Puppets, dolls, and marionettes have a very special place in the Theater with a capital T. They are looked upon with respect, delight, and at the same time superiority, somewhat as phenomena which escape everyday logic, "concrete" logic and which Man tries to explain through his trivial truths, without clósing the door to other possibilities. This derives, perhaps, from their fetichistic nature, from the potential values which the mute character bears, from his silence, which implies alI the answers and provokes all the questions. The puppet is the projection of Man's subconscious, which, since its first graphic manifestations, tries to fix in a roughly designed circle and through four subdivided lines, "His" ide a of Man. Toy or symbol, sacred image or character fixation, the puppet mIes Man's life and take over values and features which transcend the creative impulse in order to assume a private and dominating personnality. From this, perhaps, derives the attitude of complacent superiority on the part of Man - trying to transfer an authentic attraction to a leveI of amusing curiosity or attempting to "humanize" the "object" in order to bring it closer to aIl that is more recognizable - and inferiority o which the inevitagle result is the deprecation of the puppet, his dominance and the triumph of the "colonial" instinct of Man himself. As a toy, the doIl is smashed by the child, who possibly becomes irritated by its passivity or by the impossibility of grasping its "secrets". But, incredible as it seems, once destroyed, without an eye or an arm and with open belly, it ssumes, thus, a princeless value,remaining with the child, now a grownup person, for years and years. The truth is that a doIl cannot and must not be perfect. Podrecca's marionettes for example, which have had such -a great success, were less exciting from any point of view, than some little dwarfs which in previous years, with a simple and permanent swinging of the head, attracted the eyes of passerby to the store windows where they stood. The tmth is that the puppet's strengàt-lies in·jts apparent limitation. It domi~ nates (by the power of its synthesis, as a··mask which forever fixes a charaeter) the most complex action of the most subtIe actor: in a spectacle of ventriloquism the eyes are fixed on the puppet and not on the mover. It is for this reason that the puppet does not need magicians; it is the "magician" and we are the apprentices. Gaston Baty, after a great career as director, demonstrated his rebellion against the treatrical milieu by devoting himself to puppet theatre; Gordon Graig, when talking about "supermarionettes" would think less about the tractability of such an instrument and more about the power of suggestion which should issue from it. Stanislawski adored them and, I thinks, feared them a little. Goethe performed shows which originated theories and texts. And popular literature, from Sicily to northeastem Brazil, is rich with epic and transcendental values. It is the first time, I am certain, that in an official and international exhibiton such as the Bienal of S. Paulo, this aspect of the Theatre is paid the aUention it deserves. An entire section is dedicated to Brazilian marionettes. It seems to me a fact of unusual importance that in so important a moment, in which Man lives under the nightmare of robots which could take his place, one can be aware that a face rich in poetry can give back to this same man his waning self-confidence. Gianni Rato
ARAUJO, Carmosina 1.
Maracatu. Pesquisa folclórica de Carmosina Araujo. Teatrinho Atelier de Marionetes Monteiro Lobato.
KRUGLI, Dio (1930) e Touron, Pedro (1936) 2.
História do Príncipe Mricano e o Talismã Escondido com as Aventuras do Anjo de ouro que Veio da Espanha, de Pedro Touron. Teatro de 1I0 e Pedro. Teatro João Caetano, Rio de Janeiro, 1968.
Primeira parte do Catálogo da 10ª Bienal de São Paulo (1969).