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Dewey Dell

Grave BUDA kunstencentrumKortrijk, BelgiumPremière1st and 2nd December 2011
place duration
projects / advised

Antònio Jorge Manuel - Um Tributo


The aim of this project is the creation of a performance piece by Ricardo Jacinto (Visual Artist/Musician) and Andresa Soares (Choreographer/Dancer) with the collaboration of Filipe Paula (Physician), Rui Antunes (Psychologist) and André Castro (Product Designer).

This collaboration is a development of the installation-project "Labyrinthitis", that Ricardo Jacinto started  in 2007 as a commission from Casa da Musica in Oporto. Thematically related to this disease of the inner ear (Labyrinthitis), that causes loss of balance (vertigo, nausea, etc), addressed an altered and dysfunctional relation of the body with space. Pathological and anatomical information from this disease was used to build a series of artistic objects on this subject and through different media (Manifesta 2009, Roveretto_Italy, Hoenraush, Linz_Áustria, Art Agency_Vera Cortes, Lisbon). This first part of the Project had a continued collaboration of Dr.Filipe Paula and a considerable part of its research was carried away at the Institute of Aeronautic Medicine of the Portuguese Air Force. The designer André Castro collaborated in the 3D modelling of a double inner ear sculpture, a formal invention strongly related to the anatomical formation of the inner ear.

At the last Labyrinthitis installation "In a rear room" (Vera Cortes Art Agency, Lisbon) Ricardo Jacinto proposed Andresa Soares to write a literary essay to introduce the installation, which was by then already dealing with two other subjects also related (through different perspectives) to altered perceptions of space: the psychedelic drug DMT (in particular the scientific investigation of Dr. Richard Strassman on the psychedelic effects of the natural production of this drug in the human body, and its relation to mystical and near death experiences, and alien abduction) and an urban-warfare strategy called Mouse-holing (a tactic in which a military unit creates small passages between adjoining rooms or buildings by manually tunnelling through a wall. This tactic is used to avoid open streets where advancing infantry, caught in enfilade, are easily targeted by machine-gun and sniper fire).

As we had access to written testimonies from people who experienced phenomena related to this three subjects, the idea of building up a fictional character (Antonio Jorge Manuel), that summarized this experiences, seemed a strong motivation to develop a performance piece (Phase 1) where this character would be the main subject, and its extraordinary characteristics a metaphorical vehicle to talk about a transcendental existence.

Side by side with the creation of a fake documentary on this character, we believe that a ritualized dance and musical piece, based also on an invented Myth (that would reflect the extraordinary characteristics of the documented character), would be put together in a performance that presents a tribute to this character. This performance will present a double figure: a "real" person and its mythical counterpart: a staged female figure, blinded by a mask (as a double inner ear formation).

To develop this part of the project we proposed the Psychologist Rui Antunes and Physician Filipe Paula to work directly with us on the three subject's research to write both the documentary script and the mythological narrative. The proposal considered a creative diagnostic and therapeutic to deal with the experiences and phenomena described by the character Antonio Jorge Manuel. This approach will be necessary to inform the writing of the first script, but specially to integrate the final part of the project (Phase 2) where The Tribute is replaced by a Conference. At this stage we intend to "document" other people views about Antonio Jorge Manuel's descriptions, integrating a thorough scientific perspective as an effort to understand and control the described phenomena.