Inextinguishable Fire

One of the things I like the most about the publishing market of Buenos Aires is the sometimes magical connection between books and covers. This whimsical belief I might have invented to justify a superficial tendency of buying beautiful books made me once bring home the text compilation Desconfiar de las imágenes (Distrusting images) from Harun Farocki. The prologue by the celestial Georges Didi-Huberman caught me by surprise with a sentence that shot directly into my head: “Why, how and in which way does the production of images participate in the destruction of human beings?”

Since the last days this question seemed to be overflying the various venues of the Festival Theaterformen like a silent ghost. In a world brutally transformed by the Internet and the media, the problem of this destructive potential of images appears to artists as an issue that draws a line between our past and our future and becomes a matter of the fight for our right over life.

The very challenging shows “God Bless Baseball” (Toshiki Okada), “Ten Thousand Tigers” (Ho Tzu Nyen), “The Conversations” (Hyung Sung Lee), “Hipster The King” (Thanapol Virulhakul), and “Extreme Voices” (Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker / Toco Nikaido) faced, in their very different artistic languages, a bunch of rapacious images of the modern world: fashion and sport as identity givers, international economy waving at huge speeds with massive impact in every fissure of daily life, military technology and wildness, (political) love as an oppressive power. As if both, artists and audience, were either protagonists of an overwhelming, almost lost box fight, or empowered and enthusiastic heroes against a colossal seven-headed-beast; all plays relate somehow to this absent third: the destructive image.

The eternal return at the research atelier “Our Common Futures” of the questions “Why do we do what we do?”, “How can we change the world?”, “Can we change actually the world at all?” reveals also a possibility of building a bridge between the many political, psychological and ethic aspects of our practice and our personal story in the flow of the history of production and reproduction of images. If art could ever get to mean something, that may be the joyful or desperate intent of healing the open wounds images left in our life, so that the inextinguishable fire of History in our body might also light the verve.