la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Teatro EN (new)

Theatre


Rodrigo García (Spain)

Thursday October 13 at 9:00 p.m.
Teatro alle Tese
Rodrigo García (Spain)
Muerte y reencarnación en un cowboy
by Rodrigo García
 
with Juan Loriente, Juan Navarro, Marina Hoisnard
lighting Carlos Marquerie
sound Vincent Le Meur
production Théâtre National de Bretagne, La Carnicería Madrid
 
Muerte y reencarnación en un cowboy, which made its debut in Rennes in 2009 and won the Europe Theatre Prize that year for New Theatrical Realities, is another highly original chapter in the theatre of Rodrigo García, an “irregular” on the international scene who bluntly addresses the disorder of a world based on violence and domination, laying bare the hypocrisy and contradictions of the new rituals of everyday life, of what is considered the model for western lifestyles.
 
In 1989, at the age of twenty-five, Rodrigo García founded the group La Carnicería in Madrid, which in translation means butchery. An explicit reference to his father’s occupation. Unless it is an early indication of the scathing approach and rawness of the ideas with which the Argentine director, who moved from Buenos Aires to Spain, would fuel his theatre. Having shattered the traditional codes of stage production, García puts on excessive performances, multiplying the references to the present, asking his actors to become the spokesmen of the here and now. And he stages what is usually left out: the waste, the trash, the impurities, what the world of art considers inappropriate. Rodrigo García, a pessimist with a great sense of human, is an artist beyond limits: “Personally I believe that there is no room for beauty in art: art disrupts consolidated values, and what it disrupts, by its very nature, is not beautiful”. His writing is inspired by daily life, it is an extension of reality intensified by the poetic dimension that he infuses in it. An author, set designer and video-artist, as a director García has progressively transformed his poetics, and from his exercises in direction shaped on the writings of his most beloved authors – Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, Heiner Müller – he has moved on to increasingly personal, free and inventive productions, in which the materials take the shape of poems, or of radical public questioning. This is the case with his most controversial productions – Conocer gente, comer mierda, Jardinería humana, Compré una pala en Ikea para cavar mi tumba – where the texts “explode like bombs”. This is the case with his subversive rewriting of the tragic epic of Agamemnon, presented in 2004 at the 36th International Theatre Festival of the Biennale di Venezia, emblematically subtitled: volví del supermercado y le di una paliza a mi hijo (I came back from the supermarket and beat up my son).
 
The characters in this new play are two solitary cowboys – the symbols of American cultural colonialism – who address another of García’s variations on the theme of annihilation and the death of the western world, decorticating and demystifying them. Their task is to attack our society on many of its most significant aspects: from wealth to existential boredom, from its false unhappy laughter to the bourgeois hypocrisy of our love relationships. It takes us into the world of advertising, which has filtered into every space of our existence, replacing politics and government. And falls into the depths of a crisis of values and consciences, lulled in the padded comfort of our assent, tragic and grotesque at the same time.
 
García again substantiates his visionary theatre, animated by everyday brutality mixed with elevated visual references, with important texts that confirm his status as a fine writer, and thoughtful observer of the world. (…) Here, under the title Muerte y reencarnación en un cowboy, the contradictory macho world of an epic that has marked all our childhoods, becomes the centre of his reconnaissance of the world. But gradually, thanks especially to the tested and boundless physical talent of his most trusted actors, Juan Navarro and Juan Loriente, an aesthetic that everyone may have experienced for entertainment becomes a terribly serious, revelatory game. This “country-style” artifice brings out our everyday vices and flaws, massive conformist types of behaviour that always give us the illusion of a mythical personal aura.
Gianfranco Capitta, il Manifesto, 24 October 2010
 
As a violent surrealist, (García) hates his era and exposes its falseness, consumerism, supermarket-type feelings. (…) In Cowboy, within a brutal tempest of sounds, there are two men whose bodies burst with violence. The stage is dominated by a mechanical bull and around that macho totem, the two fight, and rape one another in classical ballet poses.
Osvaldo Guerrieri, La Stampa, 24 October 2010

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