PREVIEW Foam Magazine #60 Glyphs

Page 52

178 tionship with any one period or image of war (in the 1970s or 1980s). At the same time, the fact that the archive or history is described as movement into a nonphotographic darkness in which one still sings suggests that the past, although non-specific and not temporally bound as periods, can nevertheless shed light on or assist in the task of engaging a present that is necessarily collective (again, Takiy llaqta). In this sense, then we might take the archive as a form of movement into a nonphotogenic past or history (which is in any case a darkness) such as that described by both Brecht in his treatment of war as an ongoing or never-ending conflict whose ‘meaning’ is accessed through the individualised collectivity or form of theatre. Here we might turn again to Barthes’ discussion of Eisenstein’s filmic or moving image as obtuse, versus the still ‘photograph which as a motionless image does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means that they do not emerge, do not leave: they are anesthetised and fastened down, like butterflies’.

YUYACHKANI By way of conclusion, I return to the problematic of images and the past as an ongoing, open-ended engagement in the present; and to Barthes, for whom the specific temporality of the photograph is that of an image that is in two places or times at once: it is both here and now and there and then. In this case, then we might want to retranslate Yuyachkani to be more in line with both Barthes’ idea of the photograph and the distinctively theatrical temporality with which Yuyachkani enacts a remembrance of war as neither located in the past or the present. Rather than as a specific representation or individualised remembrances of (or re-engagement with) a past that can be distilled or re-presented in images or photographs. — Text by Deborah Poole All images from La Madre © ­Yuyachkani, courtesy of the cultural group All images from Discurso de ­Promoción © Musuk Nolte / ­Yuyachkani YUYACHKANI is Peru’s most important theatre collective, and has been working since 1971 at the forefront of theatrical experimen­tation, political performance, and collective creation. Under this Quechua name, the theatre group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ­ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. Known for its creative embrace of both indigenous performance forms as well as cosmopolitan theatrical forms, Yuyachkani offers insight into Peruvian and Latin-American theatre, and to broader issues of postcolonial social aesthetics. La Madre, amongst other documents, personal magazines, booklets, videos, and photographs is presented for the first time at the 34th Bienal de São Paulo in 2021. DEBORAH POOLE is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University. She has published extensively on political culture, neoliberalism, law, indigenismo, the state, photography and race in Mexico and Peru. Her publications include Vision, Race and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World (1997) and Peru: Time of Fear (with Gerardo Rénique, 1992). Her most recent field research advances an ethnography of the political and cultural process of decentralisation in Peru. She has served on interdisciplinary review committees for organisations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Latin American Studies Association, the Peruvian Ministry of Education, and the ACLS. Deborah lives and works in Brooklyn.


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