Extinction is forever

Extinction is forever

“Extinction is Forever”, is forever, is forever, like a rose is a rose is a rose. Despite the truism, it bears reminding that we are living through something irreversible, the magnitude of which is hard to define. We stand to lose everything, so, whatever we do now will be dramatic and decisive. The time is ours. Because the acceptance of violence against Culture and language itself (not to mention the violence against the physical lives of people) as something natural is spreading across the nation, like an oil stain destroying coral reefs. Artists, prophets, serenaders, poets, vagabonds, video makers, singers, painters, sculptors – professional or amateur – the time is ours.

I conceived this set of works under the pressure of this unprecedented feeling of threat, seeking a reaction. A reaction, before anything else, through the very exercise of language. Yes, language, this environment where others still exist, free to breathe and talk and play together, the language at which this project is directed in such diverse forms and formats. Mixed, isolated, in partnerships, in soliloquies, in precarious situations, intimate, public, amidst brutality, amidst loutishness, amidst the pandemic – I think they’re all works in progress, hot-worked, with a great deal of improvisation and not entirely finished, but full (I hope) of the joy of still being, and still being here.

There is something, I now realise, that permeates almost all the works – a scene that is formed and deformed, that is dressed and undressed, composed and decomposed, in a continuous loop between a moment of creation and a moment of dispersion. I feel that my intuition about what it is possible to do really goes in that direction, as if it weren’t possible to respond head on, explicitly, but only in motion, skating, going out there and facing it and running away. Are you ready? Yes, but no. I don’t think I’m ready yet. Let’s continue for a little while. In that sense, the very idea of authorship comes together and dissipates, it is also formed and deformed – this has been the best of all during these past months of such an intense experience that started with the simple scribbling of incipient ideas. The collective dimension, sharing with the actors and dancers and musicians, old and new partners, this mutual sense of urgency and the honour of each achievement.

I don’t think we are survivors of old times, but actors in a scene that has already changed and will demand a great deal from us before it stabilises. In fact, we are testing that right now, on the frontline of this “inexhaustible worse”, which would be a great title for our time. I don’t think the madness of the last few years can be corrected, in the sense of going back to what it used to be. A body that has turned to ashes cannot be put back together (quite the contrary, the best thing to do is to take a good look at it and never forget it). In that sense, instead of melancholy, I feel a strange kind of excitement. Because there is a great deal, and I mean a huge deal, to say, to sing, to hit and run, to choose and to love. Because extinction is forever. For ever.

Nuno Ramos