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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Season in Hell by Randall Packer @ The Stage / San Jose

"A Season in Hell, for perilous times in post-apocalyptic America, presented by the US Department of Art And Technology"

A Season in Hell, a multimedia performance created by Randall Packer, was part of 2010 01SJ Biennial and was presented only a few times at The Stage. The experience started in the entrance/lobby of the theater where Packer's installation was an introduction to the multimedia spectacle.

America's grave

The performance itself is an extremely dense journey, packed with montages of hundreds of CNN documents, photos and videos' excerpts, political statements, dialogues on stage, haunting chants performed by tenor Charles Lane, breathtaking videos taken in Death Valley.

A journey through a post 9/11 America, which, like Rimbaud's journey through Hell, is full of disillusions, anger, sufferings and questions. And some hope in the end.

Like in Rimbaud's "A Season in Hell", there are some mysterious allegories and I may not have understand everything Packer is referring to in the performance and it does not matter. In its explosive richness, its changing pace and amazing light, is a very powerful poetic journey.

The trailer of the performance gives an idea of what the performance is about, although I believe it is very difficult to document a performance like this one. I hope the performance will be shown elsewhere in the country and will initiate interesting debates, like the one which took place after the show.

See the trailer of the performance here - Image and video courtesy of the artist.

The last image of the spectacle.

The Stage
490 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Box Office
(408) 283 7142

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