Fernando Renjifo

 

When I write something intended for the stage I do so by thinking about bringing that text to the stage myself, that is to say that my authorship is very tied to direction. I have never known nor have I wanted to create theater of non representational characters. This explains why I’ve never written a conventional dramatic text. Nonetheless, I believe strongly in the poetics of the word. I think that my writing is infused by a tension between commitment and contemplation, between the political and the poetic, between the search for understanding and positioning oneself in the world and the defense of the poetic as a form of common experience and intimate dissidence.

Fabulamundi involved Fernando Renjifo in activities in Milan and in Paris.

Fernando Renjifo (Madrid, 1972) is an author and stage director. His language moves between the fields of theater, performance and audiovisual creation for the stage. In most cases, he stages his own texts. Having studied Philosophy, Language, and Linguistics, he is an autodidact as far as theatrical creation. He began to write and direct in the 1990s, founding in Madrid a theater company called La República. Or Hispano-Peruvian origin, he spent the majority of his childhood in Lima, which marks his writing and his relationship with Latin America. He has also lived and worked in Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. In addition to his dramatic works, he is the author of two collections of poetry. His work has been performed in theaters, spaces and festivals in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Theatre works

2012 / Mayo siglo XXI. ¿Es el fracaso un atributo del alma?; first staged: October 2012, Teatro Pradillo, Madrid; published: Pliegos de teatro y danza, 47, Aflera Ed, Madrid (2012).
2010 / Tiempos como espacios; first staged: February 2010, Festival Escena Contemporánea, Sala Cuarta Pared, Madrid; published: Pliegos de teatro y danza nº 33, Aflera Ed, Madrid (2010).
2008 / Estudios para un Ecce homo.
2006 / Homo politicus, v. Rio de Janeiro, (text in collaboration with the actors); first staged: April 2006, C.C. Telemar, Río de Janeiro; published: in Éticas del cuerpo (Ethics of the Body) (edited and with a study by Óscar Cornago), Ed. Fundamentos, Madrid (2008).
2005 / Homo politicus, v. México D.F, (text in collaboration with the actors); first staged: June 2005, C.C. Helénico, Mexico City; published: Ed. Anónimo Drama, México D.F., 2005 and in the collection Éticas del cuerpo (Ethics of the Body) (edited and with a study by Óscar Cornago), Ed. Fundamentos, Madrid (2008).
2003 / Homo politicus, v. Madrid, (text in collaboration with the actors), 2003; first staged: November 2003, Teatro Galán, Santiago de Compostela; published: in Éticas del cuerpo (Ethics of the Body) (edited and with a study by Óscar Cornago), Ed. Fundamentos, Madrid (2008).
2002 / Werther (sombra); first staged: 2002, Teatro El Canto de la Cabra, Madrid; Unpublished in Spanish. Translated into Greek and published by Lagoudera, Atenas (2008).
2000 / Réquiem; first staged: September 2000, Teatro Pradillo, Madrid, Unpublished in Spanish. Translated into Greek and published by Lagoudera, Atenas (2008).

– Mayo siglo XXI. ¿Es el fracaso un atributo del alma? –
– selected text for The dangerous opportunity –

Synopsis: Dramatic poem around the aspirations and formulations of some contemporary social movements (Spain, Greece), with the background of social movements of the past century such as that in France in May of 68. This distancing serves as a perspective from which to rethink achievements and failures and to question the play of assumed political representations. There is a call to rethink dissidence, perhaps from the concept of humanity before that of citizenship.

Dramatic poem in 7 parts. Without characters nor stage directions. In its staging. the text was distributed among three actors.

– Extracts from Mayo siglo XXI. ¿Es el fracaso un atributo del alma?

La finalidad es la de empezar a construir una base de datos sobre la dramaturgia europea contemporánea.
The artist A.K. has a painting called The Renowned Orders of the Night.
It shows a man lying face up on the cracked ground,
under an immense star-filled sky,
as if the stars were about to fall upon him.

There it is, again, after so much time,
man before the immensity.

It was difficult to again have an image of our selves.
We didn’t know how to portray ourselves.

We didn’t recognize ourselves in the noise of the world, nor in its images,
nor in its words.

All representation was hollow, self-referential, impotent, sad.

We had been embargoed from any deep feeling,
from any relationship with the infinite,
from any mystery.

The world is full of images and words,
on screens, in newspapers, in conversations, in bars.

But we didn’t appear there.

We didn’t recognize ourselves.

Everything we produced was detritus.

We lived in a residual world,
shouting into the void,
hollow words,
petty disputes,
dragging our usual bodies.

We didn’t know how to represent ourselves,
there was no carnality for the flesh,
nor body for the word,
nor word for the thought.

We had been robbed, disemboweled, disfigured, silenced.
And we didn’t recognize ourselves.

There was no I, nor you, nor them, nor us.
Because I, you, they, we, were just defense or accusation.

(…)

We had forgotten that all law is a defeat,
that every institution is a defeat,
the evidence of a failure,
the failure of our relationship with the infinite.

We trusted in the great failures:
family, religion, the State,
fatherland, law, progress.

We trusted in the great failures
and we took them for achievements,
forgetting that they are just remedies, band aids, short cuts,
evidence of our fear, of our cowardice, of our slowness
to expose ourselves to the infinite.

Chimeras that reveal our laziness,
the rejection of finding another way of being.

Chimeras that reveal
our resignation and submission.

Safe places where we hide ourselves
and protect ourselves from others.

Places that wind up being molds, prisons, jails, panopticons,
control mechanisms
where we made ourselves invisible to ourselves,
by watching and being watched.

(…)

Bodies invisible to themselves,
without therefore any possible nudity.

Castrated, mutilated, emptied bodies,
without mouths, without hands,
without assholes, without eyes, without skin.

Bodies without the skin that protects them
and at the same time decides the fate of their pleasure.

(…)

We grew with abundance,
and we thought that that was the natural state of things.

We grew up in pacified areas,
and we didn’t realize it was an exception.

We dug out own tomb,
that we now want to preserve.

Today revolution and reaction are confused.

We believed in the banquet,
showed up obligingly
and now are left without dessert.

(…)

Let us ask ourselves rather for everything that has not occurred.
Let us ask ourselves rather for everything that we haven’t let occur.

(…)

They must again be appointed.
Like whoever shoots himself with a bullet.

Words will be words or they won’t,
bodies will be bodies or they won’t,
images will be images or they won’t.

It is not a problem with art,
art is not a crucial issue,
art is not a problem.

(…)

This city was lovely before the devastation of wealth.
This city was lovely before the spread of greed.

This landscape was lovely before the devastation of wealth.
This landscape was lovely before the spread of greed.

Your house was lovely before you believed in wealth.
Your children were lovely before you imposed on them
the goal of wealth.

Let us overflow again the economy of creation,
let us again sail upon squandering.

And perhaps there we will be again excluded and deluged.

(…)

On April 5, 2012, Dimitris Jristulas
rebels against the value of his body and his words,
and commits suicide with a bullet in the Plaza Sintagma in Athens,
leaving a written letter.

Before dying they had left him without a body,
without a body for life,
without a body for pleasure nor for pain.

Without a body to shout nor to rebel.

(…)

These words contradict themselves with their emptiness and impotence.
With the emptiness and impotence of all the accumulated words.
Which have not reached the radicality of meaning,
the open sky.

(…)

We have intimacy with catastrophe,
we search for intimacy with dissidence.