Philippe Quesne

Philippe Quesne’s heavy-metal fairy tale

In a fairy tale, anything's possible as 'La Mélancolie des Dragons' delightfully demonstrates


Fairy tales have a certain framework. They start with “Once upon a time” and they end with “happily ever after.” We’ve come to expect that whatever comes in the middle of those words could be wacky, wild, unpredictable, delightful, frightful and most importantly, unknown. Often there is a forest involved. And magic.

This fairy-tale structure creates a framework, a basket if you will, in which an artist can explore the confines of the strangest of stories without “losing” the audience. Why? Because the audience knows exactly what the contract is: We’re in a fairy-tale and in this world the possibilities are limitless.

 Philippe Quesne’s La Mélancolie des Dragons/Photo by Martin Argyroglo

Philippe Quesne’s La Mélancolie des Dragons/Photo by Martin Argyroglo

It is not accidental that the opening of Philippe Quesne’s La Mélancolie des Dragons, part of PICA’s recently concluded TBA:15 festival, begins with A VW Rabbit (with an enormous trailer behind it) sitting peacefully on a snowy stage surrounded by white-blanketed trees in the middle of the woods. It cues a fairy-tale world and voilá, simple as that, the audience’s permission for whatever will come next has been granted.


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