This play is based on a novel by Christa Wolf, in which she recounts the story of the fall of Troy from the female perspective of Kassandra. It is a play about war, but also about civil liberties, about the right to clarity against systems of power organized in hierarchical structures, and about the cruelties suffered by the excluded and the process of exclusion itself with its invisible laws. Why does one start a war? By presenting the audience with death machines, Kassandra incites them to question the values of war and heroism that traverse our culture. What became of these values once we were faced with the horrors of the 20th century? What became of our artistic traditions and their capacity to examine our civilization? In the current context, is the avant-garde — an artistic concept that unmindfully borrows a metaphor from war — anything other than an irresponsible leap forward? Using elements and iconographic material from World War Two, Nazi Germany, and the atomic bombing of 1945, the performance recovers the meaning of an art that doesn't shy away from crucial and painful issues of our time, but rather faces and confronts them in order to better understand them. Conceived as a heterogeneous syncretism of temporalities, Kassandra grounds itself on the ancient tragic archive of the victimized Trojan women, compressing nearly three thousand years of culture into simultaneous and similar gestures: violation, plunder, and the male warmongering imperialism, represented by a phallocracy that pervades Western male behavior and discourse.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010 19:29

As domésticas (1985)

This staging of Genet's The Maids focuses on the relationships of exploitation and subservience that inform the class differences between the two maids and their rich mistress. The production emphasizes the theme of a feminine universe subjugated to an essentially macho society by having the female characters be played by men. The set — chairs for the audience, a double bed, a wardrobe, and a dresser with a mirror — is decorated with flowers, satin drapes, an altar for a saint that stands for the mistress, and a large painting of a phallus. The staging takes place as a mystic-erotic ceremony, and the entire configuration of the furniture is phallic. In the role playing games the maids play, the ambiguities in their relationship to their mistress become obvious. They are connected to her image by affection, erotism, and hatred, while they nurture a deep feeling of contempt for each other, since they see in each other what they really are. Their greatest desire is not to eliminate the class to which their mistress belongs, but rather to occupy her place in society.

 

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