Institut del Teatre-Museu de les Arts Escèniques, Barcelona / Performing Arts Research Centre, Helsinki / PSi#25Elasticity, Calgary / Institut Finlandais, Paris
Reacclimatizations is a scenic installation based on the study of floral stage frames (wings) of the end of the 19th-century and early 20th-century theater set models kept in the archives of the Museum of Scenic Arts of Barcelona. The material study of the selected archives is combined with a theoretical focus on the performativity of the vegetal in Catalan modernism and in contemporary art and architecture. The project stems from my doctoral artistic research Reacclimating the Stage (Skenomorphoses) on scenic thinking, (re)directing and queer-ed time ecology. More specifically, it looks into the reconditioning of human agency in the production of theater, in transformative relationships with other-than-human entities and temporalities. Reacclimatizations project engages with the critical plasticity of conventional Western theater sets language and materiality. It proposes an example of reshuffling conventional scenic agencies, so far strictly distributed between the anthropocentric proscenium and the concealed non-human backstage. The title Reacclimatizations refers directly to the history – contemporary of the studied models – of the “gardens of acclimatization”. These gardens appeared in colonialist Europe during the second half of the 19th century in order to contribute to the introduction and “acclimatization” of exotic vegetal species for the entertainment of park visitors and eventual agricultural, pharmaceutical and commercial exploitation. Hence, to “reacclimate” here critically alludes to a possible resilient inversion process of this historical appropriation of the flora. By the materialization of the hybridizing collision between archives of theater sets, dendritic architecture, psychoanalysis, post-colonialistic perspectives on flora, genetic engineering and new computational modes of representation, Reacclimatizations invites the spectator to an ambiguous scenic experience on agential regeneration.
Reacclimatizations was realized during a three-month research residency at the Institut del Teatre/ Museu de les Arts Escèniques of Barcelona during the spring 2018 and first shown during the Night of the Museums Barcelona 2018.
The research project was carried out in collaboration with Dra. Anna Solanilla Roselló (Professor of scenography at l’Escola Superior d’Art Dramàtic/Institut del teatre) and with the help of Carme Carreño Pombar (Museu de les Arts Escèniques).
The research residency was supported by the Erasmus exchange program and the Performing Arts Research Center / Tutke – Uniarts Helsinki.