Director and scenic creator Mikolaj Bielski presents this project created during a residency in Naves Matadero about the crisis of values in this contemporary Europe of refugees and terrorism.
On 24 November 2012, almost one hundred asylum-seekers, mostly from Pakistan and Afghanistan, walked from the Traiskirchen refugee camp, some twenty kilometres to the south of Vienna, to the centre of the city, where they set up a protest camp in the Sigmund Freud Park, a popular tourist attraction, before occupying the nearby Votive Church for more than three months. In the aftermath of this event and its media impact, Nobel Laureate Elfriede Jelinek vomited out a text with no beginning or end in which, unabashedly and in a consciously ironic way, she makes the voice of the refugees her own and she issues an ultimatum to the dominant Euro-centrist discourse.
“This tangle of words compels us to doubt whether we can assume the voice of the other from our place of privilege, and it compels those of us who want to construct an artistic artefact with this material to consider the very representativity of that which is unfathomable. Jelinek says, says, is constantly saying and it would seem she is not saying anything at all.
The theatrical practice that derives from this approach has pushed us to pervert the linear and unidirectional emission of the text, seeking a change in the emitter, the multiplicity of discourses and languages, and the contraposition and superposition of the messages. It is the personal voice that we believe has to start a dialogue with the hegemonic voice of the text, to provoke conflict and tension.
Perhaps there is nothing we can say about the other from here”, Mikolaj Bielski.
Director and scenic creator Mikolaj Bielski is the artistic coordinator of Réplika International Creation Theatre-Centre and winner of the ADE “José Luis Alonso” Prize for young directors for his show The Extasy of the Insatiable (2016). He has worked in Spain, Italy and Poland, and his creations are characterised by the staging of a “poetics of the terrible”, through the fragmentation and the use of live audio-visual devices. His latest creation is this interdisciplinary scenic project based on the crisis of values in this contemporary Europe of refugees and terrorism.
Concept, direction and stage space: Mikolaj Bielski
Dramaturgy: Mikolaj Bielski and Álvaro Vicente
Original text: Los tutelados (The Wards) by Elfriede Jelinek
Translation: Miguel Sáenz
Musical composition and live sound space: Jacobo Márquez, Víctor Heitzmann, Salvador Liétor
Performers: Raúl Chacón, Miguel Deblas, Beatriz Grimaldos, Eeva Karoliina, Júlia Solé, Manuel Teódulo and others yet to be confirmed
Live video and multimedia devices: Elena Juárez
Assistant director: Álvaro Vicente and Miguel Deblas
Production: Mikolaj Bielski
Coproduction: Naves Matadero – International Living Arts Centre, Goethe Institut, Réplika Teatro | International Creation Centre, Polish Cultural Institute