Spain’s most prominent performance artist Angélica Liddell visits UMass Amherst for special performance on April 24
By Sarah Gibbons | Thursday, April 19, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018
On April 24 at 4:30 pm in Integrative Learning Center S240 on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, Angélica Liddell, Spain’s most prominent performance artist, will present poems from her collection Los Deseos en Amherst / Desires in Amherst, inspired by the work of Emily Dickinson. During her U.S. visit, she will also perform in New Jersey and Washington D.C. She is making a special trip to Amherst to perform the work in the town where Dickinson lived.
Liddell says that Los Deseos en Amherst (Desires in Amherst) was written in a moment of personal crisis. She asked herself “What poems would I have written in a situation of seclusion like Emily's?” Liddell turned to Dickinson’s poetry, which kept her going and inspired her own writing.
On April 24, Liddell will perform a selection of these poems in Spanish with English supertitles. A group of eight translators worked on a collaborative translation of the text. Among them are UMass Amherst students, community members, and professors Regina Galasso (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures—Spanish and Portuguese) and Harley Erdman (Theater). Professor David Rodríguez-Solás (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures—Spanish and Portuguese) has organized Liddell’s visit to UMass.
Angélica Liddell is an actor, director, performance artist, playwright, and poet. In 1993, she founded her own theater company, Atra Bilis, and has since directed over twenty of her own texts. Liddell won the 2012 National Literature Award with her play La Casa de la Fuerza (House of Strength), which she presented at the prestigious Theater Festival in Avignon. In 2013, she was awarded the Silver Lyon at the Venice Bienale for “recognizing her ability to turn poetry into a text that shakes the world.”
The poetry of Emily Dickinson has been a long-term inspiration for Angélica Liddell’s work. In 2015, she created the sound installation Emily, co-produced by LABoral Center of Art and Industrial Creation (Gijón, Spain) and La Bâtie-Festival (Geneva, Switzerland). In Emily she aimed at “giving a voice to the chaos that built a poetics: the buzz of bees, the chants of Massachusetts Native Americans, the noise and the fury of Shakespeare.” The play Liddell will stage at Montclair State University before her visit to Amherst uses as its title Dickinson’s line, This Brief Tragedy of Flesh. Liddell explains that in this play “Emily challenges rational world with her intelligence and seclusion, with mystery, breaking the rules of communication, unconcerned by mundane chronology.”
Angélica Liddell’s visit is possible by the support of the following sponsors: Embassy of Spain; the UMass Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Spanish and Portuguese Program; Modern European Studies; The Translation Center; UMass Arts Council.