INSECTOTROPICS / LAIA RIBAS, IEX, XANU, VVV, TULLIS RENNIE, MARIA THORSON
With “Bouazizi,” the Insectotròpics raise the issue of manipulation and mystification of reality that develops between different manifestations of power involved in social confrontation.
Tunisia 2011. A radical social and political context, an economic imbalance, an increasingly impoverished population in urban areas offset by a highly developed, tyrannical political power held by Western geo-strategic interests.
Mohamed Bouazizi holds one particular dramatic part—the young, educated man is forced to sell fruit in his local market to support his family. His constant clashes with bureaucratic power prevent him from his work, until a limit is passed and, as an act of protest, he sets himself alight in a public square. From there, both the established power and revolutionary opposition try to take advantage of that person and his dramatic final act.
The show is presented on a two-meter raised stage structure built around a cube of screens which show projected images on all sides. Platforms that surround it allow actors to perform both near and inside the cube. At the foot of this cube are different spaces of live creation: video artists who manipulate an array of live images, painters and an electronic musician.
The four corners of the stage structure are installed with television towers which project the different live creative spaces for the audience on the opposite faces of the cube.
The images projected onto the screens of the cube may be the result of a combination between at least two or all three of the visual expressions at work: painting, video and the actors’ performance.
The white fabrics of the cube faces later become transparent plastic where the painters then begin to work. Translucent mesh towers fall from the ceiling of the cube and are used for projections. The video artists and painters are involved in the final scene on stage alongside the actors.
Also important to note is the use of smartphone cameras connected via a wireless network, which allows a greater internal mobility and proximity of live image capture, as well as referencing the use of such technology and networks in recent social conflicts.