Amarillo- Curatorial Statement
November 09, 2011
Almost a year and a half ago I was in Mexico, at the end of the first big chunk of touring for Best Before (a show PuSh commissioned for the 2010 Festival that then went on tour) After a week in Mazatlan, I returned to Mexico City for about 36 hours before flying home. During this time, one of my new friends invited me to a show he worked on. I happily accepted.
The theatre was in a business-feeling corner of Mexico City. We had pork tacos and tamarind soda down the street from the venue. The space was over a book shop/café – a very long and narrow space, with a very articulate audience. Sarah (the lighting director for Best Before that I was traveling with) and I had no idea what to expect. Nor did either of us know any Spanish.
I was blown away. Once it ended, I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I couldn’t stop talking about and analyzing it.
I had my friend email me links to the show and promptly emailed them to Norman and Sherrie (Norman Armour, Executive Director and Sherrie Johnson, Senior Curator). This is what I said:
Hey you two,
This is a show that I saw on my last night in Mexico City – Amarillo. It took my breath away and I’m still thinking about it. I’m concerned that the video doesn’t quite do it justice, but I hope it will give you an idea. It’s a big show, but one that I think is definitely worth investigating. I’m really interested in the story and in presenting this aspect of immigration. It presents a whole new perspective that our audiences don’t usually see. And the spectacle of it is stunning – so well thought out and rigorous. Each image is valuable and impactful…I could go on for hours.
It needs a very wide space, and a wall to climb up. I saw it in a very shallow space which made it both overwhelming, because there was so much to take in, and very affecting.
See you soon! Off to the airport in a few hours.
Everything I said I still feel today, almost 18 months after seeing it. Most of the images are still clear in my head, and so many moments sink deeper and deeper into my mind.
Amarillo is unlike any piece of theatre I have ever seen. I cannot wait to see it again. I just hope I can find a pork taco and tamarind soda nearby.