On 31 December 2023, Transquinquennal will cease its activities and put a full stop to its last five- or rather six-year plan.
Terminating Transquinquennal is an artistic act inspired by a desire for change. It means mourning the known and opening ourselves up to the curiosity of the unknown. It means giving ourselves the latitude to make use of this spectacular suspense and this wait. It is an opportunity to recover our strictly theatrical nature, that of self-programmed obsolescence and the beauty of the ephemeral.
The premise we have put forward is that the success of our plan for a definitive change will depend on the extent to which this process does not unfold as we expect, the extent to which it is disrupted by surprises and the unpredictable. However, we could not foresee that the world would change around us in this way, stuttering to a halt briefly before sputtering along again, spewing smoke, as best it could.
Don’t run away. We are not going to add content here to the constant flow of opinions that has sprung up since a virus set off on its world tour from a Chinese wet market, but we wonder: hasn’t our decision accelerated the movement of immobilization? The answer is simple: no.
We have spent this down time right in the middle of our last five-year plan militating and meditating. Militating alongside our comrades from the Union des Artistes and the Chambre de Compagnies de Théâtre pour Adultes to support the many other artists impacted by this crisis. And meditating on our latest shows in this context.
We would like to spend warm summer days in parks with a visual artist. We would like to update and develop Calimero and La vie en balançoire, on other stages. We would like to make a Luxembourg adaptation of Idiomatic. We would like to write more fanzines and record a radio drama as a biopic. We would like to put our sanity in the hands of millennials, and our knees in the hands of a choreographer. We would like to end with a crowning piece. In other words, we would like to make shows that are – this time even more so than before – a bridge, a path, a door that lead us elsewhere.
We conclude that the COVID-19 standstill risks rendering all these plans stillborn if we do not accept the Minister of Culture’s proposal to extend our public funding programme by one year. So it will finally be on 31 December 2023 that we will know what we have done, and what we will never do.
And then, we will (finally) be spectators of the dénouement – inscribed in the very irony of theatre – of our long public performance, and Transquinquennal will perform oblivion.