Variation on The Unaccounted: A Triptych, by Mapa Teatro

Die un- /                                                                            
bestatteten, un gezählt, droben, die Kinder,               
sind absprungbereit.

The un- / buried, unaccounted, up there, the children, / are ready to jump.

– Paul Celan (1999)

Unaccounted, or incontados, does not exist as a noun in Spanish. And its very inexistence performatively reflects not only the absence of the disappeared and murdered, but also the silence of witnesses and sur- vivors, the victims that cannot be accounted for, who were never giv- en a voice to tell their story. ‘The Unaccounted’ expresses the difficulty of representing violence, while also denouncing the reasons for which certain facts are declared irrepresentable, thus justifying censorship or waiving the responsibility of representation.

Heidi and Rolf Abderhalden rose to the challenge, as artists, tak- ing on the role of active witnesses of conflict (Celan 1999, p. 235). In the Anatomy of Violence trilogy, paramilitary violence, narco violence and guerrilla violence were poetically confronted in three successive performances: The Holy Innocents (2010), Discourse of a Decent Man (2012) and The Farewell (2017). The idea was to chart an historic period that roughly coincided with the biographic timeline of the Mapa Teatro founders. Hence, it comes as no surprise that The Holy Innocents super- imposes the birthday celebration of Heidi Abderhalden (as a watching body) on the carnivalesque delirium of the dancing bodies in Guapi. And that The Unaccounted: A Triptych, a synthesis of the trilogy, begins with a tableau vivant that reinterprets A Ventriloquist at a Birthday Party in October 1947 (1990), by Jeff Wall.

En Joanna Zielinska, Performing Collections, L’internationale (MG+MSUM (Ljubljana), Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), MACBA (Barcelona), M HKA (Antwerp), SALT (Istanbul & Ankara), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), MSN (Warsaw) / NCAD (Dublin), HDK-Valand (Gothenburg), pp. 250-257. ISBN 978-91-527-1341-9

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