Qual é a sua História?/Desabafo em 5 minutos

Posted on 27/08/2010 por


What’s your story?/Blurting out in 5 minutes

Variations of the same theme

What to expect of an actor or a performer? The words themselves suggest action, to perform something is to act on something, to create meaning through action. When we go to a play or a performance we expect movement and words. We expect to be guided through an artistic experience that will move us emotionally. We expect to be taken into the character’s or artist’s world.

So what happens when the performer acts on listening? What we do is sit on stools and wait for the spectators to sit in front of us and talk. We have opened up space for the spectators to speak. At the same time, we have faded the idea of spectators as a group, a homogeneous mass of people. When each one of them sits and tells us something, they individualize themselves.

We have access to a part of their existence. From that part we deduce the rest. It is a similar process to that of watching a play, or building a character. From a few elements we imagine what came beforehand and what will happen next. The acts of watching and acting come closer together while the roles of hearing and speaking invert themselves.

What is curious is that the idea of character is twisted. In the theatre, characters are usually fictional, so it is consciously acceptable for us to fantasize about them. Here, the characters are non-fiction and are themselves. The people that sit in front of us and talk do so in part because of an immediate confidence that was built inside them through an act of interactional creativity, fantasy.

We find then that human relationships are constructed partially by facts and mostly by personal interpretation of these facts and by fantasies that fill the blanks where there are no facts. That takes us into a discussion of fragmentation in the arts and in life.

At some point, historically, man believed there was Truth. Religion, philosophy and science were bred in the search for truths. Truths that would present themselves either as complimentary or excludent. Truths that bring values that would build a whole we could anchor ourselves to. The 20th century presented the world with the crumbling of these beliefs.

Now, in the 21st century, what do we build upon? It is not possible to guide ourselves based on some universal truth. The very idea of an universal truth is unbelievable. What we have now are parallel truths, that may be opposite, but no longer have the power to exclude one another. We live with the truth that there is no one truth. We live in a world where values are continuously shifting.

We live in fragmented world. We listened to music that is built with fragments of other music. We read fragments of texts. We use citation. Is it still possible to have access to the whole of anything? Can we take hold of something in its fullness? Can we comprehend something in its entirety?

When we listen to fragments of peoples lives, how much of what moves us is actually the meeting point between them and us? We meet in the space between the fragments that are presented to us and the bridges built in these spaces stimulate us artistically.

These are questions that arise as we listen to what our participants tell us. In a way our performance brings this to the surface. The experience of listening and elaborating thought from what we have heard is what we propose ourselves.

In What’s your story?, we interact verbally, dialoguing with the participant and helping his/her story to flourish. In Blurting out in 5 minutes, we react physically but not verbally and the participant has a time limit in which he/she has to fit what they tell us. After the performances, each of us writes her impressions and thoughts and posts them on our blog (www.soaspessoas.wordpress.com).

It is important to stress that what we propose is not a form of therapy or sprititualization. We create an opportunity for others to express themselves through discourse. In doing so, we evidentiate the need people have to be listened to in contemporary life. Some find it difficult to open up to complete strangers, others feel more at ease. Still, in all statements, what we find is someone in the act of communication and the complexity of this communication.