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Curators’ Statement

The title of the play Gardien Party cannot be translated without losing its original meaning which relies on a wordplay: this is not a "garden party”, but literally a party of guards, and not just any, but guards in museums, museum attendants. This project by French authors Valérie Mréjen and Mohamed el Khatib is a form of documentary and devised theatre, based on material from the lives of its authors and/or performers. In this case, they are six attendants of major world museums from Paris, Marseille, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm and New York (two of them), whose confessions about their work, their own attitude towards the works they look after, museums as institutions, and their life ambitions and defeats (some of them are overqualified for this job and happen to be doing it by an unfortunate twist of fate), make up the material of this warm, sad, smart and witty play. It is always performed in front of an empty museum wall in front of which is a row of attendants’ chairs, which will gradually get filled with favourite works of art of our protagonists’, the unfairly ignored guardian angels of museums.