The only description of this piece, given in the original flyer, at the premiere: Vera Mantero, improvisation, 5 minutes. I think no one in the organisation of the Marathon For Dance had any idea of what I was going to do. And I also think that it did not last only 5 minutes.
The Marathon For Dance is already a historical event, created in 1993 by several dancers and choreographers that had decided to awake the country. For the dance happening in it. When they invited me to participate, I enthusiastically said yes and started to think about what I could do to “awake” the people. At that time I was reading Asphyxiating Culture, by Jean Dubuffet, and it seemed to me absolutely right to read some parts of this book for that occasion to whomever might be present at the Maria Matos Theatre. “But read it how? And won’t it be a bit pretentious, to go there and say I am the one who knows what is true culture, or the best culture? Maybe I should be naked... I must read Dubuffet naked. Glued to the ground in front of a microphone? No, that’s impossible ... Doing what then? Naked...?” This nudity made me think of Manet’s Olympia, which I had just seen at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, where I was living at the time. “What if it was Olympia reading Dubuffet? Oh, no! how dreadful, everybody will be blaming me for sacrilege on painting, etc., etc...”. I told André Lepecki that I wanted to read Dubuffet naked but didn’t know how to do it without just reading Dubuffet naked. I didn't even talk to him about the painting. Would you believe what he then said? “Oh, Vera, don’t you remember Manet’s Olympia [that we had seen together]? I think you should do something with her.” [!!!]
And that’s what I did.
João Paulo Xavier
Ana Mantero and Miguel Ângelo Rocha
10 May 2017, Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporánea de Uruguay, Sala Zavala Muniz, Teatro Solís, Montevideu/Uruguay
11 - 12 April 2017, Ocupação Mirada, SESC de Ipiranga, São Paulo/Brazil
6 - 7 April 2017, Festival de Curitiba, Teatro da Reitoria, Curitiba/Brazil
Olympia by Vera Mantero
TAGV, Coimbra, Portugal
in the framework of the International Colloquium “O Corpo Nu nas Artes Cénicas: Perspectivas, Trans-Históricas e Críticas”.
talk with Vera Mantero after the performance