Our collaborative productions
“El público” is a dramatized textual reading by Buenos Tiempos, Int. The project is based on our desire to perform an embodied adaptation and oral distribution of Andalusian playwright Federico García Lorca’s “El público”, through queer and camp methodologies of appropriation, transvestism and amateur impersonation. The reading is part of a distinct publishing strategy we have been developing since 2017 that involves the use of a “cut-up” approach to writing, performance and history-making.
“El público” was written by Lorca in Spanish in New York, at La Unión hotel in La Habana and in Madrid, between 1929 and 1930. After Spanish fascist soldiers murdered Lorca, one manuscript of this drama was smuggled out of the country by Rafael Martínez Nadal and published in 1978. An English version, translated to English by Henry Livings, and directed and designed by Ultz, was first presented in the UK at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1988; its production on a public stage defied Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which banned the promotion of homosexuality.
Often said to be technically impossible to represent, a multiplicity of contemporary straight male directors have privileged the meta-dramatic plot of “El público” – one of the characters is a theatre director producing a revolutionary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” – over its transvestite reality: actors mutate into multiple characters of various genders and species through costume changes, some play the role of costumes, and the character of Juliet is played by an actor playing a man playing a woman…
Against more conventional presentations of Lorca’s play, Buenos Tiempos, Int.’s “El público” activates a pop and queer perspective on the play, and makes explicit use of the camp paraphernalia of collage, adaptation, quotation, impersonation, drag kinging and drag queening, and the warm hugs of homo lineage and aesthetics. The dramatized reading includes one solo and ten duets, excerpted from Lorca’s play and other sources, in which characters engage in actions of identity transformation through the voice: from a knife to a moonfish, from a third-class ship passenger to a first-class ship passenger, from an aids patient to a liver cancer patient, from two people to a telephone, from heterosexual to Lebanese, from a person to a costume, from a woman to a man, from a man to a woman, from Romeo and Juliet to Romeo + Juliet.
Script: Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Reading: Alberto García del Castillo, Giorgia Rachel Donnan (TOMBOYS DON’T CRY) and Marnie Slater | Character design: Ilenia Arosio (TOMBOYS DON’T CRY) assisted by Giorgia Rachel Donnan (TOMBOYS DON’T CRY) | Video animation: Abel Ringot | Italian translation for surtitles: Enis Rapii with the collaboration of the Centrale Fies Team for the use of gender-neutral language
Production: Buenos Tiempos, Int., Brussels, Belgium (2019 to 2021) | Co-production: CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Scotland (2019), Komplot in Brussels, Belgium (2019) and Live Works Vol. 8 at Centrale Fies in Dro, Italy (2021)
With the support of Acción Cultural Española (2019), Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (2019 to 2021), The Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain in Brussels (2019), The Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain in London (2019) and Wallonie-Bruxelles International (2019 and 2021).
“El público”, 2019 to 2021
Thanks to clothing designers Angelia Ami, Emma Degan and SYRO for their support.
For Joan Littlewood and Murray Melvin, and Freddie
An adaptation of the story of the sojourn of Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine in Brussels, costumed in 20th century fashions, with material selected from various literature and a pop song.
“Total Eclipse”, 2017
Produced by: Buenos Tiempos, Int. | Script: Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Reading: Joëlle Bacchetta, Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Singing: Clare Noonan and Alberto García del Castillo
Premiered during the launch of “Girls Like Us” magazine # 10, hosted in collaboration with CampErVan (2 September 2017, Brussels). Later presented at Galerie La Box (8 February 2018, Bourges), within the program “Flâneuses?” curated by Aurélia Defrance, with the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles International.
An arrangement of six acts set in courtrooms and some additional places, featuring homosexual people and others, with material selected from films, novels, TV and a poem.
“Strictly Ballroom”, 2017
Produced by: Buenos Tiempos, Int. | Script and reading: Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Commissioned by: “The Against Nature Journal” (ed. Council, w/ Aimar Arriola) | Part of the bibliography was accessed at: IHLIA LGBT Heritage, Amsterdam
Premiered within the public program of Contour Biennial 8 (11 March 2017, Mechelen). Later presented at Kunstvlaai (21 May 2017, Amsterdam); at ISELP (20 October 2017, Brussels), within the program “Speaking Volumes” curated by Loraine Furter; and at CCA (2 May 2019, Glasgow).
The second part of a fashion editorial on power drag shot at Material Art Fair (Mexico City).
“The Ages of Beatrix Ruf: A History of Power Transvestism (Part II)”, 2016
Produced by: Buenos Tiempos, Int. | Photography: Kristien Daem | Styling: Roberto Sanchez | Models: Flynn Casey, Geoff Newton, Puppies Puppies and Marnie Slater | With the support of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and Wallonie-Bruxelles International
First exhibited at Kunstnernes Hus (15 – 26 June 2016, Oslo), within “One Year Art Book Fair” curated by Torpedo. Later presented at “Agency and aesthetics: A symposium on the expanded field of photography” at Auckland Art Gallery (1 April, 2017).
A film introducing two editors of feminist art magazines – Dupuis (“Petunia”) and Gysel (“Girls Like Us”) – chatting and strolling around Laeken Park in Brussels. The park hosts two very significant constructions designed by the French architect Alexandre Marcel and erected under the kingdom of Leopold II. The Japanese Tower (1905) and the Chinese Pavilion (1910) are illustrations of the fin-de-siècle Orientalism and cultural imperialism.
“A Walk with Dorothée Dupuis and Jessica Gysel Around the Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower in Brussels”, 2015
Produced by: Buenos Tiempos, Int. | Starring: Dorothée Dupuis and Jessica Gysel | Voice-over: Jennifer Teets | Directors: Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Writers: Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Director of photography: Hans Bruch jr. | Editors: Rosa Galguera, Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater | Colourist: Hans Bruch jr. | Soundtrack: Shana Moulton | Stylist: James Bush | Makeup artist and hair stylist: Rachida Ait-Ali | Production assistants: Laurie Charles and Clare Noonan
Premiered at La Loge (1 April 2015, Brussels). Later screened at El Almacén (3 February 2016, Mexico City), in collaboration with Terremoto magazine; at Galería Macchina (3 – 31 May 2016, Santiago de Chile), in the exhibition “Islas Nuevas” curated by Tanja Baudoin and Maricruz Alarcón; at at Kunstnernes Hus (22 June 2016, Oslo), within “One Year Art Book Fair” curated by Torpedo; and at Teatro Verdi (26 November 2016, Milan), within Sprint art book fair.
Read “Las Vegas, Laeken: A History of Architectural Drag”.
A fashion editorial on power drag shot at MACBA (Barcelona).
“The Ages of Beatrix Ruf: A History of Power Transvestism (Part I)”, 2014
Produced by: Buenos Tiempos, Int. | Photography: César Segarra | Styling: Vincent Ferre, Alicia Padrón | Models: Vincent Ferre, Marnie Slater | Design: Überknackig
Published on “Petunia 6” magazine (October 2014). Later exhibited at Kunstnernes Hus (15 – 26 June 2016, Oslo), within “One Year Art Book Fair” curated by Torpedo, and presented at “Agency and aesthetics: A symposium on the expanded field of photography” at Auckland Art Gallery (1 April, 2017).