8th May 2020, Santiago de Chile
In this photo I’m in my apartment in Santiago de Chile. I live very close to downtown, almost there. Few months ago we were living our revolution and the streets of my neighborhood were full of people all the time. We were angry but happy. Something very important was going on and we had the future of our country in our hands. That idea made us dance and laugh and share animated conversations every day. We danced a lot. My neighbors and I literally danced at night in the middle of our street. We shared food and wine. The streets were deeply alive. Now we are in the opposite scenario which give us a weird feeling and a schizoid perception of reality. We were together and now we must be apart. We were brave and now we are full of fear and very fast we went back to our depressive look, the one that pushes our heads to the ground. Life is violent. Life is pure drama.
I survive this time surrounded by the things that make me feel safe or alive. Good music, films, books, paints. I read, write, draw, drink wine and stay in silence for long moments. Just looking across my window. My view are some shy trees and if I´m lucky a little bird would appear and play around for a while.
I stay quiet like a mountain. I think a lot about nature. I imagine myself walking hours and hours in silence. Walking alone. Just walking and listening to nature´s heart. I need to be in the middle of the wood as soon as I can. I need to feel like a tree again. I need to feel my own roots. I need to grow free. Peaceful and free. That kind of things I think when I´m quiet as a mountain. And I do enjoy that state of my mind. Something very powerful lives underneath those images. Something that reclaims my presence. Something that knows my name. My real name. And will name it until I really listen to it.
“They say it creeps along the ground. It always travels close to the bottom. It has no smell. It has no color. You can´t even see it. But it´s everywhere. It moves along highways and roads, until it reaches every last corner. Because that´s what it wants. That is its final objective: to be everything and everyone”.
I wrote this months before the virus started. It´s from my play “Espíritu” that would have had its premiere at HAU on June of this year. The play is about neoliberalism and the secret poison that lives in us and ruins our souls and our relation to others making feel us sad and lost without knowing exactly what the cause of our deterioration is. I didn´t have the virus in mind while I was writing but I did have the idea of a secret “being” living among us and consuming our hopes and hearts. Now I read the material with a new and even more urgent approach. This terrible virus is giving the play a new perspective but not a different direction. All the ideas of the play are getting richer under this new reality. The need to stop this alienated rhythm of production, of selfish pleasure and go back to ourselves sounds like something we had to do. Something that was urgent. Time and silence to go back to our inner strength and find our lost spirit. Time to think about our present and our future. Time to think about our lost humanity. This cruel system we are living in is ending with our best values as human beings. Solidarity, empathy, justice, love, are forgotten all the time .The need of money and being successful devours everything including our more tender impulses. Including, and this is very serious, our artistic work and conception of art. We can´t go forever like this. We just can´t. This virus kills but at the same time give us the chance to stop and make things in a different way. What makes me sad beforehand is the idea that in spite of all the deaths and pain caused for this virus we will go back to our “normality” without doing any radical changes and all this suffering and fear would be useful. Hope the future wasn´t like that. We need to stay very awake! As artists we need to open our eyes and find the truly place of our wisdom. Without that all our work has no sense. If we don´t understand that what we do is fundamental to create better human beings and better societies and if we lose our time in superfluous behaviors and stupidity we are helping to feed the monster of everything that we are supposed to fight. As artists we should be better people after this. Much more humble and human. Much more sensitive and connected to the lacks and needs or our time.