TRILOGY COLD-FRED-FRÍO / THE END. OFF / TO COOK FOR (2008-2010)
Mercedes Boronat loves describing this trilogy as three “human installations”, with all meanings implied in the terms “installation” and “human”. It is indeed a beautiful way to describe her creation, as every artistic installation entails a sensorial and conceptual experience in a specified space, and it appeals to the audience’s freedom towards the artistic concept. In this case, the facility installed doesn’t consist of objects but actors, aware human beings with the ability to decide. This trilogy defines three stages within a personal and physical liberation process, which materializes in three performative works in which transformation occurs, once again, through the evolution in a physical level. Performed in three consecutive years, the performances suggested by Mercedes Boronat carry a strong emotional load because they are directly related to the artist’s life story, insofar as she has been modeled as a performer through her artistic proposals. It all starts in the freezing point, a metaphor that suggests the level of knowledge most of us have on our body. In the performance Cold-Fred-Frío, as it is later on analyzed, the performers are unemotional and aseptic beings, whose survival is only based in two simple gestures: falling and rising. However, even in such a state of one’s body unawareness, the possibility of a change can be sensed: all performers tend to light and heat, and this is why they move slowly but steadily forward to it. The second step is a process of purge. The End. Off is a farewell ritual of all preconceptions and all what is obsolete, and it is depicted with a funeral in which performers are still imprisoned by the “ignorance” of their body, although they are already able to perform a greater number of gestures and positions, as they are opening up to themselves through a loss, which allows a subsequent acquisition. In To Cook For, the body, which is to Mercedes Boronat inseparable from the soul, is finally not only ready to learn but, above all, is ready to give. This last stage is represented by gastronomy as a common cultural element, and refers firstly to the need to feed, but also to the pleasure in doing so. The performers metaphorically cook: they use their whole body and all their senses, and then share the fruits of their learnings with the audience. Gestures are now natural, for they are beings well aware of their own existence. These three performances, as independent creations, separated in time and space, make up a harmonious whole that claims the body as being the “place” for progress, which is the essence of Mercedes Boronat’s work.
(Performance, 12-14 performers. Centre Can Felipa, Barcelona, 2008)
Cold-Fred-Frío is a conceptual performance that researches into powerlessness as a physical state through the metaphor of congelation. Congelation hints at mental and physical paralysis, which leads to an impossible liberation. Space and stage design play a fundamental role in the transmission of the concept that Boronat intends to convey. By dividing the space into lanes that become a sort of huge stave, she suggests the isolation and loneliness of the contemporary individual, whose existence is nonetheless within society. Furthermore, Boronat doesn’t only play with vision and audition, but also with coldness, intelligently represented in the theatre, that resembles a big freezer, thus letting the audience feel -as well as actors do- the cold and unease brought by the absence of heat. The performer’s attire is white, and seems to insist on the idea of neutrality and impassivity. Even their own attitude is insensitive and impassive: no sign of interaction between them is shown, as a representation of a collective world filled with individually individualistic beings. Each one of them makes his way to light at their own pace by simple gestures: falling to the floor, and recovery. Movement, however simple and dual, stands once again for a way to survive. Becoming paralysed means absence of dynamism, of LIFE, and therefore, DEATH. In some of the actors, the fall-and-recovery flows coincide in time and space, generating a beautiful coreographic allegory of the common rhythms of human beings, a coincidence we often ignore and which results in loneliness. Despite all this, the artists move forward in space, and head to the lights located at one end of their path. Light is the only element that brings hope, and metaphorically represents the heat, an aim to keep living beyond cold and darkness. The critics that lay beneath this piece denounce this state of powerlessness, which is represented by the synchronic repetition of two essential and primitive movements, which suggest ignorance of our organism as the source of life. Only the own perception of it allows us to progress. The experience offered by this performance, in which the fall is the only way to salvation, is real and is doubtlessly reminiscent of the art of ZEN meditation, whose ultimate goal is the increase of awareness.
Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish