February 24, 6pm - 21:30pm: Film screening at 6pm, performances at 8pm
Venue: La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain)

Prompt Corner returns with proposals in which poetic experimentation approaches queer theater, performance and music. This year's edition takes as its starting point the work of María Irene Fornes; Cuban playwright who emigrated to New York in the 1950s and became a leading figure in the Off-off Broadway scene. Nicholas Grafia, artist and performer from the Philippines, Shanzhai Lyric (New York) and the music of utaissa (Assiatou Diallo Barry) (Madrid) will establish a dialogue with some of the main characteristics of Fornes' theater, such as navigating imposed languages, the affective potential of everyday objects in performance and poetry, absurd gestures, or the ability of percussion and music to critically approach a reality that is often violent. The program also includes the screening of the documentary The Rest I Make Up (2018), directed by Michelle Memran, and focused on the work and the last years of Fornes' life.

Roving poetic research unit Shanzhai Lyric presents “PE LABIOS BESARL QYOS POR PRIMER”, a new passage from their unfolding poem, “Incomplete Poem 2015- ” composed especially for the occasion. Selections from their ever-expanding archive of found poetry garments will form an absurdist dialog, an unspooling commentary on a world that makes no sense.

Nicholas Grafia’s “Meditationisms II: Vertigo Vulture Checking In”, embarks on the second chapter of his latest ongoing series of solo performance, displaying “magnetic characters”, that, among other activities, attract “issues” as they try to examine and define their social mobility and agency on, both, a regional and global level. Referring to castaway narratives, colonial travel, sea warfare and movie history, as well as personal experiences, the artist irritates and stretches the concept of “packing lightly”, “easy traveling”, the “economy class” and post-tourism. Furthermore questioning conventional ideas behind “souvenirs”, travel logs, popular holiday plans and destinations, Grafia delivers a spoken word performance that seeks to redefine the way we envision travel as an act of independence and mobility in modern society. “Checking in has never put you further away from your destination than this, and I’m a veeeery reliable narrator.”

dj utaissa (Assiatou Diallo Barry) takes as her starting point the sound archives of Robert Ashley's opera” Balseros” (1997). The opera's libretto was written by María Irene Fornes and is based on interviews with 25 people who emigrated from Cuba to Miami on rafts. The percussion, composed by Daniel Diaz and Oscal Salas, is central to utaissa's exploration of the diaspora.

Finally, the documentary “The Rest I Make Up” (2018), directed by Michelle Memran, takes a biographical approach to Fornes' life and work, his energy and constant making of memories, as well as the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Spanish translations will be available for performances/readings in English.

Nicholas Grafia (b. 1990, Angeles City, Philippines) stages interventions into the historical archive, by weaving research, popular culture, as well as personal and art histories into their visual practice. In the mediums of painting, moving image, sound and collaborative performance projects, often made with Amsterdam based Polish artist Mikołaj Sobczak, they are addressing themes of racial and sexual vulnerability by examining who is in- and excluded from official narratives. Grafia completed his MFA at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2019 and is currently based between Düsseldorf and Paris, where they recently participated in the Art Explora residency program. The artist is repre- sented by Peres Projects (Berlin / Seoul / Milan), Silverlens (Manila / New York) and Andersen‘s Contemporary (Copenhagen).

utaissa (Assiatou Diallo Barry) is a dj from Madrid with West African roots who experiments with the encounter of diasporic sounds mixing African percussion with deconstructed sounds of reggaeton and dembow.

Shanzhai Lyric is a body of research focusing on radical logistics and linguistics through the prism of technological aberration and nonofficial cultures. Initiated by Ming Lin and Alex Tatarsky, the project takes inspiration from the experimental English of shanzhai t-shirts made in China and proliferating across the globe to examine how the language of counterfeit uses mimicry, hybridity, and permutation to both revel in and reveal the artifice of global hierarchies. Through an ever-growing archive of poetry-garments, Shanzhai Lyric explores the potential of mistranslation and nonsense as utopian world-making (breaking) and has previously taken the form of poetry-lecture, essay, and installation. Recent shows include MIT School of Architecture and Planning, MoMA PS1, Henry Moore Institute, SculptureCenter, Amant, Canal Projects, Abrons Arts Center, Women's Art Library, and Artists Space.

'Prompt corner' in theatrical terms is where the development of the scene is controlled and maintained, and where phrases are remembered in case of forgetfulness.

La Casa Encendida is wheelchair accessible. More information