TO Angelica Liddell he does not like "this world where women have stopped loving men". He proclaims it at the beginning of his new work, The Scarlett Letter, freely inspired by the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which premieres tonight at the Teatros del Canal de Madrid. The sniper par excellence of the Spanish scene has not signed a vulgar adaptation of that literary monument, but a text that starts from that nineteenth-century diatribe against American Puritanism to charge against the latest iteration of feminism in #MeToo times.
Liddell denounces on stage the "justice of hairdressing magazine" of the movement, led by "totalitarian misandras" who do not hesitate to condemn "those who, with their perversion, made us freer". The director herself does not express it, but rather her alter ego scenic, although in his case it costs to distinguish the doctor Frankenstein of your creature. And, to clarify it, it's no use asking for help. It has been months since Liddell stopped giving interviews, perhaps because his explanations would not be audible in the current climate. Even so, the program of the show contains a text signed in its own handwriting that leaves no room for doubt. "We continue to rebel against the violence of moral hypocrisy in times of Puritanism. We have lost in art the force of wild nature forever, "he writes. "We have won in pacatería, in stupidity and in trickery. Cowardice and prudery are more aggressive than ever. Before it was religion. Now, the ideology. "
For Liddell, everything in human life comes from desire, "from a dirty and violent movement between penises and vulvas, from an irrepressibly violent passion". That is what her living paintings translate, in which she strolls between naked males with the letter A, of adulteress, darned in red on her black dress. His theatrical writing, that tremendista recital, has not changed much and his scenic rituals remain disturbing.
About the music of Lully, official composer of Sun King, Liddell holds sexual organs with his hands and then brings them to his mouth. Thus she becomes a distant cousin of Hester, the protagonist of Hawthorne, condemned by the settlers for having slept with the pastor and then elevated to the category of "American Eva" by the theorist Harold Bloom.
Like Hester, the heroines of the New World will be fallen angels, condemned to have painful lives for having disregarded authority. Liddell does the same regarding the consensus of our era. After a voluntary retirement from the Spanish stages, which he resigned in 2014 after having reached "the top of contempt that one can bear", Liddell returned to Madrid last year with his Trilogy of hell. Now it is back again, but only for three functions, for which there are no entries for months.
The premiere of The Scarlett Letter It took place in Orleans in December, a few weeks before triumphing at the Colline Theater in Paris, which directs another major of the European scene as Wadji Mouawad. In the first performance, he discarded the verbal forcefulness of his monologues, "diatribes so misogynistic that they would surely cost an artistic exile to any male interpreter," he said. The New York Times. Some people took it as a laugh, as if they saw her incapable of attacking her own gender. It is to know it badly. "No woman is beautiful as she ages," Liddell pointed out about those "heroines of withered vaginas" that she says she looks around.
The show also works as a tribute to their idols, with Foucault, Barthes, Genet, Pasolini or Artaud in the lead. In the essay that the latter dedicated to Van Gogh, The suicide by society, the French writer maintained that the tortured artist did not end his days because of a crisis of madness, but of lucidity. "It was society that killed him to take revenge and punish him for having left her," he said. In The Scarlett Letter, Liddell plays in that same league. "Without judges, art would not exist. Without hypocrisy, art would not exist. Without you, art would not exist. I thank you for despising me, "he spits on the viewer from the beginning of the play, assuming to be one of those" black flowers of civilized society "about which his admired Hawthorne spoke.