Bruno Latour’s Final Performance on the Climate Crisis Serves More Questions Than Answers, Mihika Agarwal και YJ Lee, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [11/11/2022]Marilena Pateraki
“I really don’t know if my hypothesis will work,” the speaker says halfway through his monologue. He proceeds to draw diagrams with white chalk on his drafting table, the only other thing on stage other than himself, with an overhead camera feeding a live recording of it onto the back wall. After more than half an hour of an impassioned speech on Galileo Galilei and Mars, he is nowhere near finished.
The North American premiere of The Terrestrial Trilogy marked the end of this year’s Crossing the Line Festival, an annual multimedia arts festival hosted by New York’s French Institute Alliance Française. The show, written by Bruno Latour, directed by Frédérique Aït-Touati, and performed by Duncan Evennou, combines three acts — “Inside,” “Moving Earths,” and “Viral,” produced in 2016, 2019, and 2020, respectively — into one three-hour theater presentation that is ambitiously complex and curiously engaging. This production, the culmination of Latour’s work, is a valedictory, as well. The influential French philosopher died, at age 75, just weeks before the opening of the festival.
Latour studied geology and cosmology in the context of socioanthropology, which inspired him to write the deeply complicated play. Its layered multimedia format seems to directly reflect its layered message: Earth isn’t simply a globe with flattened maps, it’s a much more complex makeup of interconnected everythings.
Evennou, as the sole performer on stage for the entirety of the The Terrestrial Trilogy, moves through a vast range of high-level concepts — from the flaws of our conventional understanding of Earth to the cobweb of our ecological connectedness, along with historical and contemporary attempts at reimagining our perception of nature and beyond. His fast pace turns The Terrestrial Trilogy into a high-intensity interdisciplinary classroom that combines politics and science, fervor and brains. While the performance leaves us with new ways of thinking about the planet, it stops short of the question all that thinking leads to: Now what?
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