Unmasked – Animations
and a performance by Yuliya Lanina
Saturday, June 15th, 2019
from 5:15 pm to 7:00 pm
Teatro Santa Ana at La Biblioteca
‘Unmasked’ is a curated selection of animations and a performance by Yuliya Lanina, a Russian-born multimedia artist, whose works exist at the intersection of visual and performing arts, poetry, technological innovation, and explore social issues like gender perception, sexuality, violence, loss, and motherhood. Lanina turns the traditional medium of painting and sculpture into a multi-dimensional and immersive experience for the viewer, creating multimedia performances, installations, animations, and mechanical sculptures based on her paintings. Lanina’s work has been exhibited and performed internationally but this will be her first performance in Mexico.
The exhibition of Lanina’s work will start with two of her animations. The first animation: “Theme and Variations” is a stop motion animation that features music by Olivier Messiaen performed by violinist Tatiana Berman and pianist Irina Botan. In this exemplary animation of Lanina’s work, painted images of anthropomorphic creatures are set in motion against a lush background of cloudy skies and green pastures, their movement hewing closely to the music. Unlike the composer who uses the variations form to reveal ‘a world in a grain of sand’, Lanina plays it in reverse — by zooming out. The fabled inhabitants of the multifarious realm are then shown to be fragments of one consciousness, that of a Cupid-eagle longing for a Psyche-butterfly.
The second animation that will be presented is “Dodo-Valse” which depicts a vision of an idyllic past as seen through the eye of a forest deity. Blue skies and green pastures serve as a backdrop to scenes of Arcadian bliss, where anthropomorphized plants and animals live and love in a world of heavenly utopia. But the vision is ephemeral – the skies are fragile, the grass is synthetic, the Big Fish is hungry, and only the porcupines make it out alive. The musical score for this piece was performed by the composer Yevgeniy Sharlat – the artist’s husband – also in attendance.
The emerging themes from “Dodo-Valse” lead perfectly into the opus of the evening, “Misread Signs”, Lanina’s multimedia performance featuring animatronic sculptures, projected animation, music, and movement which further explores the theme of the effects of trauma on human psyche. Dressed as one of her feathered creatures with antlers, Lanina performs (choreography by Andrea Ariel) in front of the projected animations, accompanied by her animatronic sculptures. Lanina’s images are inspired by the Surrealist and Dada approach to creating images, with the subconscious taking the lead and leaving analytical thinking behind and by embracing the nonsensical and surprising. By exploring the life of fantastic and bizarre creatures, the artist is able to reach places unavailable to the rational self, inviting the audience to do the same. In this piece, most of the characters on the screen are masked. At first, they are aloof, unmoved by Lanina’s pleas; later, they urge her to “let go of the past”, a sentiment re-addressed by Lanina to the audience. In the projected animation, Lanina’s collaborator, the Colombian composer José Martinez uses recordings of Lanina’s voice as his audio material, rendering her deeply personal text and songs beyond recognition while transforming her voice to the extreme in order to convey the urgency of expression.
The performance which debuted in New York City in May will be shown only once in Mexico on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 5:15 PM at the Teatro Santa Ana, Relox 50, Centro, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico. You may purchase tickets ($250 pesos, benefiting the Biblioteca Publica) directly at the theater leading up to the performance or at the door the night of the performance. Tickets purchased for the event will be valid for a free glass of wine both at the Performance and at Bodega Dos Buhos on your next visit.
*Special note of appreciation to Ernesto Ferrand for his graphic design help AND to Barbara Levine for her continuous curatorial mentorship.
**Tickets are available for purchase at Teatro Santa Ana/Biblioteca Publica, M-F, 10 AM- 5 PM, Saturday 12 PM- 5 PM.
The Biblioteca features award winning theater featuring local and international talent. There are also many concerts, movies and lectures scheduled during the week. Please check our events tab for what is happening this week.