In Dreams I Walk with You (2013)
Mixed media installation
Commissioned for the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, In Dreams I Walk with You is a theatrical installation inspired by the “Worker’s Theatre” of the early 20th century in Europe, whose remit was to depict the struggle of the working class with the aim of arousing social consciousness and collective action.
The production centres on the relationship between Mario Castelhano (1894–1940) and Manuel Rijo (1897–1974) – railworkers, militant anarchists, and syndicalist organisers – who shared most of their adult lives in exile or imprisonment. Set during the 1930’s in the notorious Tarrafal concentration camp on Cape Verde island, the play transitions from the at-once banal and terrifying affairs of prison life towards a series of desperate ‘escapes’ in which the prisoners mentally construct varying utopias to imaginatively travel to.
Drawing from historical archives and texts, the writings of Castelhano, Rijo and other interned anarchists, as well as literary texts by Manuel Puig, Bruno Schulz, and the science fiction writings of Ursula LeGuin, the work is accessed in the form of a written script and by an uninhabited, ‘haunted’ theatrical set, kept ‘alive’ through a programmed lighting and audio sequence which loops over and over, as if a technician had forgotten to turn off the power after a day of rehearsals.
At once a commemoration of the humanist values of political anarchism and a reflection on the poverty of contemporary political culture, the work is also a meditation on the problems of, but necessity for, the desire and production of utopias.
In collaboration with Noam Toran
Curated by Mariana Pestana
Script written with Patrick Langley
Script graphic design: Koby Barhad
Scenic Production: Nick Mortimer and Joseph Popper
Photography: Delfino Legnani