Rogério Nuno Costa. Missed-en-Abîme. © Alípio Padilha
© Alípio Padilha
Rogério Nuno Costa. Missed-en-Abîme. © Alípio Padilha
© Alípio Padilha
Rogério Nuno Costa. Missed-en-Abîme. © Alípio Padilha
© Alípio Padilha
Rogério Nuno Costa. Missed-en-Abîme. © Alípio Padilha
© Alípio Padilha

Rogério Nuno Costa is a Portuguese performance artist, theater director, actor, dramaturgist, researcher, teacher, curator and writer based in Helsinki, Finland, but working regularly in Portugal. He can be considered one of the most critical artists in the Portuguese performing arts field, often making performances that radically destabilize the ruling system, severely criticizing the art of our time, where he stands as an observer who, while observing, is making.


In 1917, Duchamp writes 1917 in an upside down urinal. In 1919, he draws a moustache in the most important portrait of the history of art; a portrait he painted himself, copying the original, and, while doing so, almost repeating Melville: “I would prefer not to”. In 1921, Man Ray photographs Duchamp as Rrose Sélavy, thus completing the circle or just paving the way for the artist’s disappearance. A century has passed and we still find it hard to deal with these radical endeavours, sometimes discrediting them (or assigning them new authorships…), sometimes accepting, more or less tragically, their historical irresolution.

This performance aims to inquire into a trans-historical gesture that can be both interpreted as destruction, revelation, or simply self-imposed ostracism. Duchamp spent decades doing nothing, the reason why Vila-Matas dedicated him some footnotes in his novel Bartleby & Co.: «‘Mais que voulez-vous?’, asks Duchamp, raising his arms in the air. ‘Je n’ai plus d’idées!’». Inspired by this impasse, and taking the form of a documentary poem, MISSED-EN-ABÎME — subtitled Psychobiography of a Heroic Loser — ritualizes and performs a sacrificial, queer invisibility. Daring to revisit Duchamp’s negligence whilst refraining from finding it a solution, the performance and its protagonist embrace failure, withdrawal, isolation and oblivion, perhaps also disappearance, as acts of resistance.


ROGÉRIO NUNO COSTA (1978). Performance artist, theatre director, writer, researcher, pedagogue and curator based in Finland and Portugal. His cross-disciplinary projects explore the fields of theatre, dance, visual arts and literature. Works with many artists and companies, taking the roles of artistic consultant, dramaturgist, editor, co-director and performer. He has been teaching in independent art schools and lecturing in academic institutions such as Escola Superior de Artes e Design (Caldas da Rainha), ArtEZ University of the Arts (Arnhem) and Minho University (Guimarães), where he is also a collaborator in the Performative Studies Research Group. Associated artist at O Espaço do Tempo. Member of Globe Art Point and guest researcher in the University of the Arts’ Artistic Pedagogy Research project (Helsinki). Currently, he’s a guest artist in the international project STAGES – Sustainable Theatre Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift (Teatro Nacional D. Maria II).

Creation, Direction, Edition, Text & Performance: Rogério Nuno Costa
Production: Inês Carvalho e Lemos
Painting: Luís Lázaro Matos
Light Design: Kristian Palmu
Sound Art: Niko Skorpio
Movement Dramaturgy: Pie Kär
Graphic Design, Animations & Assistance: Jani Nummela
Workshop & Dramaturgical Consultancy: Colectivo FACA (Andreia Coutinho & Maribel Sobreira)
Stage Photography: Miguel Refresco & Alípio Padilha
Chroma Key Consultancy: Mário Jerónimo Negrão
Translation (French): Graça dos Santos
Translation (English): Francesca Rayner and Rogério Nuno Costa
Translation (Finnish): Jani Nummela
External Eye: Susana Otero
Sound Recording Assistance: Vasco Rodrigues
Technical Direction & Operation (2022): João Pedro Fonseca & André Teixeira
Video Footage: Xavier Sousa/VINCO
Textual/Visual Contributions (Book): Alípio Padilha, Ana Rito & Hugo Barata, António Olaio, Colectivo FACA, David Pissarra, Eduarda Neves, Graça dos Santos, Jani Nummela, João Pedro Azul, Luís Lázaro Matos, Miguel Refresco, Rogério Nuno Costa.