COUNTRIES AND REGIONS section

Prospective Actions (Catalunya 2014-2018)

Our participation in the Countries and Regions section comes from the desire to showcase the richness of scenographic activity in Catalonia that is made up by a wide range of professional profiles and creative interests. With this objective we have brought together two generations, one with an established career and the other younger and just starting to be recognised. The latter has been asked to come up with an open exhibition idea based on the theme of six scenographers of the previous generation.

The professionals who are the subject of the installation represent six very different ways of understanding the craft. Each one has explored quite specific fields of reflection and creation and has helped to expand and enrich the scenographic activity of Catalonia. We are talking about Anna Alcubierre, Paco Azorín, Cube.bz, Sílvia Delagneau, Max Glaenzel and Eugenio Szwarcer.

The four young professionals invited to create the Catalonia installation are two scenographers and two dramaturges who graduated in the last few years from the Institut del Teatre: Laura Clos “Closca”, Pau Masaló, Xesca Salvà and Marc Villanueva. They propose a performing game, an interactive installation, which while revising and reflecting on diverse social conflicts that happened between 2004 and 2018 in Barcelona allows us to get to know the six scenographers, or the reverse, playing with the scenographers gives us the possibility of learning about six recent conflicts experienced in Catalonia.

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PROSPECTIVE ACTIONS (Catalunya 2004-2018)

If performative strategies are constantly enacted by states to sustain their power structures, we also see an increasing number of resistance actions being deployed by grassroots movements that rely on alternative performances of spaces and bodies, and which can inspire and challenge stage design.

Prospective Actions (Catalunya 2004-2018) is a participative multimedia installation that approaches this question in relation to six social conflicts that took place in Catalonia in the last 15 years and that showcase a heightened tension between police control and the opening up of new forms of using and producing the public space. We invited six Catalan scenographers who started working in the nineties to help us think about these conflicts, as well as about the position of arts in terms of political struggles and the interweaving between studio and street. A big round table becomes a board game, a stage for potential actions and a meeting point between two generations, separated by the breakout of the financial crisis and its impact on life, work conditions and worldviews.

 

Laura Clos «Closca», Pau Masaló, Xesca Salvà i Marc Villanueva
Creators and designers of the installation


THE CREATORS OF THE INSTALLATION

Prospective Actions (Catalonia 2004-2018) is the work of Laura Clos “Closca”, Pau Masaló, Xesca Salvà and Marc Villanueva. They are from different fields but all trained in the Performing Arts at the Institut del Teatre, where some graduated in Scenography and others in Stage Directing and Dramaturgy. Each one professionally explores fields as diverse as the world of performativity, installation, audiovisuals, dramaturgy, set design, new technologies and lighting.

They know each other but have never worked together before. We wanted to bring them together because we thought it interesting to combine their curious personalities, their great willingness for new challenges and their diverse but not distant points of view on the performing arts and because for us they form part of a generation.

But they wonder: Can we talk about generations among the scenographers of the last twenty years in Catalonia? Will scenographers be the “theatre makers” of the future? Will they make theatre definitively leave theatres? Is scenography a possible tool for urban protest movements? The questions, beyond redefining formats and languages, also outline a new social and political dimension of the performing arts that opens fields to explore, new channels of expression and new audiences.


PARTICIPATING SCENOGRAPHERS

We could say that Anna Alcubierre, Paco Azorín, Cube.bz, Sílvia Delagneau, Max Glaenzel and Eugenio Szwarcer form part of a generation. They trained mainly at the Institut del Teatre and almost all of them started work in the late 1990s in a context where cultural policies and economic investment were very different from today.

We think that what defines this generation is not a specific identity as a group but the heterogeneity of how they understand and approach scenic design. From the lighting work of Cube.bz to Szwarcer’s use of video and documentary languages, from the close link between Azorín’s stage direction and scenography to Glaenzel firmly assuming the role of scenographer, or Delagneau’s character design to the bridge between Alcubierre’s stage and exhibition spaces, they have all given a wide and personal meaning to the old, beautiful and controversial word “scenography”.

In a country as small as ours this plurality means richness and possibilities. But alongside the economic, political and social transformations we are experiencing, it places us in an uncertain and changing setting full of questions about the future.

Our desire has been to avoid a retrospective show where they are a theme to be exhibited. The idea of sharing a play, a reflection on recent cases of social conflict using their tools and artistic languages has been a valuable material for the creators. The stand we present has been built around their contributions.