26. 2. / 16:00 ENG. VERSION / 20:00 CZ. VERSION / ALFRED VE DVOŘE
Stereopresence is a visual essay exploring the ambiguous boundaries between the physical and the immaterial, the real and the imagined, the present and the absent. The performance, inspired by early video art experimentation, captures a “dual-channel” presence that is simultaneously real and virtual, exploring the symptoms of degenerative memory that accompany senility and dementia and delving into imagined worlds, both private and collective.
When I was 9 years old I was woken up by my grandmother after midnight. She was walking in the hall, speaking. I went to bring her back to bed, but when she saw me she started pointing at the empty wall, describing all the pots and kitchen utensils that were hanging there. “What pots, grandma? There’s nothing there.” “There, that one. That’s the one Mom uses for cooking beans.” I stood there, by her side, and decided not to pull her into my world, the real one. Oh, what a burden! I wanted to sleep, to go back to bed! But instead I remained in her world, the one she had pulled from the past and placed there in the exact proportions of the hall. I listened attentively to her descriptions, and for one moment I was tempted to believe that I could also see what she was seeing, as if her certainty was contagious… It was fantastic; somehow I felt so close to her, to what she had once been. I kept this intimate moment with grandma for myself, as if it had been a private journey into her land. This year, I found my 86-year-old father talking to microphotographs, addressing them as if they were people, not knowing he has five children.
Dementia and other degenerative symptoms related to senility are considered a disease in our society. There is no “cure” for them. Experts say with certainty that this world, our real world, is all there is. But let us imagine dementia as a supremely mysterious form of presence, the ability to inhabit multiple worlds; or perhaps it is nature’s way of helping us step away from the reality we all agree upon so that we may transit to the inner place from which we will depart, a place to which no one can accompany us.
Concept, video and installation: Cristina Maldonado
Dramaturgy: Sodja Zupanc Lotker
Dramaturgical consultant: Petra Hauerová
Lighting design and media: Šimon Janíček and Vladimír Burian
Technical support: Israel López, Tomáš Procházka
Contraptions: Isabela Juchniewicz and Dragan Stojčevski
Production: JEDEFRAU.ORG, Stereopresence z.s.
Production assistant: Isabela Juchniewicz
Performance: Cristina Maldonado, Sodja Zupanc Lotker/Petra Hauerová, Lamija Čehajić
Supported by: the City of Prague, Czech Ministry of Culture; Motus, producers of the Alfred ve dvoře theatre
Thanks to volunteers: Isabel Vizcaíno, Selma Lindren, Bria de la Mare, Sara Milner, Jenni Kokkomäki, Ioana Mona Popovici
Premiere: April 25th 2017, Alfred ve dvoře, Prague
70 min / no language barrier