Performance based on a short novel by Liudmila Petrushevskaya
Curated by Maria Baibakova Deitch Projects, New York, USA
2008 • Moscow, Russia
2009 • Deitch Projects, New York, USA
The hygiene is a performance based on Ludmila Petrushevskaya’s short story by the same name written in 1970s soviet Russia.
The story takes place at an apartment located in a cosmopolitan city that has become infested with an epidemic disease.
The story explores specificities of human condition, of trust amongst close people, and of pure love that prevails above all perils.
Pavlov-andreevich defies the principles of stanislavski’s theatre where the actors are meant to deliver the script as their own thoughts and words infused with emotion. Instead, characters of the hygiene become disengaged reciters of a text that lives on its own. This defamiliarization provokes a new understanding of the script, which becomes the main protagonist of the performance. The performers are not actors but rather marionettes, controlled by a monotonous rhythm and put under trance by the recitation of a text they never practiced pronouncing.
Formally, the performance space is austere and minimal. The participants sit on red benches in a balanced triangular composition, all dressed in a simple uniform. The lighting is harsh and direct. The performers’ movement is limited to their lips and forearms, which they erect as they pronounce their lines. Visually, the performance becomes a rhythmic and meditative moving picture, where stillness and balance are interrupted by only one kind of monotonous movement.