more imaginary dialogues

I still don’t know exactly what this text should offer to the audience of this performance. Different people seem to have different needs and I don’t think I add much by trying to please them. But as I try to share my thoughts about this work I also notice that this work expands beyond the performance, and maybe that is what this text can explain.

This piece brings together my obsession with the issue of forced disappearance of people during Argentina’s last dictatorship and my ideas about what is a contemporary artistic discourse. In this space I can continue understanding my identity in terms of political and artistic ideas, and how it can overcome this distinction.

The work starts from the question of how I could approach bodily this historical subject. Is it possible to try to learn about it through a physical activity? Can I exercise a relation to it which is not only intellectual? Will it make me grow?

I started by engaging with documentation about the dictatorship. The most prominent became a book (the “Nunca más” report) and photos of the detention centres. Over time and through sharing my findings and thoughts with William, Ingrid, Diego and other friends, I came to define starting frames of work – the concepts for the two solos. The idea behind them has been to focus on a specific document (ultimately, 2 series of photographs) and source information out of it by realizing a physical activity. The photos became our interface to access history.

Two aspects seemed appropriate and relevant. On one hand, the incompleteness of the information. Trying to learn about a person or a space through just one still image is almost unreasonable. This seemed to mirror the aspect that made forced disappearance of people such a dramatic event: the absence of a body, the impossibility to give closure, the sense of incompleteness. On the other hand, working with these photos only allowed us to stage one thing: our processes of work. At some point we gave these processes the names of sensing, remembering and imagining, and they helped us articulate our understanding of how our bodies processed the information of the images. It also helped us to think about multiple and diverse distances to the things we were trying to touch.

Attending to these processes started creating movements and images in the space. In the end we came to create a piece which I see as an interface to the audience. A series of activities are realized on stage to produce something (an atmosphere, a sensation, a feeling, an association) that the audience can perceive. And in this moment we share the resonances of this history.

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