Every Saturday, watch an ever-evolving, ever-changing performance in PICA’s Ground Floor Galleries as part of Pilar Mata Dupont’s Las Hormigas/The Ants.
Three unreliable narrators play members of the artist’s family, constantly changing roles, as they attempt to piece together testimonies of a past mediated through Mata Dupont’s auto-fictive screenplay, interweaving elements of family drama, and experimental, absurdist performance
With new scenes added and removed each week, Las Hormigas depicts a live negotiation in contested, half-remembered memories. Visitors will be able to watch an open rehearsal and preparation from 11am every Saturday, ahead of the performance.
Duration: 60 minutes
Content Warnings: Adult themes
Lockout: After the first 10-minutes there is a lockout. Latecomers are invited to watch from the balcony above.
Please note the performance will commence at 11am, Saturday 5 November.
Statement on the Content Warnings for Las Hormigas
By Las Hormigas Artist/Director Pilar Mata Dupont
Las Hormigas was developed over almost a decade, during a period of time where I was grappling with some difficult events in my life and a long-term depression prolonged by engaging with the often heavy material I was collecting from the women in my family.
The intention of the work is to mirror the fragmentation and looping of traumatic memory as well as the coping mechanisms that dark, irreverent humour and music offers in dealing with those memories. These stories contain references to sexual violence, abortion, and violence in general. As the performance is partially improvised, the delivery of these scenes may vary from performance to performance.
In presenting these memories and fragments, we understand that there may be audience members who have had traumatic experiences
, or may not wish to engage with these concepts and ideas at this time. We feel it’s important to be able to make those choices with as much information as possible.
References to Sexual Violence
There is a reference to a character’s offstage sexual assault by a prison guard. This is made by a character who does not believe the victim. The disbelieving character says: “Well, that’s only what happened according to her.” This scene could be played by the disbelieving character in a flippant manner
References to Violence
The performance is set over various periods of time including during the military dictatorship in Argentina that ran from 1976–83, where 30,000 people were tortured and “disappeared” under the military government. For example, a character describes how her husband was put on a list by guerilla groups to be murdered. In another scene, a character describes how she had to behave in order to avoid being “disappeared” by the military.
There are references to a character murdering her husband made in a lighthearted tone.
There is a reference to genocide in a scene where a character says, “That was a systematic ideological genocide”, in reference to the disappearances of people during the dictatorship.
References to Abortion
There are two references to my own lived experience of abortion.
One is in the lyrics of a song: “I wrote a successful grant application, was a dramaturg for a dance show, and put on a solo exhibition while a failed chemical abortion made me bleed for weeks until I was nearly septic.”
The other reference is a scene which can be looped up to three times, where the character of Pilar is approached by her mother after she discovered used pads in the bin, a sign of her failed chemical abortion. Pilar tries to hide the fact that she has had an abortion by letting her mother believe that it’s a miscarriage. The performers might mention that this was an abortion in this scene.