Trasunto #2
María Siebald

Trasunto #2 (Transcript #2) is an adaptation and interpretation of six unpublished poems by contemporary Spanish poets and one Deaf poet, adapted to a corporal choreography and the syntax of Spanish Sign Language (SSL).


Each poem is interpreted by a person who is Deaf and/or hearing impaired, who performs an individual choreographic piece that integrates dance and SSL. The poems are narrated by the poets themselves, and they are then performed by the interpreters accompanied by sounds for those who can hear and by vibratory frequencies for the Deaf community.

The aim of these pieces is to promote the initiative to bring the Deaf community closer to literary culture, to encourage dialogue between the Deaf and Hearing communities and to generate a bond between Spain and Chile.

“One of the definitions of the Spanish word “trasunto” (from the Latin transumptus and transumere) which translates into English as “transcript”, is “to take from someone else”.  An expression that corresponds to the “exact imitation, of the image or representation of something”. When we translate a text from one language to another, we do so in the certainty that an exact translation is impossible and that the linguistic richness of the original will inevitably be lost. This situation is accentuated in the case of sign language.

Sign language is an abstract language based on movement, corporal expression, facial expression and a high degree of emotional commitment in each and every sign, yet at the same time it is a concrete language situated in space, that exploits syntactic possibilities through its four-dimensional medium of expression. Its form of narration and syntax does not correspond to any of the existing oral or written languages, which is why the result of the transfer of a text to sign language is merely an interpretation.

When we interpret a text to turn it into sign language, we attempt to transfer the thoughts and feelings of the writer, it is impossible to limit oneself to just setting down one word after another. We have to analyse the entire piece, each verse, each line, each word, and we have to understand the metaphors they contain in order to find the closest expression without losing the essence of the poetic text. This is the point where we see that sign language can sometimes be even more profound and direct than words, as they are being performed live through sensitive bodies”, María Siebald.

MARIA SIEBALD                     

María Siebald, actor and director of the performance art working group Nerven&Zellen, leapt to worldwide fame with her music video of Scissor Sister’s version of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. This Chilean artist has been investigating sign language from 2009 and she incorporates it into her scenic language, creating projects designed for the Deaf community. Her objective is to bring the Deaf community closer to musical culture, the performing arts and poetry, opening up spaces for dialogue between the Deaf and Hearing cultures. “Every listener has a soundtrack in their memory”, Siebald explains. “We want to make it easier for Deaf people to build a visual memory, to identify with authors’ messages and to gain access to a piece intended for them”, she goes on. Of note among her projects are the digital platforms NZcanal, NZcanal for children, for which she creates and publishes music videos adapted to sign language, interpreting greatest hits by Scissor Sisters, Amy Winehouse or Luz Casal, among others. This innovative proposal has attracted the attention of international press and earned critical praise. In 2015, María Siebald obtained the AVONNI National Award for Innovation in Culture and in 2016 she received recognition for her contribution to culture, art and the social inclusion of people with disabilities - SENADIS.


Direction: María Siebald
Poets curated by: Rodrigo Olavarría
Poets: Laura Casielles, Berta García Faet, Luz Pichel, Jessica Pujol, Ángela Segovia, Miguel Ángel Sampedro
Performers: Román Palamariuk, Christian Gordo, Marcos Pereira, Ángela Ibañez, Aleluya Peña, María José López
Music: Pablo Palacio
Lighting: Johnatan Inostroza
Audiovisual register: Antonio Perales
ILSE adaptation: Cristina Alonso - Lucile Preat
Language: Spanish Sign Language (SSL) with Spanish subtitles


5, 6 and 7 April


40 minutes + encounter day 5 and 6 (15 minutes)
Nave 10. Sala Max Aub

8 euros