EL MATADERO (SLAUGHTERHOUSE)
El Matadero (Slaughterhouse) is a theatrical experience that walks disciplinary boundaries, where visual arts (performance, installation and body art), music, poetry and theater intersect. The performance triggers from a very brief political experience of the '70s: that of the SPK (Socialistisches Patientien Kollectiv - or Socialist Patients Collective), a group conducted by German University of Heidelberg psychiatrist Wolfgang Huber and mostly conformed by patients and students. They take up arms declaring war on capitalism, considering that diseases of the mind are the system’s product, and that their cure is only possible through revolution, a viewpoint shared at that time by most lines identified with antipsychiatry. The performance promotes a disruptive tension between the notions of good and evil, health and illness, normality and abnormality, beauty and ugliness. Taking as source or trigger artists from different disciplines who have either experienced psychiatric pathologies themselves (Artaud, Celan, Walser, etc.), or they have addressed the subject within their own artistic work (Helnwein, Büchner, Burton, Viel Témperley, Rilke, etc.). In concept and form, El Matadero proposes an experience that erases the boundaries between audience and stage, between presentation and representation, right where life intersects art, or where art intersects life. The performance’s aesthetic system could be tagged as "anti-theatrical": The Slaughterhouse resources to presentation and therefore its rhizomes branch out into pure becoming. While theater is the suppression or at least the representation of utopia, performance becomes its restoration. Because performance inscribes itself in the future: it IS unpredictable. Theater, on the other hand, fakes a present time, but it roots in the past (the rehearsal): it is predictable. In El Matadero, what will happen is unknown: it reclaims the physical aspects residing in the origins of theater, it takes the risk of improvisation, betting on disturbing and provoking the viewers, who see themselves compromised in the dramatic course, participating almost as yet another character.