Taken today in Bahia Blanca: “For redraughting the city… WORKS” (which also means ‘plays’ in Spanish theatre-speak).
Still in Argentina, at the end of my four-month stay here (mostly in Buenos Aires), I’m now in Bahia Blanca, a city most Porteños seem convinced is ugly and uninteresting. It’s my third time here in so many years and I find it a very beautiful, melancholy place, with its scars and relics of a past stuffed full of all kinds of European influence, not least British. It’s very strange walking around and coming across these instantly recognisable railway sheds, signal boxes, and railway-workers houses that were not only made by the British but actually shipped over brick by brick.
How I came to get to know the city is, as with almost everything to do with Argentina in my case, thanks to my friend the director Vivi Tellas – and, as with almost everything to do with her, there’s a longer post waiting to be written about her activity here. Anyhow, through her contacts i’ve been invited this time to do a workshop at the new cultural centre Estación Rosario, headed up by Marcelo Diaz and Natalia Martirena.
I’m trying out a new idea for a workshop based on the various unrealised / paper-based / ‘fantasy’ performance projects I’ve done in the last 8 years or so. It could be that I get to do it again sometime soon in Dublin.
A workshop on imagination and writing for site-specific theatre / live urban interventions.
Rather than try and enable or kick-start any actual project, the workshop concerns itself with the initial stages of imagination and conception. A designer or architect will often create sketches or models which somehow embody the essence of a project whilst willfully exceeding many ‘real world’ limitations (financial, structural, political, aesthetic, etc). Such sketches can often be considered valuable work in their own right, both for the artist and others.
What kind of ‘sketches’ can assist us in conceiving performance work for locations outside theatre buildings?
What sort of imagination is required for this kind of performance? How can we –
- achieve it?
- hold onto it?
- express it?
Do we have to balance fantasy with feasibility? To what extent are they separable?
Where would the audience be? Who would they be, where would they come from? What would they see or think?
With a focus on observation and writing, and involving walks in the city, discussion, film and photography, the workshop is an exploratory two days culminating in a series of short ‘still or moving’ slideshow presentations.
One of several spaces we’ll be transforming (mentally) tomorrow. Click for big…
And the photo which gave a name to the first ‘fantasy intervention’ project, with Britt Hatzius, back in 2002: