Rotozaza.



(A mechanical, visitor-generated organism which ingests, digests and then vomits colourful objects, to the delight of an audience both young and, briefly, made young. A clunking, noisy and awkward beehive of black metal, determinedly heading towards a kind of epic failure or perhaps - like some of his other pieces - the performance of its total self-destruction. Rotozaza 1, the sculpture by Jean Tinguely (1967). Followed by Rotozaza 2, smashing thousands of plates at a World Peace Conference, and Rotozaza 3, the same machine transferred to an opera setting, with music, singers, and a very old chinese man sweeping up the mess.)


To be laughing without quite knowing why, to nurture that kind of laughter - the kind that can easily snowball, or turn out to be something else entirely. 


Above all, to pursue phenomena which can only be achieved and witnessed in what we still manage to identify as 'live, in the real world'. Notions of collectivity and shared experience sometimes forming part of this but no longer defining it. To instead juxtapose and compare these phenomena with the screened, removed and quasi-fictional worlds which we allow to dominate our waking lives on both a personal and social level. 



In general, we see the most interestig cultural work today in any field as that which achieves a confusion of what we know as real and what we believe is constructed. We feel part of this - confused often enough ourselves - and a need to to untangle, embrace and perform the asscociated fears: where and how do we find comfort? What is happening today when we sleep, and how does it differ from before? 


For the lightbulb, the switch, and the hand holding it to be the illumination, just as much if not more than what's being lit. To look for meaning in process. To allow meaning to fall into place, past the Image and through the cracks of determined, yet faulty (human) processes. 



Writer and director Ant Hampton formed Rotozaza in 1998 and joined with performer Silvia Mercuriali shortly afterwards to make the second show [DUE] in Milan, Italy, 1999. They worked together in different ways - and in different countries / languages - on over 20 Rotozaza productions, from early site-specific work in Milan and Paris through to a deeply explored strategy of selecting performers, different every night, who agree to take instructions, live and unrehearsed. This in turn gave rise to the ongoing Autoteatro series.


Since 2003 the work involved particularly close collaborations with Neil Bennun, Greg McLaren and Melanie Wilson.


Ant and Silvia now work independently. The last Rotozaza production was Etiquette. See here for Ant’s work and here for Silvia’s.