Within the Western imagination, the Americas are still an exuberant exception. A continent that from the beginning emerged into the world full of real and symbolic elements that placed it as the territory of surprise, the unexpected and even the magical par excellence, but with a magic that is different to that which had, until then, existed in the world; a magic that is instead ordinary, day-to-day, as if that which others considered out-of-the-ordinary were, in the Americas, a daily occurence.

In this context it is possible to place the plays of Alfredo Arias, an actor, producer, director and writer who was born in Buenos Aires in 1944 and has lived in Paris since 1969, but which is a circumstance that never distanced him from his birthplace, and which rather enlivened the creative presence of his childhood as a source of inspiration and of motifs that give life to his artistic concerns. A recovery that took place halfway between nostalgia and criticism, but also bringing into play the perhaps uncomfortable elements that are also present there, such as Peronism and the formation of pop culture.

Arias’ theater has therefore been an exploration of the crossroads between the possible and the impossible, from a fantastical perspective, three terms that have various meanings but which Arias has filled with personal significance in a detailed construction that includes memories, emotions, mistakes, dreams, desires, pending issues and more, all of which are presented in the form of sculptures (as in his adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula), characters with animal masks (such as in Les peines de coeur d’une chatte anglaise, the adaptation of Balzac’s homonymous novel), and in the representation of a scene in ruins as a symbol of memory (as in Folies-Fantômes, Mémoires imaginaires).

The expression “to stage” implies creating a metaphor, converting something into something else, to transform, to perform a magic trick through which that which began life meaning one thing ends up meaning something else. Moving from one territory to another, from one field of meaning to another. In the case of Arias, this delving into his memory has been a creative exercise that has resulted in his link to the world, a way of combining and bringing together in one place the random and circumstantial that is subjective formation and, on the other hand, his broad intellectual concerns, specifically regarding the question of how to make a metaphor from a memory in order to make it meaningful to others.

Arias found his furrow in a certain baroque melancholy that has allowed him to move between memory and reality, fantasy and life in the world, between dreams and impossible forms and a common language enriched by those metaphors that emerged from other worlds but which found their berth in this world, and where he and any of us can make ourselves understood.

.

Within the Western imagination, the Americas are still an exuberant exception. A continent that from the beginning emerged into the world full of real and symbolic elements that placed it as the territory of surprise, the unexpected and even the magical par excellence, but with a magic that is different to that which had, until then, existed in the world; a magic that is instead ordinary, day-to-day, as if that which others considered out-of-the-ordinary were, in the Americas, a daily occurence.

In this context it is possible to place the plays of Alfredo Arias, an actor, producer, director and writer who was born in Buenos Aires in 1944 and has lived in Paris since 1969, but which is a circumstance that never distanced him from his birthplace, and which rather enlivened the creative presence of his childhood as a source of inspiration and of motifs that give life to his artistic concerns. A recovery that took place halfway between nostalgia and criticism, but also bringing into play the perhaps uncomfortable elements that are also present there, such as Peronism and the formation of pop culture.

Arias’ theater has therefore been an exploration of the crossroads between the possible and the impossible, from a fantastical perspective, three terms that have various meanings but which Arias has filled with personal significance in a detailed construction that includes memories, emotions, mistakes, dreams, desires, pending issues and more, all of which are presented in the form of sculptures (as in his adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula), characters with animal masks (such as in Les peines de coeur d’une chatte anglaise, the adaptation of Balzac’s homonymous novel), and in the representation of a scene in ruins as a symbol of memory (as in Folies-Fantômes, Mémoires imaginaires).

The expression “to stage” implies creating a metaphor, converting something into something else, to transform, to perform a magic trick through which that which began life meaning one thing ends up meaning something else. Moving from one territory to another, from one field of meaning to another. In the case of Arias, this delving into his memory has been a creative exercise that has resulted in his link to the world, a way of combining and bringing together in one place the random and circumstantial that is subjective formation and, on the other hand, his broad intellectual concerns, specifically regarding the question of how to make a metaphor from a memory in order to make it meaningful to others.

Arias found his furrow in a certain baroque melancholy that has allowed him to move between memory and reality, fantasy and life in the world, between dreams and impossible forms and a common language enriched by those metaphors that emerged from other worlds but which found their berth in this world, and where he and any of us can make ourselves understood.

.

Tagged: , , , ,