"It was a game a first. I can't remember now how it began. Perhaps I shed my dress. Perhaps she tore it as we fought. Perhaps we were naked over dinner. Like all games, it was a licence of sorts - a licence to touch. A licence to hurt. A licence to struggle, to resist, to restrain. To keep holding. To cry out. To feel fear. Did you see it happen? The circling, the clinch, the rocking and slaps of flesh. It was real enough at the time. Time after time. Because it never had to stop. No one ever won. No one ever came. No one ever got married or paid the mortgage. The children never left home, or died in car wrecks. Like in a story, or in memory..." (Margaret Werry)
[from the press release]
Lovers Fragments is a new multi-media performance created with an ensemble of dancers, actors, and visual artists and the original music of Brazilian composer Andre Marquetti and his collaborators. It explores contemporary anxieties about sexuality, loss, and separation. With its extra-ordinary filmic images and photographic sculptures, Lovers Fragments conjures a new surrealistic poetry, a reverse futurism for the end of our exhausted century. The new production, initiated by Johannes Birringer and members of his AlienNation Co., was first workshopped during the 1994 Conjunto/Encuentro Internacional in Havana, Cuba. It evolves from a collaborative search for transformative processes that challenge our understanding of cultural and conceptual borders. In its current rehearsal phase, Lovers Fragments is still undergoing constant changes. Filmic and photographic scenes were shot on location in Cuba, East Germany, and the United States. The ensemble is examining Roland Barthes's and Reinaldo Arenas's homoerotic writings while experimenting with a new "photogrammatic" style of performance and staging techniques that allow for flexible and open transitions between sculptural installation, dance, and filmic projection. Japanese-American artist Mariko Ventura is creating a series of clay sculptures that become body-shaped surfaces for 8mm film projections.
Lovers Fragments presents primarily visual narratives which explore the erotic and spiritual fantasies and phantasms of several bisexual lovers trapped in an abandoned building in a snowlandscape. The are trying to reconstruct an event in the past that led to their separation from Teresa who now lives on an island (Cuba) unable to leave and communicate with them, as her letters get intercepted or never reach their destination. Some of the lovers had been forced to leave their countries and face the disorientation of immigration. Their intersecting fantasies and memories are portrayed like a silent movie, a sequence of magical and surrealist images, interrupted only by the concrete actions and physical relations of the actors and dancers onstage. Their relationships to the musicians and to particular instruments are a vital dimension of the performance and its exploration of memory and the connections between nostalgia and eros.
This performance is a meditation on sexual ecstasy, loss and reintegration in a time of great uncertainty and convulsion over questions of sexual and national identity. Its fragmented gestural languages breathe the urgency of being alive and of exposing life's dark and sensuous side, the longings and fears, and the melancholia of disillusionment and solitude.
For further information and for ordering the video of this performance work, contact xenologue productions.