Xenon: an explored opera

Mikhail Karikis

Research output: Other contribution


The film XENON is a political allegory based on a performance opera by the artist Mikhail Karikis. Using the original score and performers, Karikis and the artist/filmmaker David Bickerstaff, come together in a collaboration to produce a unique cinematic experience. The unusual absence of a colleague triggers reactions in seven characters working in an austere office. Yearning to overcome the oppressive routine and an omnipresent authority, each character enters a psychic dream space to battle with frustration, self-censorship, high aspirations and failure.The bleak and banal routine of the office is contrasted with sequences of reverie and surreal imaginings where each character searches for their voice, dignity and human rights. XENON brings together experimental cinema, performance art and opera to the screen and features performances by dancer/choreographer Maurice Causey, vocalists Amy Cunningham and E.laine, viola player Conall Gleeson, juice ensemble, Jade Pybus, artists Monica Ross and Mikhail Karikis. Based on a performance art opera by artist Mikhail Karikis, the film XENON is a poignant political allegory while being an audiovisual feast constructed around Karikis’s menacing sound, under David Bickerstaff’s direction and arresting cinematography.

Bibliographical note

Duraton: 23 minutes. Written & composed by: Mikhail Karikis. Directed & edited by: David Bickerstaff & Mikhail Karikis. Costume and sets by: Mikhail Karikis. Year of production: 2011. Produced by: Mikhail Karikis & David Bickerstaff. Second Camera: Uriel Orlow. Cast: Maurice Causey, Amy Cunningham, E.laine, Conall Gleeson, juice, Mikhail Karikis, Jade Pybus, Monica Ross. Funded by: Art Council England. Support in kind by: University of Brighton


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