Martin Butler is an interdisciplinary artist, and stage director.
Butler has worked on a range of productions, from large-scale spectacles to intimate, experimental works. He is known for his collaborative approach to theatre-making, bringing together artists from different disciplines to create works that are both visually stunning and intellectually engaging. Butler’s direction is characterised by its attention to detail, strong visual sense, and ability to create immersive, multi-sensory experiences for audiences.
With a career spanning over three decades, Butler has established himself as a highly versatile and innovative artist, working across a range of disciplines and styles and through this interdisciplinary approach his work explores the new dramatic that the combination of different genres facilitate.
He was trained in Drama at Manchester University, and then later Choreography and Performance at the SNDO, in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
He was founding member and later artistic director of the Liminal Institute from 1997 to 2012. Since 1996 he has been creating performance work, at various theatres and festivals internationally.
His new media and installation work has been shown in the Palais de Tokyo, Istanbul Modern, Beijing Design Week, European Media Arts Festival in Osnabrück, Los Angeles Design Festival, Fundación Telefonica in Lima, Photokino, Köln, Øsknehallen, Copenhagen, San Pau Modernista, Barcelona, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wiels Museum, Brussels, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Seattle Design week, Amsterdam Museum, Pixxelpoint Festival in Slovenia, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Olympus Photography Playground, Berlin, Kasteel Keukenhof, the Netherlands, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, Marres, Maastricht, Salon Amsterdam, and Mediamatic, amongst many others.
From 2004-2014 he worked as artistic consultant for Mediamatic, Amsterdam, developing exhibitions and events, including the Amsterdam Biennale and the IK, IK, IK series of exhibitions dealing with self representation.
In 2010-2012 he collaborated as researcher and co-writer, for a project of Delft University and European Institute of Technology led by Prof. Caroline Nevejan, examining performance presence and trust in the internet age, the book ” Witnessing You” was published in November 2012.
Since 2003 he has also been working as a commercial Art Director, concept developer and installation designer for fashion related events, and has collaborated with Harman/Kardon, Diesel, Diesel Black Gold, LEE, Santoni, Wrangler, ELLE, ID&T, Moschino, Invista, Harmont & Blaine, MCQ, See by Chloe, Aliveshoes, Camel Active, Mercedes Benz Dutch Fashion Awards, Johan Cruijff, FILA, And Beyond, Gianni Versace Retrospective and Andrea Crews, amongst many others.
In 2014 he worked as dramaturgist for the international award winning opera/ dance ﬁlm “Symmetry” by director Ruben van Leer in collaboration with the European Nuclear Research Centre (CERN), CTM Pictures and NTR Podium.
He worked as a stage director and scenographer for the international project “Perseus & Andromeda”, together with the Italian ensemble L’Aura Rilucente, which introduced children to the world of the classics and baroque music, combining performance, shadow play and opera. In 2016 he developed and directed the successful new opera “GIANNI” based upon the life of Gianni Versace with German musical ensemble Brandt, Brauer and Frick for the Deutsche Opera, Berlin. In the summer of 2019 he created a new staging of the “Schwäbische Schopfüng”, the comical opera in Swabian Dialect from 1796 in collaboration with Ensemble Société Lunaire and Festival Alte Musik am Bodensee.
Last year he premiered “Speculum Maius: Liber 1″ at Bonn Oper/ Bonn Kunst Museum, supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the program NEUSTART KULTUR and” Necromancy for Beginners” with the TACETi Ensemble supported by the Goethe International co-production fund at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Thailand.
He continues to develop immersive works that explores the impacts of multi-sensorial design and performance, including “The Sin Eaters” and “The Chromatic Dinner” . “The Chromatic Dinner” has been presented at Mediamatic, Amsterdam, LA design festival, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Vienna Design festival, Seattle design Festival, Waterman’s Art Centre in London, Vicenza, Dubai and Beijing Design Festival where it won the prize for food and innovation.
He is a working together with Ensemble Société Lunaire with whom they premiered in February 2023 “Die Wilde Jagd” at the Theatre im Delphi Berlin with the support of the Berlin Senate, the GVL und Deutscher Musikrat – Ensembleförderung.
They are currently planning a new hybrid project together for 2024 called ” Let them Eat Cake” about inherited privilege and wealth discrepancy.