Experimental theater aims to trouble the relationship between audience and performer. Through breaking the fourth wall, the audience no longer passively observes the spectacle but becomes apart of the scene. Last night, at Casarão Barababá in Santo Antonio, hairy vaginas slowly made their way across a quaint living room. They rolled over spectators and trembled on hardwood floors. Bare breasts laid squished on a tiled kitchen floor as arms grasped at audience members who tried to stifle nervous laughter.
Playing on the functions of women’s bodies in the home. Four naked women literally inverted themselves and walked around a home, vagina first. I tried not to stare at the diverse looking labia that greeted me, chased me and silently hovered around the space.
In the hallway, two women tried to get through the mundane ritual of getting ready for the day, despite a violent tick that continually disrupted the ritual. Simple things like putting on lipstick and mascara turned into something else resulting in black and red stained faces. It was hard to watch and I let the show feeling achey in my bones as if I was the one with the uncontrollable movement in my body.
The first room featured a thin young man, caught in a web of red string that bundled thickly at his crotch. He is preoccupied with organizing the sting and each pull creates another web that entangles his limbs. All the pieces of string are connected from the thick bundle tied around his crotch. Of the three pieces, this one didn’t take much for me to interpret.
There was a ominous buzzing and cracking sound in the house that would play for minutes at a time. The audience was told to walk around and explore everything, as experimental theater is big on interaction. It lasted for about an hour and you left the space wondering what just happened.
I’ve seen and been a part of quite a few experimental theater pieces and I’m a fan of simultaneous pieces being performed where audience members can come and go as they please. This was a good solid show. Although this genre of theater tends to rebuke narrative, the use of mundane rituals like putting on clothes and the theme of nudity really made me feel like I was in actual home and being privy to some really personal random weird shit. It was also really interesting to see four different women be naked and walk around on the hands, extending their vaginas into the air. Made me think of how society relegated women to just their vagina, but what would actually happen if we took ownership of those organs and led our walks through life from our vagina?
Corpo em Casa runs every thursday night until November. Next months installation is entitled “Há violência no Silêncio?”. You can read more about the group here.