Steven Michel break the taboos of a society saddled with healthy living, placing a Kallax–a most peculiar totem–in the middle of a spotless space. The flagship shelf unit by the giant company Ikea, less famous than the Billy but more sizable and refined, epitomizes “beauty for all”.

By transposing a commercial system to a choreographic piece, Affordable Solution for Better Living aims to interrogate the commodified body, the prescribed lifestyle and the illusion of freedom touted by the major industrial powers. How does the corporate world stage the consumer’s body? Is the household the only insubmissive space or in fact an umpteenth incarnation staged by a major brand?

In three acts, Affordable Solution for Better Living debunks the model and unfurls the convictions and doubts of a nearly perfect and polished man. A centaur, half man and half furniture, absurdly builds his own customized interior, unique and yet like all the others. In crescendo mode, man and space merge beautifully, the smooth, harmonious and chilling world cracks and bends, exposing its dark side as well as its humanity. Aren’t people likely to self-destruct from within as they strive excessively to tend to their interior?

Dates + Times
Monday, November 12, 8pm
Tuesday, November 13, 8pm

Admission
$10 Suggested Donation
RSVP required


AFFORDABLE SOLUTION FOR BETTER LIVING // THÉO MERCIER & STEVEN MICHEL

 

Théo Mercier

The work of Artist and Stage Director Théo Mercier forms a critical inquiry at the intersection of anthropology, ethnography, geopolitics and tourism. Between choreographed performance works and the exploration of diverse materials, he is both a creator and a collector, involved in a rich dialogue between past, present and future, between animate and inanimate, truth and lies, artisanal and industrial, sacred and profane, real and imaginary.

Most of Mercier’s pieces turn on the anthropomorphisation of objects–whether they are found, assembled, in collage or grafted together. He tends to work in series, forming communities of pieces–roughly grouped as young or old, male or female.

Résident at Villa Médicis de Rome, he writes his first performance Du futur faisons table rase, performed at Nanterre-Amandiers (Paris) in December 2014. On the same year, Théo Mercier was nominated for Marcel Duchamp prize. He presented personal exhibition in Mexico, Los Angeles, Paris, New York… His works have been showed at Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Moscow Biennial, Centre Pompidou in Paris, at Hamburger Bannhof (Germany). His last performance La Fille du collectionneur has been showed in Nanterre-Amandiers (Paris) in 2017. He works and lives between Paris and Mexico.

 

Steven Michel

Steven Michel (France, 1986) studied mime and circus from an early age, and dance and percussion as a teenager, before settling in Brussels in 2006. He trained at The P.A.R.T.S. dance school (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios), directed by Ann Teresa De Keersmaeker, graduating in 2010.

He has been working as a dancer with choreographers, theater director and filmmaker such as David Zambrano, Falk Richter, Lukas Dhont, Daniel Linehan et Maud Le Pladec, as well as plastic artist as Theo Mercier et Sarah&Charles. Since 2012 he regularly collaborates with the Belgian choreographer Jan Martens.

In 2014, Steven began a research project based on the theme of Audio-Vision, with the support from the Flemish authorities. His ideas have led him to explore the “rhizomatic” dimension of the audiovisual relationship, as a mental stimulus but also as pure sensory experience. In 2016 he produced the solo They Might Be Giants (2016), currently on tour. For the scenography he collaborated with visual artists Sarah & Charles. They Might Be Giants brings the viewer to a space where music and images excite the imagination and overturn perceptions. The solo piece questions the relations between the artificial, the natural, the animate, the inanimate, the immaterial and the monumental.

Steven is currently preparing a series of performance laboratories, open to artists from different disciplines. The methodological diversity of the research builds bridges to new areas of knowledge and experience. His goal is to not limit himself to a single discipline or tool, but to experience different roles and approaches, to explore diverse objects and to blur the boundaries between modes of expression. He continues to explore and to play with correspondences evoked by his research, such as: fiction and science; miniature and monumental scales; harmony and chaos; major modes and minor modes; the eye and the ear; the analogue and the digital.

 

HISTORY + MISSION

The Invisible Dog Art Center is housed in a three-story former factory building in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Built in 1863, our 30,000 square foot facility has been the site of various industrial endeavors, most notably a belt factory that manufactured the famous Walt Disney invisible dog party trick, after which our center is named. The building remained dormant from the mid 1990s until 2009, when our founder Lucien Zayan opened The Invisible Dog.

The Invisible Dog is dedicated to the integration of innovation in the arts with profound respect for the past. In 2009, the building was restored for safety reasons, but special attention was given to the preservation of its original 1863 form. The rawness of the space is vital to our identity.

The ground floor is used for exhibitions, performances and public events featuring visual artists, performers and curators from around the world. This floor also includes our pop-up shop, a home for independent, commercial  designers in various fields.

The second and third floors are divided into over 30 artists' studios and are integral to the vast creative community of the Invisible Dog.