Vera Mantero _ Olympia

choreography: Vera Mantero
dance: Vera Mantero
music: Excerpts of Bakma Pygmy music, Cameroon
lights: João Paulo Xavier
Light adaptation and operation: Bruno Gaspar
costumes: Vera Mantero
text: Jean Dubuffet
special thanks for  dla Any Mantero i Miguela Ângelo Rochi
duration: 17min

The Marathon For Dance is already a historical event, organized in 1993 by several dancers and choreographers that had decided to awake the country. For the dance happening in it. When they invited me to participate, I enthusiastically said yes and started to think about what I could do to “awake” people. At that time I was reading Asphyxiating Culture, by Jean Dubuffet, and it seemed to me absolutely right to read some parts of this book for that occasion to whomever might be present at the Maria Matos Theatre. “But read it how? And won’t it be a bit pretentious, to go there and say I am the one who knows what is true culture, or the best culture? Maybe I should be naked… I must read Dubuffet naked. Glued to the ground in front of a microphone? No, that’s impossible … Doing what then? Naked…?” This nudity made me think of Manet’s Olympia, which I had just seen at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, where I was living at the time. “What if it was Olympia reading Dubuffet? Oh, no! how dreadful, everybody will be blaming me for sacrilege on painting, etc., etc…”. I told André Lepecki that I wanted to read Dubuffet naked but didn’t know how to do it without just reading Dubuffet naked. I didn’t even talk to him about the painting. Would you believe what he then said? “Oh, Vera, don’t you remember Manet’s Olympia [that we had seen together]? I think you should do something with her.” [!!!] And that’s what I did.