What brings us here?
The Trace of Us Project (previously known as the Silhouettes Project) is an ongoing R&D process supported by the Pervasive Media Studio's Future Themes fund, exploring the future of theatre and developing a new piece about the life and work of artist Ana Mendieta.
In the 1970s, Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta made provocative work utilising her body, natural materials, and photography/film. Influenced by ritual, her work confronted ideas about violence, the female body, identity and exile. Her creation of art outside traditional venues and her use of film/photography have recently taken on new relevance regarding how to create meaningful collective artistic experiences without physical access to traditional theatre/arts venues: current options generally fall under outdoor experiences or experiences via screens.
This project seeks to affirm Mendieta’s position as one of the most inventive artists of her generation, whose work and legacy is still powerfully present, while encouraging broader conversations around the value/impact of technologies and bodily experiences in real space. It asks not only what is possible in the near future but also how the current situation might reveal exciting new ways of working. Can we push the extremes we are faced with, taking inspiration from Mendieta’s work: both ephemeral/bodily/sensorial and archival/technological/visual? Her Silueta series, which lives on through films and photographs, carved and painted her body image in earth, clay, stone, and vegetation in effort to connect: Trace of Us similarly explores how we might feel connected via a coming together of nature and technology; physical body and screen image; ancient ritual and modern media.
The R&D team is made up of an international collective of woman creatives: director Ellie Chadwick, writer Abi Zakarian, dancer/choreographer Depi Gorgogianni, designer/artist Ana Inés Jabares Pita, performer Gaël Le Cornec, curator/artist Gabriela Román González, and actor Amanda Guardado.
Watch our talk about the project here.