The Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, is an opera house built in the late 19th century in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Using this eccentric colonial project, Sharon Lockhart creates a performance linked to the peculiarity of the site, and the film is the subject, the pretext and the exact recording of this. On June 26th 1999, she decided to fill the stalls with more than 300 spectators, the cast chosen to represent every district of the city with its mixed-race population. Filmed from the stage, they sit facing us. Heard o -camera, the opera choir performs a piece composed for the occasion by Becky Allen: a solid chordal mass gradually fades into silence as the noise from the audience rises. With this two-pronged approach, the artist simultaneously thwarts ethnographic distance and the risk of sensationalism. And in a single action, she gives us a fresh perspective of the expectations of the ethnographer’s regard and what being a community really means. (N.F.)
12:3010 July 2019MuCEM
10:0014 July 2019MuCEM
USA / 1999 / Color / 40'
Original version: English. Script: Sharon Lockhart. Image: Rodolfo Sanchez. Editing: Bryan Franklin. Sound: Gary Todd. With : Sharon Lockhart.
Distribution: Arsenal Distribution.