Big Mother: El Gran Desmadre (2002)

Big Mother: El Gran Desmadre (2002) HIDVL

In this farcical cabaret performance, the "Four Horsewomen of Apocalypse" perform humanity's war against nature, in a "metaphysical" reflection on terrorism, surveillance, and the society of spectacle. After the terrorist attacks to New York on September 11, 2001, "a hope for war is reborn," along with the imminent and "longed annihilation of nature." A group of women volunteer to be locked up at Mega Corporation headquarters ("a product of the global fusion of the market of perfect self-competition"), in a sorts of "reality TV" show where metaphysical debates juxtapose with beauty contests, bureaucratic limbos, and theatrical last suppers. "Reach Your Metaphysics 2002" is a beauty pageant where the Four Horsewomen -representing Hunger, Epidemy, War, and Death- are confronted with philosophical questions: what is knowledge? Will? Conscience? The fate of the human species? The contestants then turn into secretaries of a government office where, between gossip and slaking off, they intend to finish their evaluation reports to Mega on how their Ministries (of Abundance, Peace, Truth, and Love) have contributed to the corporation's goal and achievement of "joyfully destroying" nature and humanity. The women then turn into a satiric version of Federico García Lorca's "House of Bernarda Alba" dramatic characters, in a supper where the daughters insist in getting Bernarda to tell them "The Truth" confesses that she is Mother Nature, the Big Mother, who created her offspring in order to mirror and contemplate herself. The kaleidoscopic play of gazes is thus multiplied, in a vortex of surveillance where Big Mother echoes Big Brother, both as George Orwell's "1984" dystopia and as Mexico's homonymous reality TV show. "Metaphysically aggravated," the Horsewomen murder Mother Nature and, left with a barren planet, embark in "a crusade against alien (extraterrestrial) terrorism."

Video Inserts: Performance video inserts for "Big Mother: El Gran Desmadre." Here included are: newscast footage of the terrorist attacks to the World Trade Center in New York City; a spot advertising and introducing Mega Corporation ("a product of the global fusion of the market of perfect self-competition") in its "crusade against terrorism;" three Mexican soap opera excerpts; an infomercial by a well-known Mexican actor; a mock newsflash on Big Mother's surveillance cameras (installed in order to observe the Mexican population, looking for possible terrorists against sovereignty of the State); and a spot of "Bernarda Alba's daughters" in a barren land, waving the Mexican flag. All these footage excerpts complement the show's "metaphysical" reflection on terrorism, surveillance, and the society of spectacle, in a sort of "reality TV" show where metaphysical debates juxtapose with beauty contests, bureaucratic limbos, and theatrical last suppers, searching for Truth amidst a war on Nature and Humanity.

Media

Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/ghx3ffn7

Additional Info

  • Title: Gran desmadre
  • Alternate Title: Big Mother
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 2:05:23
  • Language: Spanish
  • Date: Jun 2002
  • Location: Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Type-Format: performance, performance video insert
  • Cast: Jesusa Rodríguez, Ana Francis Mor, Nora Huerta, Marisol Gasé, Cecilia Sotres, Liliana Felipe
  • Credits: Jesusa Rodríguez, writer, producer, director ; Liliana Felipe, producer, music director
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