The Expanded Theatricalities Chair
Yuyachkani (I Am Thinking, I Am Remembering), Memories in Action
Curated by the research-creative group ARTEA, the Expanded Theatricalities Chair analyses the thought inhabiting stage and performance practices, encouraging the listening and dialogue that materialises between artistic practices and modes of social theatricality. The aim is to punctuate the political potency of theatre, choreography and action art, taking into consideration that which is inherent in all of them: the modes of collaborative production and the simultaneous presence of bodies, differentiated and individualised, turned into places that posit discourses, the manifestation of forms of dissidence and the emergence of desire as the driving force of life.
This second edition presents the artistic and political pathway taken by Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, founded in Peru in 1971, and highlights some of the key moments in their long history to spark debates that remain present in Peruvian and Latin American cultural contexts, and in Spanish and European spheres. It gets under way with a performance action by Yuyachkani in the rooms of the Museo Reina Sofía Collection, framed inside the programme Free Unions, and continues with sessions focused on the archive of the group’s output across fifty years and on their work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1980 to 2000 in Peru. Equally, one of the sessions engages in dialogue with the programme of the Aníbal Quijano Chair in a week centred on decolonialism, hosting a conversation between Teresa Ralli, founder and member of Yuyachkani, and Rita Segato, an anthropologist, feminist and coordinator of the Chair. As usual, the Expanded Theatricalities Chair expands its engagement with the Museo by way of an encounter between guests and students from the MA in Performing Arts and Visual Culture.
The encounter also ties in with the research project The New Loss of Centre. Critical Practices of Live Arts and Architecture in the Anthropocene , developed by ARTEA since June 2020. The project focuses on the study of theatricalities inside the framework of environmental humanities, a transdisciplinary research field which looks to bridge the gap between science and the humanities, under the assumption that human-related aspects are related to just one more agent among others that shape the environment. Other public activities stemming from study groups were also linked to this research project previously, for instance Body, Territory and Conflict (Museo Reina Sofía, 2020–2021) and Conjugating Worlds: Multi-Species Corporealities (Museo Reina Sofía, 2022) both coordinated by Fernando Quesada, a member of the collective and academic director of the project.
Ruth Estévez is a curator and writer. She holds an MA in Art History from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her curatorial approach draws influences from her interest in the historical relationship between theatre and the visual arts, and in 2010 she founded LIGA, Space for Architecture, a non-profit platform focused on experimentation with architecture, urbanism and public art. From 2007 to 2012, she organised a project devoted to unexplored political theatre works by León Ferrari, and she was also head curator of Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City. She later went on to become director and curator of REDCAT/CalArts in Los Angeles and senior curator at The Rose Art Museum in Boston (2017–2020), as well as the organiser of Idiorhythmias, a performance, music, poetry and text programme in Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2018–2020). She is the director and head curator at Amant, in Brooklyn, New York, and was among the curators at the 34th Biennial of São Paolo in 2021.
Elisa Fuenzalida is a Peruvian researcher, writer and activist with an MA in Advanced Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Complutense University of Madrid. Her career as a researcher focuses on developing critical methodologies applied to gender, race and territory, and she worked as a carer for children and the elderly in Spain during the COVID-19 health crisis. She collaborates in the Aníbal Quijano Chair, curated by Rita Segato, in the Museo Reina Sofía, and, in the Study Centre, she is currently conducting a research residency entitled Las flores huelen, los otros duelen (The Aroma of Flowers, the Pain of Others) with artist Javier Vargas.
Isabel de Naverán holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country and is an independent researcher. She is part of the research group ARTEA, with her studies exploring the crossroads between art, contemporary choreography and performance in curatorial, publishing and writing projects. In 2010, she founded, with Beatriz Cavia, Miren Jaio and Leire Vergara, the project Bulegoa z/b — Office for Art and Knowledge, with which she was affiliated until 2018. She is the author of the books Envoltura, historia y síncope (Caniche, 2021) and Ritual de duelo (Consonni, 2022).
She is currently a live arts adviser in the Museo Reina Sofía’s Public Activities Department and an associate researcher at the Azkuna Zentroa Society and Contemporary Culture Centre in Bilbao.
Teresa Ralli is a founder and member of Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, where she has co-directed La Primera Cena y Cambio de Hora (The First Supper and Clock Change), and works as an administrator and has overall responsibility for its archive and documentation. As an actress-artist, she participates in the conception and mise en scène of Yuyachkani’s collective shows and pedagogical events. She was honoured with the 2011 Lima Warmi Award from Lima City Hall in recognition of her cultural and teaching work, and for her contribution to the country’s standing and development, and, with Miguel Rubio, received the Senior Fellows distinction from the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University (NYU). She was the organiser of the Theatre-Women Encounters held in the Casa de Yuyachkani over a ten-year period. Moreover, she holds a baccalaureate in Communications and a degree in Performing Arts from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where she has lectured since 1998, primarily exploring the body and the voice on her courses.
José Antonio Sánchez is a lecturer in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) in Cuenca and founder of the research group ARTEA and the MA in Performing Arts and Visual Culture at UCLM and the Museo Reina Sofía. His publications most notably include Brecht y el expresionismo (UCLM, 1992), La escena moderna (Akal, 1999), Prácticas de lo real (Visor, 2007) and Cuerpos ajenos (La uÑa RoTa, 2017). He has coordinated different events around creation and thought, for instance Situaciones (1999-2002), Jerusalem Show (2011) and No hay más poesía que la acción (2013). Furthermore, he co-directed, with Juan Ernesto Díaz and Ruth Estévez, the stage version of Palabras ajenas (The Words of Others, 2017–2018), by Argentinian artist León Ferrari.
Rita Segato is a professor of Anthropology and Bioethics in the UNESCO Chair at the University of Brasilia. She was an expert witness on the trials of the Sepur Zarco case in Guatemala, where sexual violence was first tried and prosecuted, in the form of domestic and sexual slavery, as a war strategy used by the State. Her main fields of interest include new forms of violence against women and the contemporary consequences of the coloniality of power. Her most important works include: La Nación y sus Otros: raza, etnicidad y diversidad religiosa en tiempos de políticas de la identidad (Prometeo Libros, 2007) and La crítica de la colonialidad en ocho ensayos y una antropología por demanda (Prometeo Libros, 2015).
Jorge Tadeo Baldeón is an artist who lives between Berlin and Lima. He has been involved with Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani since the 1990s via pedagogical experiences with different communities and theatre productions in which he has participated through visual and performing arts. His practices are linked to different interdisciplinary platforms and art collectives that reflect critically on local and global environments from a non-hegemonic, anti-colonial and feminist perspective. Since 2007, he has been co-founder and co-director of the elgalpon.espacio association in Lima.
Laura Tejero Tabernero is a sociologist who holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the Complutense University of Madid. Her research field centres on victimisation policies in Peru after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is an expert in the executive management of not-for-profit organisations and has over ten years’ experience working in different organisations in the third sector. In 2013, she was awarded a Marie Curie research fellowship at the International Conflict Research Institute from Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She is the author of Nosotros, las víctimas. Violencia, justicia transicional y subjetividades políticas en el contexto peruano de recuperación posconflicto (Papeles del CEIC, International Journal on Collective Identity Research, 2014) and Del empoderamiento a la desilusión: los legados ambivalentes de la justicia transicional en el Perú (2015). She is currently associate professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the Complutense University of Madrid and is in charge of Interpretation and Gender at Amnesty International.
5pm and 7pm
Free Unions. Searching for a Place.
Activities on the Collection
Free Unions is a series of events, tours and activations in the rooms of Communicating Vessels. Collection 1881–2021, the new presentation of the Museo Reina Sofía Collection. This edition, under the title Searching for a Place, activates Room 104.06. Luis Camnitzer: Puerto Montt Massacre, 1969 and Room 104.07. A Map Is Not a Place. Via performers Teresa Ralli and Jorge Tadeo Baldeón, from Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, active since 1971 in Peru, fragments of the collective’s artistic repertoire are set in relation to the memories formalised by other artists who have confronted similar political or social situations.
Meeting point: Nouvel Building, Floor 1, Room 104.06 and Room 104.07
―Presenta Isabel de Naverán
17:00 - 18:00 h / Edificio Nouvel, Auditorio 200
Andres Cotter. Persistencia de la memoria
Perú, 1998, color, VO en español, AD, 61’ 40’’
The documentary Persistencia de la memoria (The Persistence of Memory) compiles interviews with Miguel Rubio Zapata and some of the Yuyachkani members, as well as archaeologists, critics and theatre specialists in Peru. There are also scenes from the performances Músicos Ambulantes, Encuentro de Zorros, Baladas del Bien-Estar, Son de los Diablos, Contraelviento, Adiós Ayacucho, Yuyachkani en Concierto, No Me Toquen Ese Valse, Hasta Cuándo Corazón, Retorno and Pasacalle, pieces that were presented by the group during their first twenty-five years of theatre work.
Directed by Andrés Cotter in 1997, the film narrates the group’s progression: from an ensemble of young students seeking to explore theatre to becoming an integral part of Peruvian society, a component which responds to problems in the country’s culture and politics. It also shows Yuyachkani’s relationship with the community and sharply illustrates the history of works and the theatre group.
6pm – 8pm / Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and online platform
Dancing with Archive
A conversation between Ruth Estévez and Teresa Ralli
This conversation, centred on the Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani archive, reflects on the group’s journey in response to the political context they had to live through, in addition to some of their work and collaboration strategies with different social and cultural agents across the more than fifty years it has been running. Ruth Estévez, a researcher and curator, and, Teresa Ralli, the founder of Yuyachkani, debate and activate a series of images, documents and texts to extend the idea of archive as a living tool in progress, and not just as a repository of memory.
Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and online platform
—Moderated by Elisa Fuenzalida
Action and Collection. For Theatre with a Decolonial Perspective
A conversation between Teresa Ralli and Rita Segato
This encounter, which opens a dialogue between this year’s Chair programmes Expanded Theatricalities and Aníbal Quijano , puts forward a conversation between Teresa Ralli, the founder of Yuyachkani, and Rita Segato, an Argentinian anthropologist, feminist and the director of the latter Chair mentioned above.
Nouvel Building, Protocol Room and online platform
―Presented by José Antonio Sánchez
5:30pm – 6pm / Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200
Miguel Rubio (director) and Ricardo Ayala (producer). Living Soul. So Memory Can Bloom
Peru, 2022, colour, original version in Spanish, DA, 14’ 29’’
The documentary Alma Viva (Living Soul) shows Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani’s work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru, created to investigate the violence unleashed from terrorism and political instability between 1980 and 2000. On 8 April 2002, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission visited Huamanga for a public hearing, and then Huanta and Ayacucho. Yuyachkani presented Adiós Ayacucho (Goodbye Ayacucho), with Augusto Casafranca, and Rosa Cuchillo, with Ana Correa, as well as participating in public actions and vigils held in public spaces to pay homage to those who had disappeared. The video shows the inhabitants of these towns relating their experiences of violence to Yuyachkani members, and interviews with the group talking about their presentations and conversations with the public and the performance and testimony scenes. This documentary is an excellent resource for understanding Yuyachkani’s relationship with Peruvian audiences and the influence they have had on their work.
6pm – 8pm / Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and online platform
Yuyachkani and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru
A conversation between Teresa Ralli and Laura Tejero
Yuyachkani’s work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru constitutes a fertile creative period for the group. In Peru, living in direct confrontation was unprecedented and with a level of violent polarisation without parallel in the twentieth century; widespread violence that started in the poorest areas of the country, spreading to most of its cities. Their experience also enables us to reflect on our own relationship to the recent past and the impunity of crimes with which we still live.
In this session, Teresa Ralli outlines her own experience and shares reflections on the way in which theatre, body and group practices serve to activate ways that contributed to thinking and situating oneself physically before the social and political conflicts that affected bodies’ way of relating. By the same token, Ralli offers a meditation on the way in which collaboration with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission irreversibly reshaped Yuyachkani’s artistic activity.
Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and online platform
A selection of audiovisual material from different time periods and interventions in the career of Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani
Nouvel Building, Auditoriums, Lobby
Free, until full capacity is reached