A play by Matilde Cerruti Quara
Premiere: Friday, 7 February 2020
VERDIGRIS, Matilde Cerruti Quara’s first play—is a piece of experimental theatre that was staged as part of WHEN THE GATES COME DOWN, SWEETIE, IT WILL ALL HAPPEN VERY FAST, the artist's solo exhibition at Jupiter Woods. VERDIGRIS premiered on 7 February 2020.
If you've seen an old rusty penny, you've seen verdigris in nature; it's the greenish-blue patina that forms on copper, bronze or brass when exposed to moisture. Unstable, reactive and even toxic. Penetrating, toxungenous, inescapable. Yet a fragile beauty. An alchemical process, metaphorical of a state of natural yet artificial transformation. The structure of the script is inspired to T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and will embed four waltzing flows of consciousness, inhabiting the mystical universal space of the mind. Cerruti Quara’s interest in embedding elements from the radical theatre into her work originated upon discovering the diaries of Judith Malina, who in 1947 together with Julian Beck founded the experimental company The Living Theatre.
I open my eyes and find myself in the fullest void. It is both chasm and bliss; chaos and catharsis; an abyss of potential. For an instant (a very singular moment in time), it feels as if I could stretch my limbs as further as the infinite and take a leap of blind faith, plunging for good into an endless, beautiful cosmic pool of universal consciousness. This is a spring I’m thirsty to tap in, drawing the magic waters of knowledge.
I see this as a space of the mind reflecting all tautologies of lived life. A metaphysical mirror room, where nothing is returned exactly as it seems. All borders finally disrupted. Nature speaking throughout itself. The Future. The eternal loop. Democracy. A signal throughout the flames. There is no way out and no way in. The audience cannot be contained, but used to become part of the work, that yes. The yin blurs with the yang, and vice versa. I envision a bed that becomes a stage within the stage. An archetypical cradle. For in bed we are born and in bed we die, and in bed we sleep, and in bed we take refuge from both day and night, and in bed we make love and in bed we cry and laugh, and in bed we think. All in all, beds are a very equalitarian venue for subjective entities to gather.
Lights shift. I hear voices. Sound traveling in the atmosphere. And words. A language of the soul, spoken and engraved. 4 quartets X 4 characters. They speak. They breathe, they move, they dance. They are alive. They are four flows of consciousness. Fluent, along their horizontal line of introspective specularity. Contemplative. Oracles perched on the vertical ladder of time. Hope, wisdom and expectations. A gaze into the unconscious and towards the future. Thus spoke the wandering storyteller—“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
VERDIGRIS is choreographed by Leah Marojević with music by Delia Gonzalez and styling by Francesca Cefis. Cast features Tracy Bickley (The Oracle of Time Future), Hugo Fulton (The Oracle of Time Past), Tom Heyes (The Unconscious) and Leah Marojević (The Conscious Mind) in the roles of archetypal abstract ideas. Special thanks to Nancy Kettle (Movement Coach) and Katherine Heath (Accent Coach).