Photo : Oh Europa © Paul Blakemore
Oh Europa
Action Hero
(United Kingdom)
Collection of european love songs from a motorhome
For everyone
Broadcast of recorded love songs in Rennes, Saturday, from 6pm : Listen Live!

For the third instalment of their performance installation in France, this British couple will be rolling into Rennes in their fully equipped motorhome. On board is a mini studio where Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse have been collecting “love songs” throughout their 32,000 km trip across 33 European countries. Anyone can add to this growing collection of sound stories, featuring interpretations of global hits and traditional melodies, broadcast over the weekend on their “RadiOh Europa” and at the Le Thabor listening station. This surprising and vast cycle of Pan-European songs redefines the boundaries and possibilities of our shared space.

In 2018, Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse travelled around Europe for six months and collected over 700 songs. They also installed around forty digital “beacons” in border spaces, so that this multi-disciplinary performance, Oh Europa, can be listened to and experienced 24/7. Action Hero’s fully-fitted motorhome will be back on the road in 2019 to continue collecting and recording these sound and video postcards, which echo the everyday life of European peoples and cultures, forming a series of encounters, exchanges and testimonies that the Bristol-based artists and performers share with the world.

During a three-day collection session in Rennes, anyone can come and perform their love song at Action Hero’s motorhome. The recordings will be broadcast the same evening, together with texts inspired by their latest journey. On Saturday and Sunday, web radio station RadiOh Europa will broadcast live for 22 hours from Le Parc du Thabor, which will be fitted with headset listening stations.

This new way of imagining and envisaging Europe, and sharing this common and intimate space through voices and encounters, will be calling at Les Tombées de la Nuit, where people can add their own heartfelt song to this unique European collection.


Since Action Hero’s creation in Bristol in 2005, Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse have shared their multi-disciplinary performance technique, with theatre, performing arts, installations, multimedia and in-situ creations that always seek to challenge the iconography of popular culture and use it as a weapon and shared cultural memory. They are no strangers to live performance and a “Do It Yourself” approach, regularly experimenting with new media and technical processes. Their work has taken them to P.S. 122 (New York), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Shanghai Grand Theatre, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Japan) and British universities, and they have held master classes across the world and published two books (Action Plans and Wrecking Ball). Their latest creation, Oh Europa, presented at Les Tombées de la Nuit, continues on from Extraordinary Rendition (audio performance), From Ashes (miniature installation) and Wrecking Ball. In 2016, the collective received the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art (Kuopio, Finland), and in 2013, the Austin Critics Table Award (USA).


Concept et performance : Gemma Paintin et James Stenhouse (Action Hero).
Dramaturgie : David Williams.
Consultant en acoustique : Duncan Speakman.
Design graphique : Graeme Swinton (Actually) et Alex Higlett (Pirrip Press).
Développement de l’application : David Haylock (Watershed Pervasive Media Studio) et Elliot Long (Elroid Ltd).


Co-produit avec Farnham Maltings (UK).
Co-commissioned by Transform (UK), Matchbox (DE) and Farnham Maltings (UK).
Supported by British Council, Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio (UK), Vooruit (BE), Latitudes Contemporaines (FR), Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (GR), Anti Festival (FI), Grand Theatre Groningen (NL), Ördögkatlan Festival (HU), Interdisciplinarte (IT), Romanian Association For Performing Arts (RU) and Bristol Old Vic Ferment (UK).

Action Hero are a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

From Saturday, July 6 at the end of the day, all the songs collected by Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse will be broadcast on RadiOh Europa. More information on

Tuesday 02 July 2019
15:00 > 19:00
Place de la Mairie, Rennes
Wednesday 03 July 2019
14:00 > 18:00
CRIJ Bretagne, Rennes
Thursday 04 July 2019
16:00 > 20:00
Parc du Thabor, Kiosque, Rennes
Sunday 07 July 2019
11:00 > 19:00
Parc du Thabor, Kiosque, Rennes
Live installation

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The association is supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region, the Ille-et-Vilaine Department & the ministry of culture.

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