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Emile Commarieu

(Pōneke / Wellington)

21-23 February 2024, 10am-10pm daily

As a child, my favourite activity to do with my friends was to build forts with whatever we could get our hands on. That was fun, right? Blanket-tied-with-string, pillows, red-tent, big-bag-piece-of-tape, peas-in-a-pod type of fun.


It’s easy to look at the simple joys and naivety of childhood with fondness until we’re forced to deal with reality, often abruptly. Around the world every year, thousands of migrant children disappear, with government officials seeking to absolve themselves of all responsibility. Child refugee encampments are a result of this abandonment. Sleepover puts participants into a modular layout where they can build their own place of dwelling and way of navigating through the container. Contrasting with the child-like curiosity of building a fun, cozy space using the materials and objects encountered to make them, Sleepover offers the question: do we lose our ingenuity and empathy as we grow older?


Raised in Tāmaki Makaurau and based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Emile Commarieu is a multidisciplinary artist/designer of Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā heritage. He has been involved in collaborative and group theatre performances, installations, gigs and festivals across the country. His practice is highly influenced by nostalgia and euphoria whilst shining a light on contemporary issues. With a spatial design and set design background, Emile plunges people into a curated worlds through physical materials and sensory triggers, rewarding participants for their curiosity and interaction. Inspired by the theatrical avant-garde and architects of the 20th Century, he aims to translate their ideas of experience through learning into the context of Aotearoa

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