Encounters in the Third Person
The public is invited in this piece to visit one of the four ‘encounter areas’ and to have a conversation with another member of the public. Each ‘encounter area’ is private and only two persons fit in there [foto]. However, a hidden microphone captures their conversation, something they are aware of. The only rule for the speakers is to present themselves or to talk about themselves using the third person. One can never refer to oneself using the first person (I) but saying he or she. For instance, talking about myself I would say to the person I am interacting with: ‘He is trying to describe to her the idea behind Encounters in the Third Person and he finds it a little bit awkward.’
Interestingly, talking about oneself in the third person generates a perspective that enables oneself to say things that one would otherwise find more difficult to say. It has a liberating effect.
Through a simultaneous translation system, other members of the public can choose which one of the four conversations to snoop. Each member of the public is equipped with a wireless device that enables him or her to move freely about the patio in which the piece takes place and to choose a visual angle from where to snoop and observe an ongoing conversation. Eventually, the listener can decide to jump in and have a conversation with someone else.
It was performed on 27, 28, 29, 2003 at the Sala Teatro Taller de Colombia in Bogotá.
Idea, direction and production by Luis C Sotelo. Scenography by Javier Gutiérrez.