Play aims to make ‘impression’ in Taksim
The English-language performance is set in the Impressionists’ favorite Paris watering hole, the Cafe Geurbois, the night before the first ever joint exhibition of Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne and Pissarro.
The group is led by Manet - the natural leader and most prominent and respected artist among them. He was surrounded by two obscure best friends Monet and Renoir, as well as the brilliant but abrasive Degas and the even more brilliant and even more abrasive Cezanne.
They lived in the shadow of the famous Salon Des Beaux Arts, the world’s foremost artistic showcase. All the Impressionists at some point either applied or were exhibited in the Salon. But not only did they not achieve success in this most conventional of forums, their revolutionary painting style was derided, mocked and sometimes physically attacked.
The Salon was about projecting power and empire, not for innovative painting techniques and art for art’s sake. The only way for an artist at that time to have any kind of living and fame from painting was to exhibit at the Salon. But to exhibit at the Salon, you had to strictly adhere to its uncreative and outdated standards.
The Impressionists therefore held their own private exhibition. At the time it was completely novel and even illegal. It would eventually take 10 years of exhibiting privately for their project to take off.
The show is immersive, the show is set and staged in a bar. The audience will surround the performers and occasionally interact with them. It will be presented as though the audience went in a time machine and happened upon a cafe that happened to have six great artists holding court. The play is also in real time, there are no set changes, breaks, intermissions or blackouts.
Written and directed by Kenny Laurie, the performers taking part are Tyler Denison (Pissarro) Michelle Rinehart (Manet), Luke Webb (Degas), Chris Wall (Monet), Zack McMackin (Renoir) and Peter Klempner (Cezanne).
There will be two performances per day, both at 7:30 pm and 9 pm, staged on the terrace of Rasputin Bar.