montreal

Carbon 14

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

Founded by Gilles Maheu, Carbon 14 evolved out of street theater into a laboratory of hard-hitting social commentary. Their latest production Rivage à l’Abandon (Abandoned shoreline, 1990), occupies the entire museum. Based on the hermetic writings of East German playwright Heiner Müller, Maheu’s production constitutes a form of theatrical anthropology, with a neo-Brechtian flair. Wandering through the smoke-filled installation that serves as a preamble to the central theater piece, we come upon a cellist playing beside train tracks on which stand an illuminated set of balances full of crumpled paper. The installation also includes a replica of the Berlin Wall with video images of its destruction, photos of Marilyn Monroe alive and dead, and a forest of trees suspended from the ceiling.

The performance is based on the ancient Greek myth of Jason and Medea. Müller sees the story of betrayal,

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