Quay Brothers (Annimation, 2004)aaMaska StoneTeatr

Quay Brothers

Fellow in 2004 for Annimation

The Quay Brothers were born near Philadelphia where they studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, then later in London at the Royal College of Art. In 1980 they formed KONINCK with colleague Keith Griffiths and since then they have produced a hybrid variety of puppet animation  film work: documentaries on Stravinsky, Janáček, Anamorphosis; interludes {M T V }; commercials, as well as films inspired by the writings of Kafka, Bruno Schulz {STREET OF CROCODILES}, and Robert Walser {INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA}- a live action feature for Channel 4.  

Their work also includes decors for the following opera and theatre productions: Prokofiev’s {LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES} Opera North & English National Opera; Feydeau’s {A FLEA IN HER EAR} Old Vic; Tchaikovsky’s {MAZEPPA} Bregenz Festival / Netherlands  Opera; Moliere’s {LE BOURGEOIS GENTIL HOMME} Royal National Theatre; Shakespeare’s {MID SUMMER NIGHTS DREAM} Almeida; Ionesco’s {THE CHAIRS} Theatre de Complicité  & Royal Court; and for the Wiener Festwochen Olga Neuwirth’s opera {BAALAAMS FEST}.

For the ballets of Kim Brandstrup they have designed {DYBBUK } The Place; {THE  HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER} Malmõ Dramatiska Theatre; and {CUPID  AND PSYCHE} Royal Danish Ballet. For Channel 4 they have directed as part of a series pairing  choreographers with filmmakers {DU E T}, a ballet choreographed by Will Tuckett from the Royal  Ballet. For the BBC they have made {IN ABSENTIA} – a collaboration with the composer – Karlheinz Stockhausen; and for Channel 4, again with choreographer Will Tuckett, they have made a forty minute ballet  based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s {SANDMAN} . For Tate and Egg Live, they have filmed Steve Martland’s {STREET  SONGS} conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and for the Wellcome Trust they have made a short documentary film  called {THE PHANTOM MUSEUM} which was shown as part of the Wellcome Trust’s exhibition called »Medicine  Man« at the British Museum. In 2005 they completed their second feature film {THE PIANOTUNE R OF  EART HQUAK ES} . 

Following that, they designed the décors and projections for a newly commissioned opera  {THE CRICKET RECOVERS} by the composer Richard Ayres for Aldeburgh & Almeida Opera.  They have finished a pilot film for Bruno Schulz’s {SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE  HOURGLASS}. For Live Earth they made the short film {ALICE IN NOT SO WONDERLAND} followed thereafter by opera décors for Benjamin Britten’s {PAUL BUNYAN } for Bregenz & Luzern. And more recently  they have completed two installation pieces, one for Castle Belsay {THE COFFIN OF A SERVANTS JOURNEY} and the  other for Opera North {Eurydice, She so Beloved} celebrating the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s {ORFEO}. This  included an Optical Box along with a filmed ballet choreographed by Kim Brandstrup, sung by Simon Keenlyside, and  danced by Zenaida Yanowsky of the Royal Ballet.  

In 2008 they made a short documentary film in Poland called {INVENTORIUM OF TRACES – JAN POTOCKI AT  CASTLE ŁAŃCUT} and in 2010 they premiered at the Poznań ‘Animator Festival’ a new short film based on a story by  Stanisław Lem {MASKA}. The film décors from all their puppet films called {DORMITORIUM}, originally commissioned  by the Holland Music Festival, is currently travelling and has been seen in Riga, Exeter, Lisboa, the Festival d’Avignon, Tokyo,  Brighton, as well as Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Richmond Virginia, Cornell University, Amsterdam,  Barcelona, Madrid and Wrocław where in 2010 it was accompanied by a complete film retrospective.  

They made a 31 minute ‘meditation’ on the famous Mőtter Museum in Philadelphia called {THROUGH THE WEEPING GLASS}. For the Manchester International Festival they staged a solo performance for violinist Alina Ibragimova who  performed the works of Berio, Bach, Biber, and Béla Bartók’s {SONATA FOR SOLO VIOLIN} for which they created the images. In 2012 as part of the UK celebration of the London Olympics and Paralympics they curated for the city of Leeds a multi  location event called {OVERWORLDS & UNDERWORLDS} where the city of Leeds became the canvas for live dance,  installations, film, sculpture, and music over three days. Shortly afterwards, the pianist Mikhail Rudy commissioned a film of  Kafka’s {THE METAMORPHOSIS} to music of Janáček for the Cité de la Musique in Paris.  Later that year, they were given a full retrospective at MoMA in New York City called {ON DECIPHERING THE  PHARMACISTS PRESCRIPTION FOR LIP-READING PUPPETS} which included films and art works.  

In Autumn 2013 they completed a film to Lutosławski’s String Quartet {PARAPHRASE ON »THE HOUR WE KNEW  NOTHING OF EACH OTHER«} an homage to Peter Handke’s original theatre piece for the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in  Warsaw which recently premiered at the Heiner Goebbels’ RUH RTRIENNALE and performed by the Arditti String Quartet. For the Wexner Center in Ohio they made a film based on the writings of Felisberto Hernández called {UNMISTAKEN  HANDS-EX VOTO F.H.}. Shortly after it wins the Grand Prize in the Poznań ,,Animator,, Film Festival.  

Later that year, the EYE FILM MUSEUM in Amsterdam recreated the MoMA show in a newer and different form while in  2014 both CCCB [Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona] and the CASA ENCENDIDA in Madrid have also adapted the  MoMA show and conceived an even larger exhibiton grouped around 3 puppet animators called ,,Metamorfosi,, which  included the works of Ladislas Starewicz, Jan Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers. ELHOTELELÉCTRICO: M HKA ANTWERP Installation Object and Film Homage to Segundo de Chómon curated by  Edwin Carels.. 

For 2016 they have prepared both décors and 90 minutes of projections for the premiere of Louis Andriessen’s newest Opera  called {THEATRE OF THE WORLD} based on themes of Athanasius Kircher’s life which is a co-production between  Dutch National Opera & Los Angeles Philharmonic premiered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and shortly afterwards  in Amsterdam. And for the National Theatre in London they have made the décors for Wallace Shawn’s {EVENING AT THE TALK  HOUSE} directed by Ian Rickson. GALLERY OF WONDER:‘AFTER THE CATASTROPHEObject touring in a group Exhibition in the North of England. 

For the Bristol Festival of Puppetry they were asked to create an installation on the Redcliffe Bascule Bridge which was en titled: {HOMAGE TO THE FRAMED PERSPECTIVE OF AN ABRIDGED CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PAINTERS SASSETTA & UCCELLO AND THE MYSTICAL OCCURRENCE THAT HAPPENED BEFORE YOU ARRIVED}.

THE QUAY BROTHERS IN 35MM: A TOURING PACKAGE curated by CHRISTOPHER NOLAN opened at the Film  Forum in New York and then travelled to 10 cities in America before appearing at the London Film Festival. The tour  featured IN ABSENTIA, THE COMB, and STREET OF CROCODILES along with the world premiere of Christopher  Nolan’s own short documentary ‘Quay’. Zeitgeist Films subsequently released all their short films for the very first time on  Blu-Ray as well as three recent films never before seen. This is followed by the BFI’s own release on Blu-Ray which includes  a further five new films and is therefore even more comprehensive.  

The original MoMA show was re-conceived for Japan in late 2016 at The Museum of Modern Art in Hayama, followed by  Lublin Poland in 2019 before travelling to Jeonju South Korea in 2020.  They have finished a new short film in 35mm commissioned by Christopher Nolan called THE DOLLS BREATH to a short  story by Felisberto Hernández. Prior to that, they made the décors for Pinter’s THE BIRTHDAY PARTY at the Harold  Pinter Theatre and then for Ballet Rambert, both décors and projections in Calderón’s LIFE IS A DREAM. For an evening  piano recital by Clare Hammond called GHOSTS & WHISPERS they have conceived an hour of images.  

THE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM 2020, curated by Edwin Carels, commissioned an installation  which was entitled DREAM POOLS & COLLECTING HOLES. Certain ‘apparitions on glass’ secreted inside four stereoscopic viewers revealed the puppets already designed for their third feature film to be based on Bruno Schulz’s  SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HOURGLASS. In an adjoining space, an exploded miniature model of the  Sanatorium emerged from a pool of water whilst sequences already filmed were projected above it.