Public Programme: New Publics
In real life as in theatre, acting is a prerequisite. And yet, somehow, the creative freedom provided by performing on stage is somehow tamed down when acted out in real life. It is this condition of fiction — the reading of a theatrical performance as a moment detached from reality —, which allows for theatrical experiments to be so radically groundbreaking. But understanding that theatre is as real as life, and acknowledging that the language it uses to communicate — visually, audibly, emotionally — with an audience, is the same language we use to understand each other in reality, why isn’t real life the stage where we can act out our desires?
What happens if a real-life public stage, a civic stage, is suddenly unveiled in our cities? What would happen if we reframe the tamed reality of public space into a theatrical site of exchange were can collectively perform our aspirations? Would fiction become real life and vice versa?
New Publics invites all audiences to get together in this civic platform and perform the city they imagine. This experimental public program will present a series of Acts that will take place on the Civic Stage designed by Frida Escobedo from September 12 – November 10, 2013.
Speech Acts consist of hour-long public speeches by politicians, philosophers, activists, architects and artists presented in collaboration with professional actors to trigger new stage dynamics and allow both speaker and audience to discuss, participate and collectively generate new ideas and understandings of place. Held on the Civic Stage, all contributions will address different civic agendas with the purpose of reaching a wider and more diverse audience, underlining the power of voice as an activating tool to create civic spaces.
Speech Acts by: Fernando García-Dory, Noura Al Sayeh, Pelin Tan, Unipop, Victoria Bugge Øye. Additionally, an event presenting the candidates for Lisbon’s mayoral seat will open inaugurate the New Publics program.
Body Acts are commissioned public performances in and around the stage. Through the performative use of bodies in public space, Body Acts comment on socially excluding policies in the urban environment. These performances encourage the use of corporal expression to highlight how simple gestures and actions can transform the dynamics of public space.
Chilean artist Francisca Benítez will present Discurso Visível / Visible Speech, and Spanish studio Estudio [SIC] will develop Civic Swing during the opening week of Close, Closer.
City Acts are three long-term city initiatives that address the domestic, the social, and the public space. Developed similar to ethnographic projects, they frame consistent dialogue and fieldwork as the main motor to create diverse and dynamic civic spaces. The success of all three initiatives relies on community support, which demonstrates the power of people working together. All projects will be officially launched during the opening dates (September 12–15) and will run throughout the whole New Publics program, hosting different activities and strategies of engagement with a diverse audience.
Participants: Artéria (PT), Daniel Fernández Pascual (ES), Unipop (PT)
SUPERPOWERS OF TEN is a reenactment, a cover version and a reinterpretation of the iconic Powers of Ten made in 1968 by Charles and Ray Eames. Powers of Ten represents an important part of the cultural context we live in and this new live version aims to celebrate the struggle of inhabiting in and out of the frame, recuperating narratives lost somewhere in the scaling up and in the scaling down of the camera. This original piece written, directed and performed by the architect Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation contextualises this story into contemporary discourse by surfacing the complexity inscribed in global systems. This powerful play will be staged in the square three times during the opening week. In this particular act, the city will work as a stage while the audience observes from within the Civic Stage.
The Open stage programme will serve as a public platform that visitors, passerbys, and all Lisbon residents are welcome to use. During this period, regular Sunday Sessions will be hosted on the stage as well as open mike meetings in collaboration with local participants.