Interview with Angélica Liddell: "My relationship with Emily goes even beyond feelings"

Interview with Angélica Liddell on the two pieces presented at LABoral

Published: Sep 09, 2015
Interview with Angélica Liddell: "My relationship with Emily goes even beyond feelings"

Image mounting the installation

By Semíramis González (@semiramis_glez), Semíramis en Babilonia

Some weeks ago the writer, stage director and actress Angélica Liddell (Figueres, 1966) presented at LABoral her two latest artistic projects: One is Emily, a sound installation based on the tormented life of the writer Emily Dickinson, who was enclosed during a good part of her life. The other one is Esta breve tragedia de la carne, a piece she has produced at the centre and she will present at the 39th La Bâtie-Festival in Geneva.

The multifaceted artist has recently declared that she is against working with Spanish institutions, as they had never valued her work.

Among the pieces showcased at the centre, Emily presents an installation that consists of a methacrylate box filled with 500 bumblebees. The term bee is precisely, and with this sound metaphor Liddell gives voice again to the poet. A voice that, almost as poetic justice, has been silenced almost from the beginning. The bumblebees have started to die within the box, thus perpetuating the silence Dickinson had to undergo during all her life. Taking advantage of the meeting of Angélica Liddell with the Asturian public, we discuss theatre, art and her own work with the artist.

 

You work as writer, author, actress, director…How do you define Angélica Liddell? Does it make sense to understand these functions separately?

I cannot define myself, this is done by others, I am not able to do it. I have been working in this way for many years now, I see them as independent functions, I am not aware that I do so many things, I simply lock myself in a rehearsal hall and I try to structure an idea with all the elements at my disposal: Words, colours, acting, action...

Is your work a “resistance theatre”?

A resistance like that of Hölderlin in en el Hyperion. I am a beauty terrorist, just like Hyperion who tries to recover the meaning of the sublime, the divine, the altars of Greece; that is also my battle, but just like in Hyperion, blood is needed to finally end up seeing that it is a useless war, that stupidity and banality rule, that you are surrounded by miserable people. Eventually, all you can do is seek shelter in the house of Stainer the cabinetmaker, when you are already impotent and crazy after the battle. Beauty always looses against rational and calculated life.

 

What should be the position of a viewer in front of a piece of work?

That of Abraham taking Isaac to the mount Moriah. That of sacrifice. To be willing to sacrifice our own son. It is an encounter with the “original energy” described by William Blake. One must come like a pre-historic man prepared to experience a crisis, an epiphany in front of the incomprehensible.

In one of the pieces you are presenting at LABoral sound is specially important, is it one of the most important elements in the theatrical event? To what extent is sound important in a play?

Sound is just another drama element. There is no exorcism without sounds, without music. I liked very much the book by Ernesto de Martino on tarantism, I realised that my plays were acts of tarantism.

With the current difficulties to work with Spanish institutions, what made you work with LABoral?

I had good memories from the time I spent in Gijon rehearsing La Casa de la Fuerza. Although it was not the same institution I felt some nostalgia and I said yes. Sometimes I am driven by these emotional impulses and it does not always work. In fact, I am already looking forward to starting the tour; I could not live stuck in stagnation. In September I am premiering two productions and I will be on tour with two other works. To do this you need unlimited energy and willingness to work with no holidays or vacations. People are not used to this rhythm, this pressure, this demand, but it is essential for me, it is what I need.

What is so special about Emily Dickinson?

Her wild mysticism.

Choosing her work, which is under-recognised, and her tragic life, is kind of vindicatory, almost political, isn’t it?

It has nothing to do with politics or vindication whatsoever. My relationship with Emily goes even beyond feelings; it is deep as nerves, ghostly.

 

You can see the other interview with her at LABoral here:

 

 

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