". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, June 27, 2014

Next Month

From the El Paso Opera website:

El Paso Opera and Ballroom Marfa are proud to announce the Texas premiere of “Vidas Perfectas,” the Spanish-language production of the avant-garde American composer Robert Ashley’s (1930-2014) groundbreaking work “Perfect Lives” (1983), which concerns a bungled bank robbery in the American Midwest. Originally commissioned by The Kitchen in New York City and subsequently produced for the BBC as a seven-episode television opera called “Perfect Lives,” “Vidas Perfectas” switches the locale to the U.S-Mexico border, the landscape inspired by Marfa, TX, and the language to Spanish. The opera tells its untraditional story through an innovative combination of video and live performance. An opera that incorporates chanting, storytelling, meditation and ecstatic revelation, “Vidas Perfectas” challenges the way we think about language, opera, television, and performance.
The Protagonist - Lead
 David Grabarkewitz, El Paso Opera’s general and artistic director, calls the production “fun, funky and weird. It’s not traditional opera storytelling; expect to see an edgy performance.” He says experiencing “Vidas Perfectas” will be like stepping into a modern art installation.
“Vidas Perfectas” comes to El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and Marfa after a successful debut at The 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. All seven episodes are being recorded and edited for television and will be released on CD and DVD;  “Vidas Perfectas” will continue to tour internationally as a live performance.
It's going to be an interesting experience, stepping back into the Southwest, to which, other than Texas -- meaning Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Austin -- I've not been in years.

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