Past Event


November 11, 2009
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Honoring the centennial year of Italian Futurism. Featured in Performa09 and developed in residence at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center.

Honoring the centennial year of Italian Futurism, GIRLMACHINE is a performance presented at the Teatro of The Italian Academy on November 11, 2009. Featured in PERFORMA09, the renowned biennial for new visual performance art in New York City, GIRLMACHINE will inaugurate the symposium “Beyond Futurism: F.T. Marinetti, Writer,” organized by Professor Paolo Valesio and the Department of Italian at Columbia University.

GIRLMACHINE is an investigation of Futurism’s ambiguous vitality and its complex relationship to the modern body, exploring notions of masculine identity and mechanized erotics. A Futurist club of men, women and objects created by a collective of artists across art, theatre, architecture and music.

GIRLMACHINE traces these themes through the lens of diverse sources—whether directly linked to the Futurist movement or not. The performance will unfold in an associative journey through poetry, novels, manifestos, obsessions, tropes and stereotypes, along with contemporary texts and song-lyrics; taking certain conceits of Futurist masculinity as hyperbole. The directors Charles Chemin and Carlos Soto will work on the use of fragment. They will build vibrant tableaux by exploring the relations between still images and movements, silence and orchestrated words, repeated and sudden actions. Bodies, voices, decor, lights, texts will be treated like vivid material, like layers that could erect and be destroyed in an antagonistic escalation.

To contrast the rich and overdecorated neo-Renaissance-style Teatro, (venturing even to the exteriors of the building) the architect Christian Wassmann creates an inflated, transforming installation employing mirrored foil, light and gas. Large, connected tetrahedrons float in space and change their configuration throughout the performance; like additional actors questioning formality and gravity.

GIRLMACHINE will be built and rehearsed during a 2 week Fall Residency at the Watermill Center in Long Island, founded by artist/director Robert Wilson. Co-organizer Esplor/Azioni, a Rome-based non-profit, is currently developing a sister-project in Italy.


Direction and Dramaturgy: Carlos SotoCharles Chemin
Installation: Christian Wassmann
Music and Sound: Tristan Bechet
Light: Eugene Tsai
Costume Design: Carlos Soto
Production: Luisa Gui

Cast: Jennifer DeesClara GalanteElke LuytenAlice SternMai Uedaand Joshua Seidner

Assistant Direction: Elena Gui
Installation Assistants: Manasi PandeyTien LingZachary Salinger-Simonson