Art Videos

The Queen Does Nothing

  • April 30, 2013

Collaboration for the Jean Genet Centenary Festival

Inspired on the play “The Balcany” from Jean Genet, interpretation of the character of the Queen, “Irma”


Most of the action takes place in an upmarket brothel in which its madam, Irma, “casts, directs, and co-ordinates performances in a house of infinite mirrors and theaters.”[8] Genet uses this setting to explore roles of power in society; in the first few scenes patrons assume the roles of a bishop who forgives a penitent, a judge who punishes a thief, and a general who rides his horse. Meanwhile, a revolution is progressing outside in the city and the occupants of the brothel anxiously await the arrival of the Chief of Police. Chantal, one of the prostitutes, has quit the brothel to become the embodiment of the spirit of the revolution. An Envoy from the Queen arrives and reveals that the pillars of society (the Chief Justice, the Bishop, the General, etc.) have all been killed in the uprising. Using the costumes and props in Irma’s “house of illusions” (the traditional French name for a brothel), the patrons’ roles are realized when they pose in public as the figures of authority in a counter-revolutionary effort to restore order and the status quo.

Cinematography by
Ines von Bonhorst & Yuri Pirondi

Performed by Madalena Pinto
Visuals by Marlon Random