Angélica Liddell

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Angélica  Liddell
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Article

“Right now I don’t have any love. I have anger”

An interview by Friedhelm Teicke with Angélica Liddell

Angélica Liddell is on a rampage. The Spanish performer screams and snorts. An incessant stream of curses and expletives issues from her mouth. She bares her buttocks, drinks, belches, spits and urinates. Welcome to Angélica Liddell’s theater of all-out physical exertion. Her performance style is not one of subtlety. She doesn’t deliver discreetly dosed emotion, but rather a full broadside. Her monologue “El Año de Ricardo” is a tour de force of rage and hysteria. Liddell plays Shakespeare’s Richard III as what he is: an archetype of a power-wielding, savagely cynical monster, a foul, gruesome brute. Richard III is Hitler, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-Sung, Gaddafi and Syria’s Assad. He stands for all the despots, villains and beasts of this world. And for the scoundrels of the democratic system. “Ricardo is a mixture of insanity and ambition,” says the artist, who was born in the Catalan town of Figueras in 1966. “We identify with him. Ricardo shows us how democratic mechanisms are used to abuse power, cause suffering, and compensate for personal faults.” “El Año de Ricardo” is the third part of her “Trilogía de actos de resistencia contra la muerte” (trilogy of acts of resistance against death). Liddell’s exploration of the dark side of our reality isn’t limited to these works. Sex and death, violence and power, madness and recognition are her subjects, which she renders with an obsessive fury.
FT: Ms. Liddell, the exertion of the body to the point of exhaustion is a trademark of your performances. It’s a mix of S&M and a striptease of the soul. Is there no mercy?

AL: The endeavor of physical resistance is one level of intellectual resistance. Exhaustion aids me on stage and in life.

FT: Why do you so much like to work with pain and shame in your performances?

AL: I don’t like it. I find it unavoidable. I work with that which is left when I’ve closed the door to my room.

FT: Some people call your work pornographic.

AL: I always say that I make pornography of the soul. That’s the great theme, ever since Gilgamesh: throw your soul into the frying pan, plunder human consciousness, free yourself from the cultivated discourse so you can open yourself to the depth of human experience.

FT: Would you characterize yourself as a feminist?

AL: I’m not a feminist. I don’t work from a position of ideology. I feel a duty to human suffering because I’m able to understand it. I can’t talk about anything other than the human character, its degenerateness, the wish for seclusion, isolation, a lack of affinity with other people.

FT: The InTransit Festival 2011, at which you are showing “El Año de Ricardo,” places the viewer at the center. What is your relationship to the public like?

AL: I want to lead the audience into a conflict between its own reality and a created reality. I want it to better understand the conflict of being alive. I want it to understand, I want to put it in a state of amazement about human possibilities. I want to be loved. When your life is shit, all you’ve got is the love of the audience. The relationship with the audience is incredibly complex, but it exists so that we can get to that which is natural.

FT: How difficult is it to be aggressive and shameless? Or, to put it another way, is art a kind of protection?

AL: Everything has its price. Life infects art, and art life. The best example is “Opening Night” by John Cassavetes.

FT: A film about the life crisis of an aging actress, a diva, who is confronted with the recognition that behind all her roles there isn’t any reality.

AL: It wouldn’t make sense if each didn’t eat away at the other. I can’t leave the rehearsal room or the stage unscathed if existence doesn’t leave us unscathed.

FT: You perform at the world’s great theater festivals. Do you still consider yourself “underground”?

AL: I don’t have any feeling of allegiance, including to the underground. My work doesn’t depend on the big stage; it takes place there. What I’m dependent on is all the shit inside myself.

FT: Can you tell us something about your artistic background? Do you have artistic role models?

AL: Many, many… I can’t single any out, there are hundreds.

FT: How important are family and friendship to you?

AL: The only thing that counts is love. Without it, neither family nor friends have any meaning. Right now I don’t have any love. I have anger.


From an interview with Angélica Liddell, conducted by Friedhelm Teicke by email shortly before the opening of the festival InTransit 2011.

Author: Friedhelm Teicke

Bio

Born in Figueras, Gerona/Spain, 1966.

Works

Maldito sea el hombre que confía en el hombre: Un projet d’alphabetisation

Production / Performance,
2011

La casa de la fuerza

Production / Performance,
2009

Te haré invencible con mi derrota

Production / Performance,
2009

La desobediencia

Production / Performance,
2008

Angfaestelse

Production / Performance,
2008

Perro muerto en tintorería: Los fuertes

Production / Performance,
2007

Boxeo para células y planetas

Production / Performance,
2006

El año de Ricardo

Production / Performance,
2005

Y como no se pudrió: Blancanieves

Production / Performance,
2005

Yo no soy bonita

Production / Performance,
2004

Broken Blossoms

Production / Performance,
2004

Lesiones incompatibles con la vida

Production / Performance,
2003

Y tu mejor sangría

Production / Performance,
2003

Y los peces salieron a combatir contra los hombres

Production / Performance,
2003

Hysterica passio

Production / Performance,
2003

Once Upon a Time in West Asphixia. Hijos mirando al infierno

Production / Performance,
2002

El matrimonio Palavrakis (Tríptico de la Aflicción)

Production / Performance,
2001

La falsa suicida

Production / Performance,
2000

Frankenstein

Production / Performance,
1998

Dolorosa

Production / Performance,
1994

El jardín de las Mandrágoras. Pequeña tragedia sexo-metafísica divida en nueve escenas y cinco lirios

Production / Performance,
1993

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

IN TRANSIT 2011

(15 June 11 - 18 June 11)

Www

Official Website

Angélica Liddell on Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/angelicaliddell