November 2017, Creative participation in the scented play Festen, with the Collectif MxM
Festen by Thomas Vinterberg and Mogens Rukov, adapted by Bo Hr. Hansen, Bonlieu Scène National Annecy.
Everyone was invited to the family patriarch’s 60th birthday. Relatives and friends come together in Helge Klingenfeldt’s mansion. Christian, Helge’s eldest son, is invited by his father to say a few words over dinner about his twin sister Linda, deceased a year earlier. While in the basement things are heating up with Kim – chef and childhood friend of Christian – leading the way, the host invites his guests to be seated. Nobody suspects a thing when Christian stands up to deliver his speech and reveal dark secrets.
Festen is also the story of an encounter with Francis Kurkdjian, perfumer and creator of artistic collaborations, and the desire to experience emotions together through a different sense and bring fiction to life through scent. In a project that calls upon our memories, buried deep, it seemed obvious to include scents that remind us of hidden childhoods and unforgettable moments, or to be able to be whisked away by our sense of smell in an organic, if not physical, temporality. Summoning smells, seemingly benevolent yet bearing specific emotions, enables us to speak about indefensible acts through senses rarely called upon at the theatre, like an experience to maintain the humanity of the story.
In Festen three chapters are punctuated by specific scents: from the sun setting over an autumn forest to the smell of chimney smoke coming from a house and drawing us in, to the scent of the departed, returning to haunt the living and stir up old pain. All the smells penetrate our memory and bring us that much closer to the house where tragedy struck.
2017 – Creative support from Francis Kurkdjian for the olfactory performance of the play Festen to Cyril Teste of the Collectif MxM.
2018 – Francis Kurkdjian’s olfactory innovation for the Homo Faber exhibition showcasing the Pour l’intelligence de la main® prize recipients awarded by the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation.
2005 – Thanks to Francis Kurkdjian’s contest, Marie-Antoinette’s travelling case was restored and transferred to the Château de Versailles as part of an exhibition on the Queen.