Still Distinguished, 2000, comprises solo performances numbers 27 to 34 in the Distingished Pieces series. Premiered at the Arsenic theatre in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2000, it keeps to the “ground rules” set up in the previous Distinguished Pieces, but by giving spectators freedom to move around the performance space, it transforms the relationship between performer and audience. The sculptural and pictorial aspects of the performer’s actions are highlighted, and the experiments of Más distinguidas, 1997, taken still futher.
Granting audiences freedom of movement is one thing but getting them to take up the invitation is another, and La Ribot realised early on that prising viewers away from the “safe zone” of the performance space’s walls would be tricky. Her solution was to start still distinguished with a video screening. Pa amb tomàquet (Distinguished Piece No. 34), 2000, plays in the artist’s absence on four monitors dotted strategically about the space. To get a view of a monitor, spectators must move around, mingle with one another and take possession of the space. With this achieved, La Ribot performs Still Distinguished’s eight live works, leaving spectators to choose their own preferred vantage point as she variously lies down, stands sits and walks about.
The first Distinguished Pieces series of 1993 includes the piece Eufemia (No. 5). For this piece La Ribot wears a cotton shift that conceals a reservoir of fake blood: the red fluid seeps through the dress, dribbling over La Ribot’s hands and down her legs. The imagery of woman as model, muse, martyr and menstruator – and, it must be added, drama queen – that is present in Eufemia (meaning, of course, the “good woman”) continues in still distinguished – in Pa amb tomàquet, for example, and also in Another Bloody Mary (No. 27), in which La Ribot arranges scarlet objects over the floor, then lies down on them, her legs spread wide. Is she a rape victim? A mother who’s died giving birth? A hysteric? A leaping goddess, flying over a scarlet ground in some sumptuous Renaissance decoration? All are suggested but nothing is fixed. The feminist success of these pieces lies in La Ribot’s ability to keep its heavily freighted range of imagery mobile. Simplistic political “messages” are refused and, as José A. Sánchez has written, each detail is reinvented through the agency of the artist’s “ludic, subtle, free-flowing and ironic” imagination.
1) Pa amb tomáquet
2) Candida iluminaris (distinguished proprietor Victor Ramos)
3) Outsized baggage (d.p. Matthiew Doze)
4) Another bloody Mary (d.p. Lois Keidan u. Franko B.)
5) Chair 2000 (d.p. Arsenic, Lausanne)
6) de la Mancha (d.p. R.B. - Jérôme Bel). "Desviaciones", Madrid
1.10.2000. "Zurrutada" (Arteleku San Sebastian), "s liquide".
PREMIERE: September 15th 2000 - Arsenic, Lausanne, Switzerland
Third series of ’distinguished pieces’
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED: La Ribot
PERFORMER: La Ribot
LIGHTING DESIGN & SOUND DESIGN: Daniel Demont
SOUNDTRACK RECORDING: Clive Jenkins
MUSIC: Belmonte by Carles Santos, Moral Morph and Jealous Guy by LB / Atom™, Max by Paolo Conte, 55 291 by Velma
EDITING ASSISTANT: Stéphane Noel
An Artsadmin associated project (London)
Produced by La Ribot -36 Gazelles (London) in co-production with Théâtre de La Ville (Paris)
Supported by INAEM Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (Spain), London Arts Board (UK), Dance4, Body Space Image and Future Factory (Nottingham)
In collaboration with the distinguished proprietors
Powered by Froala Editor