Maria Nadotti


    I’m out of step with the times, through laziness, or perhaps through wisdom. Through foresight, through economy. And this is because, being able to anticipate end results rather clearly, I can allow myself to deny excessive importance to intermediary stages. Thus I give the impression of being behind the times, or immobile, given that I am in advance. But the avant-gardes, I’m certain, will find me on their path at the point where their experiences are over. For I will not have imitated these experiences, I will have experienced them already, earlier, internally and personally. In other words,

  • Reinterpreting Chekhov

    IN EVERY GREAT THEATRICAL TEXT there are internal tendencies, subterranean movements that illuminate its fate for future epochs and different cultures. In fact, every work is subject to periods of dormancy that alternate with moments of brilliant renewal, during which, thanks to a latent vitality that remains unchanged, there occurs, between the text and those who re-read it, a movement of asynchronic recognition.

    This recently happened in Europe with Three Sisters, one of Chekhov’s most famous texts, one that this century’s theatrical tradition had rigidified into melodramatic stilemes, a


    THE “MARVELOUS” SPARKS DESIRE, but the notion of the “marvelous” itself precedes the desire it kindles. Whether it be a person, thing, image, or fact of nature, the “marvelous” object, we like to think, does not depend on being looked at. It needs no justification. It exists, period. But the etymological history of the word “marvelous” tells us a different story. It comes from “marvel,” and “marvel” from mirabilia, mirabilis—that which allows itself to be looked at, that which captures the attention. “Marvel” is related to “admiration"; they too spring from the same etymological root, mirari.

  • Karen Finley's Poisoned Meatloaf

    IN THE JARGON OF photography, the term “overexposure” usually indicates a technical error, the bleach-out that follows when film is exposed to too much light. Manipulated deliberately, the mistake can become a technique—a voluntary choice of style, a code, a vehicle of expressive or narrative meaning. In either case, overexposure embodies a paradox: the world must be illuminated to be seen, but can be canceled, annulled, through an excess of illumination, made invisible through a surfeit of visibility.

    Now let’s suppose that the performance artist Karen Finley consciously and systematically

  • Film

    WE ALL KNEW that attraction was fatal by the time the attitudes and policies of the nation’s most popular president had rampaged their way through the country, leaving scant options for individual freedom, especially for women. Even so, in the now remote autumn of ’87, when the film of the incomparable Adrian Lyne burst on the scene—with its apocalyptic view of the conjugal relationship and its symmetrical extraconjugal flip side—many of us were alarmed. Not only because it was impossible to fail to read in Lyne’s Fatal Attraction an arrogant revival of the old sawhorse principles of crime/punishment,


    I like to laugh a lot, even when I’m in a terrible mood. For me, it’s all so extreme. You even see it by the subjects I choose for my theater pieces: on the one hand,Vienna at the turn of the century, frivolous, gay, elegant, enervated by the myth of beauty and form; on the other hand, . . . the Kafka of depression and fatalism, but also of decidedly lyrical passages.

    THIS IS MARTHA CLARKE speaking about herself and her work. After choreographing for and dancing with Pilobolus from 1972 until 1978, and then cofounding, in 1978, the Crowsnest company, a small ensemble dedicated to exploring the

  • Film

    “WHEN THE CHILD WAS A CHILD.” A time of questions without the possibility of answers.

    “Who am I? And why am I not you? And you me?”

    An extra-ordinary time of self-interrogation, undertaken not so as to know, but so as to describe a meaning for existence within the historical space of the individual geography. An originary time of innocence, of discovery undirected to whatever small apparent benefits may follow. A golden age in which dream has the weight of reality, desire the force of action, in which the only form of representation and explanation that is given is the tale, the fable, the potent