Mantra (2013)

Gib es mir. Ich habe es nicht. (Give it to me. I don’t have it)

In this audio project, Eleni Kolliopoulou and Alessio Anania face each other in an exchange of roles while conducting an undefined question which is brought until the most extreme emotional consequences, in a perpetual movement of question and refusal.

Mantra is a Sanskrit noun that indicates, in its’ proper meaning, the “vehicle or instrument of thinking and of thought”, thus a sacral expression, that corresponds to a Vedas’ call, to a sacral formula that recalls Vedas as a mystic and magic pray.

The chose language for this impossible exchange is German, which tone is not easily approachable in Italy since Italian language has a more melodic sound. I found the German language more suitable to express with efficacy the impact virulent/ delicate of this dramatic situation. Furthermore, since German is not the mother tongue neither for me either for Alessio, this helped us to avoid the trap of contextualization and proper experience and memories.

Mantra is shaped by the voice’s expressivity, the cadency of the rhythm, fractures of silence, emotional climax instead of a rich theatrical text. In this case, the text is minimal, near to the theater of absurdity.
Mantra is the representation of an impossible encounter, a ritualized form of an indirect refusal (the response is “I don’t have it”, instead of “I don’t give it to you”) of a cyclical conflict between “master” (the one that refuses) and dominated (the one that exposes himself with a question), where both sides are exchanging roles.

The tragic in this case is the fact that it doesn’t exist a unique and real headsman and a unique and real victim, but life, human nature, (destiny?) assigns similar roles, probably accidentally. Here emerges a cross-reference with the webbing of the plot in Greek tragedy, where the protagonist commits “hybris”, because he has to obey to an interior truth to whom he cannot betray, so, finally, he collides with reality and he provokes “ira of Zeus”.

In this ritual one of the performers requests, prays, implores, demands the reception of something. The undefined nature of this something that cannot be nominated can be interpreted as an object that we claim its possession, the corpus of desire or the encounter itself.