o que fazer daqui para trás_in situ (What to do from here on backwards_in situ)

Concept and direction: João Fiadeiro

Performance normally done with local performers (between 18 and 24 depending on the version and the venue) with two weeks of workshop/rehearsal and a public presentation in the end.

Photo by João Fiadeiro

This performance is a bi-product of the work O que fazer daqui para trás (What to do from here on backwards), a piece that has a very simple dispositive: the performers run around a theater until they are in an absolute state of exhaustion and, in that exhausted condition, return to a bare stage – only holding at the center a microphone in a stand –  to share with the audience an experience they had outside (something they saw, felt, imagined). In the original work the sharing takes place orally, meaning each performer talks about their experiences (navigating in-between factual, fictionalized and poetically content) while struggling with a wheezing breath that prevents them from coherently articulating words and thoughts. For this dispositive to work the body needs to be on the edge of collapse but it can’t actually collapse. The body needs to be exhausted but not tired. As Deleuze puts it: “the tired has only exhausted realization, while the exhausted exhausts all of the possible” (The Exhausted, Gilles Deleuze, University of Wisconsin Press). The dispositive needs exhausted performers because it needs them to exhaust “that which is not realized through the possible”.



This expanded version shares the basic dramaturgic concept from the stage version with two main differences: the first is that the performers, instead of generating oral discourse as a form of translation of their experiences in the streets, they produce physical discourses in the form of actions and situations that translate a fragment of the experience they had outside the performance space. Secondly, the audience will not stay still and frontal like they would be in a theater but are invited to circulate in an open space between the images and situations generated by the performers.

As the performance progresses the space becomes full of spoils, traces and tracks left by the performers, producing a kind of an installation of “absent presences”, an outcome that is yet another difference from the original work (which visually ends exactly as it began).

For this work there are two versions: one that replicates the theater strategy, where performers run around the venue where they are presenting the work (we call this the “in situ” version); and another where instead of running around one space, the performers run between spaces (abandoned warehouses; shop windows; courtyards; galleries; etc). They thus create a situation of simultaneous presentations each, depending on the space, more or less intimate. In this last version the viewer can choose to let themselves be in one space (and have a more conventional and continuous experience with the work) or travel between spaces (and have a discontinued and fragmented experience). They can even choose to follow a single performer, running with him/her/they between the different spaces and becoming a spectator-performer (we call this the “expanded” version).


DES|OCUPAÇÃO, Lisbon, 2019

Done with the footage captured for the film NADA PODE FICAR (Nothing Can Stay) from Maria João Guardão about the DES|OCUPAÇÃO (des|occupation) of Atelier Real in July 2019. Camara by Clara Cosentino. Editing by João Fiadeiro. Assistance: Carolina Campos, Ivan Haidar, Daniel Pizamiglio, Márcia Lança and Julian Pacomio.


Camping/CN D, Paris, 2017

Camera / Editing: Ella Bats, Clara Belleville, Charlotte Deregnieaux, and Marie-Pierre Durand. Assistance: Carolina Campos and Adaline Anobile.


MIT, São Paulo, Brazil, 2020

Camera / Editing: João Fiadeiro. Assistance: Carolina Campos.