A performance inspired by the Beckettian universe
Dimitris Kourtakis studied music in Paris and has composed for theatre and dance productions. Since 2004 he has been active as theatre director. This performance marks his second collaboration with Athens Festival (Kafeneio, 2008). His performance Failing to Levitate in My Studio made a sensation when first presented at Athens Festival 2017, featuring a harrowing Beckett-style performance by Aris Servetalis inside a meticulously built theatrical universe. Drawing on the Irishman’s prose, Dimitris Kourtakis has created a multimedia performance, together with a team of world-renowned artists. Drawing connections and parallels with contemporary Greece at a liminal, transitional moment in its history, the performance engages with a number of visual artists, including Bruce Nauman, Vitto Acconci, Terry Fox, Gordon Matta-Clark and Rachel Whitehead.
A performer, shut up in his studio and detached from the world, uses his body as material and as an experiment, until the irreversible dissolution of the Self and the exhausting of words in a space which he constantly and vainly attempts to inhabit: a non-place. Within the cast of the interior space of a two-story building, the performer films himself and his surroundings, akin to Beckett’s Krapp. Sitting on both sides of the building, the audience are invited to a clandestine and ultimately illusory viewing, gradually coming to the realization that they share the performer’s predicament: they are similarly confined to their own, personal chamber, waiting in vain for something. Drawing connections and parallels with contemporary Greece at a liminal, transitional moment in its history, the performance engages with a number of artists, including Bruce Nauman, Vitto Acconci, Terry Fox, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Rachel Whitehead who, sometimes deliberately, sometimes unconsciously, reference the Beckettian universe.
Concept - Direction - Set design: Dimitris Kourtakis
Dramaturgy: Dimitris Kourtakis, Eleni Papazoglou, Anastasia Tzellou
Video: Jérémie Bernaert
Lighting design: Scott Bolman
Artistic collaboration: Efi Birba
Assistant director: Natasha Triantafylli
Assistant design: Vassia Liri
Production manager: Denia Safari
Performance: Aris Servetalis
Part of Athens - UNESCO World Book Capital 2018. Supported by Athens Culture Net, founding donor: Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Supported by NEON