IMAGO MUNDI is working on a new theatrical performance, based on Rimbaud’s Les Illuminations, his African letters, the associations and responses they evoke, and Abdellatif Laâbi’s play Rimbaud et Shéréazade.
The main image we draw from Les Illuminations is that of transformation – the sense of lying on the grass, looking at a cloud, its natural state of constant creation, shifting shape, inspiring you to dream. Musically, that took us to the piquant writing of the 14th century, and our visual reference points were the bustling hellscapes of Renaissance painters like Hieronymus Bosch or Bernard van Orley, and the fluid mysticism of shadow plays.
Rimbaud’s African letters, on the other hand, exemplify the strong, exoticising pull that foreign cultures exerted on the bourgeoisie of 19th-century Europe, offering an idealised view of remote times and climes to contrast with their negative perspectives on their own materialist, industrialising, and rationalist time and place.
Combining music from ages long since past with new compositions by Frederik Neyrinck and careful use of light and décor, IMAGO MUNDI creates a fantastical and fertile landscape which invites the audience in to explore in profound and personal ways.
Lieselot De Wilde – soprano & hurdy-gurdy
Sofie Vanden Eynde – lute & theorbo
Bassem Hawar – djose
Frederik Neyrinck – composition
Arthur Rimbaud – texts