In 1942, Jorge Luis Borges wrote a short detective story called “Death and the Compass”. In BORGESTRIPTYCH, an adaptation of this story is projected in two screens that are facing each other. These screens, separated by an imaginary football field that is digitally morphing, become the permanent focus of attention from the four female sports players standing there. After they flip coins and their roles in the story are defined, they start to play a game with simples rules but complicated consequences – it consists in reading the text from the screen while their bodies are busy trying to compete against each other, as if they were in a football match.
As well as in Borges’ text, the audience is led to undertake an investigation – in this case, to find out how to experience the piece. In this very complex scenario, each verbal and visual element forms a parallel layer of information, leading to a state of confusion that seems to be desirable. The game repeats until a point in which all players become Borges, ultimately indicating that they have been different aspects of the same entity all along.
All these rules and instructions are not clearly introduced – in fact, they are written on the screens while the audience enters the room. For this reason, it might be the case that some take a longer time to figure out the dynamics on the stage. However, comprehension does not seem to play a bigger role in the whole experience. As a matter of fact, having more or less background information does not necessarily offer a substantial change of perception since the scene at display is ultimately settled. As four women try to disassociate body and mind through reading and playing, they also end up not executing none of these actions fully, which is interesting and at the same time demanding.
Photo: Mina Stoyanova