Etcétera… e León Ferrari
Palabras ajenas [Words of Others]: God’s Convesations with Some Men and of Some Men with Some Men and with God (1967) is a work by León Ferrari (1920-2013) that serves as the starting point for Etcétera…’s contribution to the 31st Bienal. ‘Written’ exclusively using fragments from the Bible and from statements by leading world figures from politics, religion, economics and culture culled from the mass media of the time, Ferrari’s text discloses the responsibility of the Catholic church, US imperialism and Nazism in twentieth-century wars.
Errar de Dios [Erring from God], Etcétera…’s participative installation, and the script written by Loreto Garín Guzmán and Federico Zukerfeld together with the philosopher and activist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, is an essay on the new global balance following the financial crisis of 2008. The text gets Pope Francis, Angela Merkel, God, Monsanto, St Paul and Goldman Sachs, among others, ‘to speak’. The mise en scène is structured around two courts facing one another, from which ‘spect-actors’ can make spontaneous speeches, superimposing their voices over the recorded text.
This connection between Etcétera… and Ferrari is grounded in fifteen years of exchange between the two. Since it was first set up in Buenos Aires in 1997, the Etcétera… collective has been working on the interface between theatre, literature, art practice and activism. It began with grotesque performances in the escraches (a form of direct protest in which activists demonstrate outside the homes or workplaces of persons being denounced) carried out by human rights organisations against the genocide of the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983), and took an active part in the social movements that arose with the crisis in the country in 2001.
As part of the expansion of a network of ‘artivists’ in which they acted, in 2005 they founded the Movimiento Internacional Errorista. With the collective’s signature surrealist-based, humoristic-critical spirit, they extol error as a pivotal experience and call for a massive departure from the rationalist and speculative paradigm of contemporary capitalism. A kindred spirit also drives a large part of Ferrari’s work, and reveals a similar refusal to accept the dominant conditions of enunciation and cultural and political participation. – SGN