Departures and Arrivals



2015/09/29 › 2015/10/06
Monteiro Freitas, Marlene

We believe one needs to put oneself in the hands of a bigger other
coming from ourselves, in order to say some words
otherwise we would be unable to say, do some of the gestures otherwise we would be unable to do, project some of the images
otherwise we would be unable to project, make some of the
choices we intend making. In order to make this piece, we must
become marionettes, handed and acted as such.
Jaguar is an excerpt of a puppet show, a haunted-hunted
Jaguar, is the name of some horses.


Hand 1. Blaue Reiter (Germany, 1911-1914)

“We both loved blue, Marc liked horses and I riders”,
W. Kandinsky

Kandinsky, Franz Marc and others founded this movement responsible for such important developments of art as Abstract Expressionism. They were looking for alternatives to the academic conventions about art and found them along the line of childhood, colour and, finally, intensity. In 1912 Kandinsly wrote “we should strive not for restriction but for liberation… only on a spot that has become free can something grow”; “men are blinded. A black hand covers their eyes”. He did so at the Blaue Reiter Almanac, a catalogue-magazine combining a wide mix of art forms from many times and cultures. Arnold Schönberg and the Blaue Reiter movement were closely connected. Schönberg linked “atonal” music to the developments in painting of which Kandinsky (with who he had close contacts) was major protagonist when he thought of it “without architecture… an ever-changing, unbroken succession of colors, rhythms and moods”, probably quoting the painter.

Hand 2. Art Brut (Jean Dubuffet, France, after 1945)

The term coined by Dubuffet in the aftermath of the WWII is yet a key turning point in the development of art in the Western world and of its opening to the other, a radically different other. Among the art brut artists, Adolf Wolfli (1864-1930) writer, poet, composer, illustrator committed to reinvent his life, occupies a special place. Operating outside the perspectival convention, he combined the very small and the very big, he created numbers beyond the number system (the “zorn” =
“cholera”), systems beyond systems… futures beyond the future, pasts beyond the past, developing intense and fascinating dynamics constituted by the interplay of images and sounds. His “opus” is constituted by the four major sections: “From cradle to grave” (until 1912), where he invented his past; “Geographical and algebraical notebooks” (1912-16), where he invented the future; “Songs and dances notebook” (1917-22), where he celebrated the creation of St. Adolf; “Dances and marches notebooks” (1924-28), where he celebrates of the giant St. Adolf. In 1930 he died with an old age. Among the artists that resonate the work of Wolfli, but also the experience of Resnais’ Nuit et brouillard, there is Michel Nedjar (b. 1947).

Hand 3. Marionettes, Puppetry

What is a doll? It is something strange It is something in the shadows
It is something of the earth It is something of the origin
It is something magical It is something paternal It is something
prohibited It is something from God It is something distant It is
something without eyes It is something animal It is something
birdlike It is something silent It is something eternal It is
something of mud It is something of pebbles Something vegetal
Something from childhood Something cruel Something joyful
Something from a scream Something silent that’s it! [Michel
Nedjar, 1996].

Hand 4. The Hoffman Tales

E.T.A. Hoffman (1776-1822) wrote a set of tales that would have a remarkable posterity: Jacques Offenbach would compose an opera and Sigmund Freud would develop the piece of aesthetic reflection that goes with the name of “the uncanny”.

Hand 5. A Prince’s Jaguar

Like a hunter in the wilderness I’m gonna try and do my best I’m
gonna use speed and finesse I’m gonna getcha, getcha […]
Jaguar I am and U are mine Jaguar – she loves a body fine In
heat, in love, in out, in time Jaguar I am and U are mine […]
[Prince, Jaguar].

Hand 6. Mandinga

Mandinga are special characters of Mindelo’s (Cabo Verde) carnival, insofar they are not quite “characters”, as belonging to – bridging – the a gap between that of lay people and their normal existence and the imaginary world of phantasy represented by carnival itself. They are in-between.

NOTE: The project is structured this way in order to be as coherent as possible with the method of work used: from the relation between these different elements, the piece will unfold.



Choreography, Performance: Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Andreas Maerk
Light: Yannick Fouassier
Research and image: João Francisco Figueira, Marlene Monteiro Freitas
Co-production (in progress): CDC Toulouse (FR), Rivoli Porto (PT), Tanzhaus, Zurich (CH), Arsenic, Lausanne (CH), O Espaço do tempo, Montemor-o-novo (PT), Zodiak, Helsinki (FI), Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE),

This project was made possible with the support of [DNA] network - Departures and Arrivals/European Commission Culture Program.

World première: 6 October 2015, Zodiak, Helsinki (FI)
Portuguese première: Teatro Rivoli, Porto (PT)