Fire Walk With Me
The last appointment with the 1st Meeting of Young Artists of Southeast Europe Ancient Drama and Politics, Tracing Limits and Possibilities indulges on a change of course, presenting A4M’s latest production, Prometheus Bound, a performance/installation with a body, a voice and two sounds. The audience is asked to step on the stage, and some get too burned by the limelight.
L’ultimo appuntamento del I° Incontro di giovani artisti dell’Europa del sud-est “Dramma antico e politica”, Tracciare limiti e possibilità si concede un cambio di rotta, presentando l’ultima produzione del gruppo A4M, Prometeo incatenato, una performance/installazione con corpo, voce e due suoni in cui il pubblico è chiamato a salire sul palco, portando alcuni a scottarsi sotto i riflettori.
Το τελευταίο ραντεβού με την 1η Συνάντηση Νέων Καλλιτεχνών της Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης “Αρχαίο Δράμα & Πολιτική”, Aνίχνευσης – Όρια και δυνατότητες, μαρτυράει μια αλλαγή πορείας, παρουσιάζοντας την τελευταία παραγωγή της Α4Μ, το Prometheus Bound, μια παράσταση/εγκατάσταση με σώμα, φωνή και δύο ήχους. Το κοινό καλείται να βγει στη σκηνή και μερικοί καταλήγουν να καίγονται με το προσκήνιο.
Prometheus has been suffering for our sake ever since he decided to defy the rule of his father and commander, Zeus, handing over to us the ability to perceive the world surrounding us. More of a rebel than a benefactor, the Titan was then bound to a stone by the Almighty and cursed with having his liver eaten out by an eagle for all eternity. Now, despite the obvious similarities with Christ’s Passion, Aeschylus’ myth actually focuses more on the injustices of tyranny (and the consequent need for true justice and real law) than on human’s liberation from the darkness of ignorance, as he himself screams from the rock to which he’s chained: «A God ye behold in bondage and pain/The foe of Zeus and one at feud with all/The deities that find/Submissive entry to the tyrant’s hall».
None of this, however, shows through Athina Dragkou’s direction, who hides behind an extensive series of quotes and cross-references (from Frye to Kafka, from Vonnegut to M. L. King) to represent her very own Prometheus. The four women on stage all take part into the construction of the God, giving it (neither him or her) a voice, a breath, a body and pain -eternal, endless pain. The whole performance revolves around the guilt, real or apparent, of us human beings who, just like with the Saviour, happily carried on with our daily lives whilst someone took upon him/her/it all of our sins. Welcoming each spectator on stage with a closed envelope, Sophia Chatzivasileiou, Maria Anisegkou, Gioula Michael and the director herself try to lead the audience to understand the symbiotic relationship of saviour-saved, but to no avail. Indeed, sprawled under a plethora of Scissors of Damocles, Prometheus relentlessly sews onto its body the remnants of our consumptive existence, pieces of paper so gleefully handed to it by an unsuspecting (and un-meditative) public which takes pleasure in playing a role in this work in progress reminiscent of Goethe’s own try at the Titan: «I sit here, shaping men and women/in my image,/a race destined, like I,/to suffer and to cry,/to savour joy, to laugh,/and disregard you/as I did».
Despite its many shortcomings, this audience-based performance finds its turning point in the small gap between aesthetics and responsibility: only those who are willing to accept their own faults, without hiding behind a supernatural scapegoat, shall finally find freedom (both for themselves and for all the man-made deities stuck to a stone, a cross or a book), while the rest may very well fade away in a whirlwind of icon and simulacra, enjoying their short stay in the limelight of superficiality.
The show was played at
Theatre of the Society for Macedonian Studies (ΕΜΣ) – National Theatre of Northern Greece
Ethnikis Amynis str. 2 – Thessaloniki
Wednesday 27 September 2017
The 1st Meeting of Young Artists of Southeast Europe “Ancient Drama and Politics” and A4M present
direction-installation Athina Dragkou
performer Sophia Chatzivasileiou
violoncello Maria Anisegkou
vocal Gioula Michael
dramaturgy consultant Myrto Kousidou
production co-ordinator Marily Venturi