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Founded in 2007 in rural southern France by Kate Papi (UK) and Oliviero Papi (IT), OBRA is an international ensemble devising hybrid multidisciplinary and multi-lingual performances, audiovisual installations and participative socio-cultural projects.


The company develop their practice and creative approach via research, exchange and in collaboration with artists of different disciplines. OBRA’s creations question our presence and impact on society and our environment both locally and globally, often in relation to questions of heritage. This is not a nostalgic approach but a need to re-evaluate the past as a means to imagine our collective future.


OBRA’s creative work is rooted in a rigorous practice for vocal and physical technique. OBRA’s live performances are distinguished by the combination of complex language with dynamic choreography. Their performances are built through a layering of image, sound and movement and seek to open a poetic space for the spectator. To date the company have created performances from poetry and essays, verbatim language and original writing, exploring modes of translation to create hybrid multilingual texts.


OBRA began developing audiovisual creations in 2017 as part of the EX_SITU collective, an ongoing collaborative art and film project with the filmmakers at VIDEOfeet (UK). A series of films and installations were made in response to the abandoned architecture of rural communities in southern France and the collective continue to explore the meeting point between their artistic practices.


OBRA share their performance training and creative techniques through workshops and open laboratories for students and professionals both at the Au Brana Centre and in Universities and schools.


OBRA have collected an extensive archive of oral histories and field recordings from which they have created podcasts and audio poems. The company continue to invite musicians and communities to create new work in response to these sound archives.


OBRA have produced and been commissioned to run multiple participatory outreach projects through which their artistic approach is required to adapt, expand and grow in exciting and challenging directions. The company believe that through close attention to specificities in relation to the local, or parochial, one can arrive at universal principles and phenomena. The same level of artistic rigour and attention is given and expected of all participants in OBRA’s projects, creating a sense of ensemble within each new group. They work with individuals and groups of all ages, predominantly in rural communities, with all of the artistic content for the eventual oeuvre created with and by the participants.

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