Monster Chetwynd: Free Energy (The Life of Nikola Tesla)

15 Oct 2021–14 Nov 2021


Artist Monster Chetwynd is making a new work which explores the extraordinary life of inventor and futurist Nikola Tesla [1856–1943].

Free Energy (The Life of Nikola Tesla), will juxtapose Tesla’s dream to provide the world with free energy with his ‘World Wireless System’ and his well-known rivalry with Thomas Edison with multiple fictional stories, playing with notions of truth and power. This commission is part of Studio Voltaire elsewhere. 

Inhabiting both digital as well as physical spaces, and working through a period of collaborative production, the artist will produce a series of miniature theatre boxes with side wings, backdrops, cut-out figures and elaborate costumes alongside a group of collaborators. A series of these portable miniature dioramas will form the basis of a performance to camera which will culminate in a new film work and what we hope will be a live performance, to be premiered at Studio Voltaire in Autumn 2021. 

Chetwynd has become internationally renowned for her carnivalesque performances, which share elements of the bawdy anarchy of sixteenth–century wandering troupes, foregrounding key moments from art history and cultural production.

This new commission forms part of Studio Voltaire elsewhere, a series of offsite commissions while Studio Voltaire undertakes a major capital project. Studio Voltaire has a long–standing collaborative relationship with the artist having worked together on multiple projects since 2005, including The Walk to Dover (2005), Listen Up! and Hermitos Children 2 (both 2014).

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