In medieval times, the utopian dream of the faraway Land of Cockaigne represented an antithesis to everyday life, one which was dominated by deprivation and toil. Numerous songs and poems have described this land as a place abounding in food and drink, a place where virtues are meaningless and physical pleasure is the key. Even old age can be reversed at it’s fountain of youth.
The production COCKAIGNESQUE features a series of stories portraying this land of milk and honey, a paradise ruled by opulence, abundance and transience. Paintings supplied the main inspiration for the settings and the lightning, particularly certain aspects of still-life. The baroque Vanitas concept, alluding to numerous well-known symbolisms, is omnipresent. Placed in different contexts and associated with different expressions of symbolism and content, the Land-of-Cockaigne motifs become allegories allowing the audience space for their own interpretations and transference.
The stories tell of searching but not finding, the feeling of emptiness despite abundance and collective loneliness.
The Cockaigne utopia, where excess and self-indulgence are the principal human virtues, is a particular relevance to our modern affluent lifestyle.