As part of the human kind, is there something we must do? Is self-fulfillment, enough in life? Why self-fulfill, for whose eyes? Why am I looking at someone's painting? These concerns were the basis for Mariana Obersztern to conceive El gran ensayo [The Great Essay], a performance that invites the audience to reflect upon art, the individuals who produce it, the viewers, and those who treasure it.
Whoever decides to participate must leave their role as a passive spectator and step into an individual position, in the context of a joint action. Participants will receive a closed envelope from the artist, with precise indications on the itinerary to follow, the actions to execute, the art pieces to contemplate in the museum and the dialogues to read and deploy in front of them.
Obersztern's proposal is for each attendant -even herself- to become an essayist, focusing on the personal experience that results from the assigned script. The public will only have the chance to see the performance from the inside, that is, by being part of its constitutive storyline. The development of the project will depend on the particular vicissitudes of each interaction.
Video production: Rodrigo Moreno
Interviewer: Marcos Perearnau
Set designs: Laura Gamberg
Assistant director: Virginia Mihura
Playwright/ Essayist: Mariana Obersztern
Date: May 21, and 22
Time: 8 pm
Venue: MNBA. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Commissioned by BP.15 / Coproduced by National Museum of Fine Arts – Argentine Ministry of Culture
Mariana Obersztern 1961, Buenos Aires,
Argentina. She lives and works in Argentina.
She is a teacher, theater director, and playwright. Chief among her first pieces are Kandinsky (1989), La puntuación de la secuencia de los hechos (1990), Dens in dente (1997) and Lengua madre sobre fondo blanco (2002), which were presented at the Centro Cultural Rector Ricardo Rojas Theater Festival (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Experimenta Teatro (Santa Fe, Argentina), Festival Internacional del Mercosur (Córdoba, Argentina), Buenos Aires International Festival (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Theater der Welt Festival (Berlin, Germany). In 2005 and 2006, she was artistic director of the Centro Cultural Rector Ricardo Rojas theater, in this space she developed the project Inversión de la carga de la prueba, featuring plays inspired by a specific set installation. Among her other works are El aire alrededor (2003), Tú eres para mí (2007), Keine piano (2009), Espina no peito (2010), and Si el destino viene a mí (2012), all of which earned her numerous nominations and awards such as the Trinidad Guevara, the Florencio Sánchez, the Teatro del Mundo, and Clarín awards. She also presented the performances Remontando el Nídrog (Buenos Aires National Museum of Modern Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2014) and Para el pueblo lo que es del pueblo, jointly with Agustina Muñoz (Foster Catena gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2014), as well as the performative conference Pensamiento, cantidad necesaria (University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2014). Her plays Lengua madre sobre fondo blanco and El aire alrededor have been published by Teatro Vivo publishing house.