Marat Sade Bohnice, 2012
Thauberger’s works look at the imperatives and possibilities of the way we present ourselves, as individuals and as communities. Using performance, film/video and photography, her work is often developed in collaboration with the people depicted.
Thauberger’s process often begins with a community or group that exists in relative isolation, and with voluntary constraints. Through the working process, the power dynamics of their daily lives may become challenged or critically reflected through the viewers’ encounter.
For the 2012 Biennial, Thauberger will present her new work Marat Sade Bohnice. Working in collaboration with an experimental theatre company, Akanda, the artist has contributed to all elements of the production of the Peter Weiss play The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade (1963).
Performed over several nights in the decommissioned laundry building of the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague – the largest psychiatric hospital in the Czech republic and one of the most iconic architectures of its kind – the play has been filmed by the artist and edited so as to blur the ‘fourth wall’, that conventionally separates the actors on stage from the audience. In this way, the cross-historical references addressed by the play are re-contextualised, showing how the matter at hand (institutionalisms, nation-state, democracy, definition of ‘normality’) is still incredibly urgent.
Althea Thauberger, b. 1970, Saskatoon, is an artist who lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. Recent exhibitions include Althea Thauberger (Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada, 2012), the public photographic installation Ecce Homo (Vancouver City Centre Station, Canada, 2012) and Terms of Belonging (Overdagen, Institut for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011).
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