Čtyři dny | Four days

Elusive Matter + Field

Martin Messier (Canada)

  • Friday Oct 13 / 20:00, Archa Theatre
Price: 350 / 250 CZK
(Combined ticket Living the Dream with Grandma + Elusive Matter+Field 500 / 400 CZK)

The human body is the primary focus of Canadian Martin Messier’s work, which he explores using various devices, technologies, robotics, and everyday objects. In the minimalist light and sound performance Elusive Matter, ordinary spirals of smoke on a projection screen create a dreamlike space out of an indeterminate haze in an otherwise dark room, combining light and sound to conjure an ambient experience of an ephemeral, hallucinogenic, yet comforting atmosphere.

The performance piece FIELD, on the other hand, is based on the principle that sounds can be generated by electromagnetic fields that are invisible but omnipresent. Amplified residual electrical signals, imperceptible to the human eye or ear, are the essence of this work. Messier interacts on stage with two aluminum panels with many interconnected inputs and outputs. The constant plugging and unplugging on both panels create magical sound and light compositions.


Martin Messier is a performer, technologist, and experimenter in the field of multimedia. After studying composition at the University of Montreal, he began experimenting with sound and video. Soon he assembled performative audiovisual apparatuses to bring everyday objects along with the sound potential of their various materials to the stage. Over the years, Messier has participated in numerous collaborative projects, including the monumental outdoor project Innervision for sixty dancers, the audiovisual performance Echo Chamber, the choreographic performance Con Sordina, and the light and sound performance Elusive Matter. Messier’s projects have been presented in fifty countries and have earned him several awards and nominations: a special mention at Prix Ars Electronica in 2010; listed for a Prix Opus in 2012; the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for 2014 by the Canada Council for the Arts; special mention by the jury at the Japan Media Awards in 2015; the World OMOSIROI Award in Japan in 2018, and the second prize at the Athens Digital Arts Festival in 2021, and more. In 2010 he established 14 lieux, a company dedicated to creating performances and installation artworks. 


“Messier’s stage presence is mesmerizing; he communicates abstractly but directly with his audience, without artifice. “


Duration: Elusive Matter (30 min.) – intermission- Field (30 min.)
Language barrier-free

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Elusive Matter:
Concept, music composition and performance: Martin Messier   
Video: Étienne Desprès  
Production: 14 lieux

Concept, audiovisual composition, programming and performance: Martin Messier  
Interface: Thomas Payette  
Technical design: Thomas Payette, Maxime Bouchard, Frédérique Folly 
Production: 14 lieux