From September 20th-29th, 2019, a photograph from Model Killer will be part of American Puppetry Today, The Photography of Richard Termine in Charleville-Mézières, France.
The photograph taken by Termine was from my artist-in-residence artist-in-residence at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in 2017, where I was working on Model Killer: Giant Crimes + Tiny Cover-Ups. Model Killer is a morbid comedy centered on a disgruntled dollhouse maker turned investigator. Vivian Nutt builds dioramas of unsolved murders, only for it to be revealed that she is in fact, a serial killer.
American Puppetry Today, The Photography of Richard Termine features 60 photographs of leading American puppet artists/productions, The National Puppetry Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Dream Music at HERE Arts Center, and Jim Henson’s residency in 1987 at Institute International de la Marionette. American Puppetry Today is part of France’s Festival Mondial des Théâtre de Marionnettes (World Festival of Puppet Theatre) in Charleville-Mézières, France. The exhibition is presented by The Jim Henson Foundation with additional support from The Jane Henson Foundation.
New York-based photographer Richard Termine has documented American Puppet Theater for over 30 years. Richard started as an independent puppet artist and performer. While working in Jim Henson’s workshop, he became interested in the relationship between the camera and the puppet. In 1987, he traveled to Charleville to assist Jim Henson during his teaching residency and started photographing puppet theater.
Termine’s work is remarkable because it captures the animated gesture of a puppet in a still image. The photographs in this exhibit illustrate the dynamic range of Puppet Theatre being created by a vibrant community of artists in the New York area, as well as some of the excellent work presented at National Festivals across the United States.
Founded in 1961, the World Puppet Theatre Festival sets the standard internationally and is an unmissable event in the world of the Puppet Arts. It takes place every two years in Charleville-Mézières. Every year, around 250 troupes from five continents meet to present their creations to over 150,000 spectators from all over the world.
For 10 days, the World Puppet Theatre Festival organizes around 200 shows as part of the main event and fringe festival, street shows, meetings, exhibitions and other festivities. The techniques presented range from the traditional, with glove and string puppets, to more contemporary innovations via marionnettes portées (puppets controlled by rods at the back) and shadow theatre.