Award nominations 2012

Эксперимент / спектакль
Directors Pavel Semchenko, Maksim Isaev

The performance art, presented by the artists Maksim Isaev and Pavel Semchenko from the AKHE Engineering Theatre is a massive session of exposing ten scientific delusions. Among them, for example, is the assertion that polymers can be made of water, and a drop of such polymer could turn the entire world ocean into jelly. Or the fact that the moon revolves like a spinning top. The action takes place simultaneously at six platforms, and the audience watches it by moving along a track, lifted above the ground. Seemingly, why expose the delusions that have already been exposed, moreover, so massively, using sophisticated set design and impressive video mapping? The thing is that the emotion of the performance is not exposing science, but admiring the courage and imagination of scientists. However, the reader may get the impression that everything is very, very serious in the DEPOT OF INGENIOUS DELUSIONS. And this is not the case. The expression of insight on the faces of its participants, as well as the subjects of their performances should not be taken too seriously. Science-art of the artists from St. Petersburg has a special St. Petersburg tinge of absurdity and provocation.

Elena Kovalskaya

This production is like an adventure. The programs received by the audience serve as both librettos and road cards. THE DEPOT of INGENIOUS DELUSIONS is a collection of theories about the world order (on a scale ranging from elementary particle to the Universe). These theories had wide currency in the 20th century and were later disproved.
Meanwhile each of the delusions in The DEPOT is rendered as a dramatic/choreographic sketch in which people are interacting with objects varying from lasers to cardboard things. The content of these sketches is not easy to work out but it is awfully exciting to watch each of them, be it a pantomime “The Square Atom” or buffoonery “Tahion” in which Pavel Semchenko is writing himself a letter to the past.


AXE Engineering Theatre came up with the staging done in the trendy style of science-art combining scientific and artistic thoughts. The company attempted to revise the scientific theories of the 20th century that had for a long time been generally accepted but eventually were completely disproved as a result of the latest discoveries in science (…)
AXE blended together the performance with “live” actors and an installation consisting of modern 3D video projections. Selected for this amusing workshop were ten delusions varying in scale from sub-atomic particle to the structure of the Universe.

Time Out, Petersburg

The new production of AXE Engineering Theatre is an interdisciplinary art piece – a drama theatre combined with performance, hi-tech installations and simultant mystery play incorporating video media and the new openness.
The production looks like a logical carry-over of everything that AXE did before. “The scientific outlook” as a distinctive mode of thinking and a special view of the reality has long become the predominant subject matter of AXE stagings. If earlier Engineering Theatre was mainly playing with illusions of the 17th - 19th centuries’ mechanistic theories, of late its interests have become focused on the more relevant fields of knowledge. Being acutely aware of the modern tendency toward virtualization of thought Maxim Isayev and Pavel Semchenko are endeavoring to visualize how the shaping of the world outlook in the mind of the 21st century man.