Studio Marcus Kraft has designed an expressive campaign for Zürcher Theater Spektakel, one of Europe’s largest festivals for the contemporary performing arts. At its heart are lively visuals of the psychedelic performers, created in collaboration with artist and photographer Jean-Vincent Simonet.

Simonet combined old manual photographic techniques with digital retouching in a “specially devised experimental process”, resulting in images that could be mistaken for painted artworks. “They have an exuberance that suits the dense programme,” says Marcus Kraft, art director and designer, who worked alongside Simonet to craft the festival’s identity.

“When we first saw Simonet’s imagery, we knew immediately that it would be a perfect fit for our client,” he adds. “Simonet works very physically, almost in a performative way, to create his distinctive visual aesthetic. The radiant and fluid works, which look like a mix of photography and oil painting, have a fascination of their own for the viewer with their sheer exuberance.”

The event is a permanent fixture in Zurich’s calendar and returns this week with a slightly scaled-down offering and safety at its heart. Despite the pandemic, over 30 productions are expected to take place this month and next, featuring artists from all over the world. “The situation in many parts of the world remains threatening,” says festival artistic director Matthias von Hartz. “Those performers who are not yet able to travel again have developed formats where their art will nevertheless come to Switzerland and, among other things, transform the festival venue into a place for installations.”

Studio Marcus Kraft’s visual identity and campaign bring life and colour to Zurich’s streets as the Zürcher Theater Spektakel gets underway. The event is set to host 12 world premieres from artists in Bogota to Tokyo, from Windhoek to London. Among them is a ‘Western opera’ by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma as well as dance productions from Argentina, Portugal and France.

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