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Jardín de pulpos (1992, 1996) Photo/Foto: HIDVL
  • Title: Jardín de pulpos
  • Alternate Title: Octopus' Garden
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: varies
  • Language: Spanish
  • Date: 1992, 1996
  • Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Type-Format: play, performance
  • Cast: 1992: Grupo de Teatro Malayerba, producer ; Arístides Vargas, director, writer. 1996: Jessica Gaspar, Thaimy Reyes, Ricardo Álvarez, Israel Lugo (protagonists) ; Karina Casiano, Myrna Cuevas, Pablo Cunqueiro, Tania Cruz, Yovanska Duarte, Frances Rivera, Heriberto Ramírez, Beliza Torres, Daileen Rodríguez, Glorymar Carrión, Mayra Pappaterra, Mayda Grano de Oro (cast) ; Javier Rodríguez Curet (musician), Omar Silva (cast & musician), José Cotté (cast & musician), Jorge González (cast & musician).
  • Credits: 1992: Grupo de Teatro Malayerba. 1996: University of Puerto Rico, producer ; Rosa Luisa Márquez, producer, director ; Arístides Vargas, writer ; Mayda Grano de Oro, Marisol Cuevas, Pedro López, assistant directors ; Elodián Barbosa, Rosanna Álamo, production assistants ; Checo Cuevas, set design ; Gloria Sáez, costume design ; Toni Fernández, lighting design ; Rosanna Álamo, props ; Antonio Martorell, sets, poster & program ; Rafael Trelles, 'El Velorio' figures ; Pedro López, program ; Mayda Grano de Oro, music coordinator.

Jardín de pulpos (1992, 1996)

1992: José, a man who has lost his memory, wanders along a country that he no longer feels his own, a place that no longer holds affective ties, personal memories linking him to a community. One day he meets Toña, a woman of great kindness, alienated due to a profound lack of affection. She tells him that in a nearby beach, many years ago, people used to go to sleep and dream a collective dream and that, in this dream, theirs pasts and the characters who lived there show up once again. José, conflicted by his loss of memory decides to go to this beach to dream in order to build, out of dreams, his lost identity. Jardín de pulpos (Octopus's Garden) is a journey through memory and identity, a painful metaphor of losses and absences, a space of the subconscious where Latin America's collective imagery wanders amidst its struggles, exiles, and oblivion. This video documents key excerpts from Malayerba's renowned production.

1996: Adaptation of Jardín de Pulpos, renowned play by Argentinean writer Arístides Vargas (of the Ecuadorian theater group Malayerba), directed by Rosa Luisa Márquez and collectively created with her students of the "Teatro Rodante" (Traveling Theater) of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. A theater piece on memory, atrocity, affect and resistance, "Pulpos" bridges time (from a mythical time to the "Baby Boomers" to the "Generation X"), and place (with an Andean text rendered Caribbean, adapted to the Puerto Rican reality) in order to denounce political repression, police brutality, ideological persecution and political assassination, and to evoke and pay homage to our dead and disappeared. An organizing image is that of the "velorio" (alluding to the canonical Puerto Rican painting of a "baquiné" -- a wake for a child -- by artist Francisco Oller and to a contemporary rendition by Rafael Trelles), in an exploration of memories of loss and a sense of community, of a broader Puerto Rican family. The recurring motif of the seashore opens productive layers of signification, rhythm and spatial organization: it hints to the waters where Argentineans were "disappeared" during the dictatorship, the island of Puerto Rico's (geographic and political) borders, and to the Beatles' song "Octopus' Garden," which inspires the piece's title. The resulting performance is an open call to rescue and safeguard collective memories of political and historical events that have shaped our present Latin American societies. It is also an artistic attempt to capture and evoke the sensorial complexities of past events, claiming them as genealogical landmarks in our current collective life.

Video Holdings

Jardin de pulpos: excerpts (1992)
Jardin de pulpos (dir. Rosa Luisa Márquez)