Press Releases

CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) presents the World Premiere of Fantômas – Revenge of the Image at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival

CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) presents the World Premiere of Fantômas – Revenge of the Image at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival
Still from Center for New Performance's Fantomas: Revenge of the Image | Photos by: Rafael Hernandez.  
Valencia, CA, October 22—Fantômas – Revenge of the Image will make its World Premiere at China’s Wuzhen Theatre Festival on October 19. A production of the Center for New Performance (CNP) at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Fantômas – Revenge of the Image is a groundbreaking exploration of performance space and spectatorship at the intersection of film, theater, and physical sensation. The production is directed by CNP Artistic Director and Dean of CalArts’s School of Theater Travis Preston, and developed in collaboration with Tom Gunning. It will have 18 performances in Wuzhen from October 19 through the 28th.
Based on Fantômas, the fictional phantom bandit and figure of unbounded criminality from French serial literature and film, Fantômas-– Revenge of the Image explores urban violence as an enduring facet of the contemporary landscape. Through the creation of an innovative mobile, enclosed audience unit, the production investigates the close relationship between sensation, violence and entertainment in contemporary visual culture. Throughout the production, the audience unit moves through space like a camera dolly and the audience, seated inside, views the performance through the lens-like aperture. The framing of the aperture and movement of the rolling unit intensify and focus viewers’ experience.
“Fantômas exemplifies CNP’s emphasis on original productions that expand the boundaries of what theater can be,” said Preston. “It also highlights CNP’s mission to combine students with acclaimed professional actors. This unique process offers extraordinary educational experiences for students as it creates critically acclaimed productions. This process is an important element of the training we offer in CalArts’s School of Theater.”
This project continues the work between film theorist Tom Gunning and Preston, who have collaborated on several projects together, including An Unseen Energy Swallows Space – their first stage exploration of the landscape of early cinema. Added to this collaborative team are celebrated actress Mirjana Jokovic, known most prominently for her work in the films of Emir Kusturica (Underground, Palme d’Or, 1995), and Christopher Barreca, winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Scene Design (Rocky). Ye Ling is Executive Producer.
Fantômas: Revenge of the Image is made possible by generous support from Wanxin Media.
The CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) is the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, established to provide a unique artist- and project-driven framework for the development and realization of original theater, music, dance and interdisciplinary projects.Anchor Extending the progressive work carried out at CalArts into a direct dialogue with professional communities at the local, national and international levels, CNP offers an alternative model to support emerging directions in the performing arts. It also enables CalArts students to work shoulder-to-shoulder with celebrated artists and acquire a level of experience that goes beyond their curriculum.
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily BeastCalifornia Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.