Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Old Craftsmanship on the Stage as Resistance

Mercè Saumell


A number of small companies that work with the manipulation of small objects and visual dramaturgy have appeared during the last decade
in Catalonia and Spain. They have a fragile and peripheral structure based on the artisan nature of craftsmanship. These groups are the paradigm of a new corporeality that contrasts with the hyper tech body from the past decades. They combine records of stage naturalism contrasting with very sophisticated gestures records. These small companies, which have a certain legacy of surrealism, make reference to past national avant-garde theatre artists like Joan Brossa. Their work also relates the exaltation of the everyday (Michel de Certeau, 1984) and the concept of intimacy (José Luis Pardo, 2009). At the same time, these creators also offer resistance
regarding the hyper media and their endless image overlay. They look into the past, re-reading popular genres like cabaret, Grand Guignol and puppetry. We will talk about the productions and the creative process of companies like Hermanos Oligor, Playground, Cabo San Roque, among others, in order to uncover the political underpinnings of their vintage
stage imaginary, and in their artistic and biographic work we find from tin toys and other children’s memories to dreamlike nostalgia that help them to build a personal universe with irony and sometimes self-parody.

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