01 December 2013 in Cultura en Guada, Guadalajara
01 December 2013 in Cultura en Guada, Guadalajara
The augmented reality of ‘Zoomwooz’
The live cinema performance, lights and shadows and the poetry of Beladiez and Kracht closes the Espiga de Oro Festival. The audiovisual show is a fascinating critique of the society we live in, criticising the dehumanisation of the world and sending a message to the audience to react.
‘Zoomwooz’ is a large scale critique of the dehumanisation of the world we live in, a warning that enlarges the details, so they won’t get out of sight. A play of angles, characters and sounds that puts the spectator in front of a mirror, which returns its augmented reality in form of a distorted world, sometimes with a science fiction atmosphere, sometimes with aspects of consumed tragedy, so we become aware that nothing stays the same.
On saturday this cutting edge show closed the XXX National Theatre Festival Espiga de Oro in Azuqueca, unfortunately with hardly 50 spectators – the mayor of Azuqueca, Pablo Bellido was amongst them – far less audience than this work deserves. A work that has been premiered at Alt Festival of Vigo, that has been presented at The Fringe Festival at Matadero Madrid and that has travelled more internationally than through Spain, including countries as far as Canada and South Korea.
The spectacle has responded to the spirit of this years edition of the festival, with quality and variety: after the big success of the musical ‘Pagagnini’ with Ara Malikian, the traditional spectacle ‘Las rameras de Shakespeare’ and the political monologue by Alberto San Juan, this weekend it was time for vanguard theatre.
A disturbing story
It is difficult to define “zoomwooz”, a production that mixes genres such as live cinema, light and shadow play and poetry in a fundamentally sensorial narration, confusing and impacting, during a bit more than half an hour.
The originality of this performance is based on Live Cinema, it happens on a big screen in which the spectator observes the augmented film that Beladiez and Kracht shoot with a video camera, that focuses close-ups of small sets, with handmade cardboard cutout human creatures, aliens and other characters.
The play with these details of hand-crafted creation and cutting-edge result, of industrial style, results very surprising. In many moments one gets the impression to be in the scenario of a large scale video-game. A sensation of moving within a claustrophobic and dehumanised world.
The first thing the audience sees when sitting down, is the big screen with the message “loading universe”… when the universe is loaded, it’s the moment for unchaining the occurrences. The only thing one appreciates in the first beats is a pixelated screen with the typical snow of an analogue TV without signal and a voice-over, that reflects with a raw lyricism about the bleakness and the disasters of the world
From here onwards, the spectators eyes get overwhelmed by changes of film planes, spasmodic camera movements, backlit figures, sound effects….The look sneaks into a city of huge buildings and enters into streets where everything seems impersonal. Steps advance between the claustrophobic ruins of a city that seem a catastrophe scenario. They go out [to the street] to meet, whatsoever, some leftovers of life, disturbing signs in the middle of such inanimate human product: a heart, a drawing of a girl, some beings of alien appearance….
There is a futurist confusion between a world that seemed a ruin of the past as well as a scenario of the future, half built. There are references to waterfalls of episodes of our recent history, some very famous excerpts in Spanish (such as the part that ends the Civil War or Tejero in the congress) and others in English… occurrences that are subsequently responded by civil protests: the zoom goes onto dozens of demonstration banners, plentiful individual messages that together conform a coral speech of dissatisfaction with the power, with the authorities, outrage with the established order (or disorder).
In another moment there is a fierce criticism towards consumption, in a very well achieved audiovisual bombarding of advertising icons and messages; with schizophrenic sounds that seem to dictate what you have to buy, what you have to think…. later, the shadow of the planet moves away and comes back in the middle of a dark space, infinite and silent… until finally the screen gets filled with the sweetness of a childish drawing, the face of a girl smiling at a flower. This time no zoom is used, the plane opens up: the background of what seemed to be a garden is a technological scenario, again the world of a Martian video game in which sometimes creatures appear, that are zoomed onto by the camera. A flying saucer arrives, it stops in the air and launches a light beam that suddenly destroys the flower.
The screen goes dark and again, the voice-over of Beladiez appeals to the audience with a poetic and firm message. We have seen a close-up of the beehive of desperate souls that claim for their piece of nothing. What are we waiting for now, to jump of the sofa, to act, to react?
The message is very explicit. What one doesn’t know is if the show we have seen is a warning for navigators – in this case the universe that was destroyed was a game of what is going to happen – or rather portraits some consumed facts, in this case the lived disaster forces us to format our world (and minds) to give it a new form, when the next recharging begins. The result, in any case, is the same: a change is necessary.
The proposal that permanently exposes in front of the spectator’s eyes a play between the virtual and the real, also appeals to the senses to waken the reason… The game of mirrors that configure the material world which the camera focuses on, between gloom and the amplification on screen is also the same game that the title of the work contains: because the letters of “zoomwooz”, when reflected in a mirror, return the same word. This detail reinforces the reflective component of this work.
6º below nothing