As part of the performing arts program designed by Teatros del Canal and Museo Reina Sofía,The Living Museum (2019) is a new production — premiered internationally in the Museo Reina Sofía — by Mapa Teatro, and the collective’s coda to the Museo’s Fissures programme (with the exhibition Of Lunatics, or Those Lacking Sanity, until 29 April 2019). In fact, the work continues the research on madness, primitive accumulation, extractivism and colonial exploitation started in the show mentioned above.
The piece unfolds on the auditorium stage, yet, as with Mapa Teatro’s work as a whole, it melds visual art discourses and mediums with contemporary theatre. Fiction and reality overlap in a game of mirrors, in resignifying and slides, where reality acts as fiction and fiction documents reality. The work reveals three layers of meaning in different devices and languages: the monologue of a miner from the Colombian mine Marmato, recreated by the artists in their installation Of Lunatics, or Those Lacking Sanity; an audiovisual piece on the hypothetical encounter in the jungle between a shaman and Karl Marx, where the magic and animist world of ritual converges with the production machinery of capital; and a film installation on a group of Colombian soldiers who created and ran a museum in El Borugo, a former FARC camp located in the Amazon rainforest, in which soldiers re-staged, under the visitors’ gaze, the conditions of their imprisoned and tortured comrades.
The Living Museum sees Mapa Teatro delve deeper into the tradition of documentary theatre, opening up contemporary folds between dramaturgy and performance and reflecting on the use of the museum institution in memory, collective peace processes and the manufacturing of history.
About Mapa Teatro
Mapa Teatro is an artists’ laboratory devoted to transdisciplinary creation which has been based in Bogotá since 1986, and was founded in Paris in 1984 by Colombian visual and theatre artists Heidi, Elizabeth and Rolf Abderhalden. Their work interweaves experimental performance, installation, opera, theatre and ethnological documentary-making, and has been shown at international performance festivals such as the Avignon Festival, the Paris Autumn Festival and the FIND Festival in Berlin, as well as art institutions that include the São Paulo Biennial and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
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