1. piece of land surrounded by water
2. popular subregion in cognitive neuroscience, responsible for decision-making, emotional processing, and attention
performer: gabriel jiménez
sound design gahyae Ryu
light design stephanie Lutz
video stephanie Lutz
text after: fernando pessoa, peter handke, calderón de la barca, anthony nikolchev
text composition: anthony nikolchev
directed/choreoghy: gema galiana
Produced by Galiana&Nikolchev’s The Useless Room
ÍNSULA is an accidental piece. Object based. It does not have any other reason to exist but its existence itself. Actually we do not know why and if it really does.
The piece was built around the physical limits of a rectangular, metal office table, accidentally found. The object chose itself. We observed the object reveal its hidden questions, its problems; we look inside ourselves through it, or maybe we project ourselves onto the object; anyway, we built a tension-filled dialogue between quotidian space and a poetic world. The poetic world is what makes everything worth it, and where we find sense and reasons to continue.
Some might say Ínsula is a movement-based theater piece, but I think it is first object based and our language is physical. We are glad to be here in dance territory with our theatre habits, breaking language while asking questions, playing like kids, very seriously.
“These are strange times, we don't know whether to hug or look down. We have drifted further apart and it feels shy and lazy to be passionate again. Is it just me?
I feel I am doing an act of resistance, an act of rebellion, I am creating, I am throwing questions into an air that is difficult to breathe, I am screaming and looking for beauty even if it sometimes resists or is painful or slips away and disappears horrified from ourselves .
I'm grabbing the absurd life, I'm a limpet, an octopus, let nothing escape me in the creative nothingness, let it extinguish all the rest.
CREIANDO (Believing) with an E and an I. With the E for creating and the I for raising, raising, raising is tenderness, an engine that sometimes prevents you from starting and other times it doesn't let you stop.
How radical we are vibrating again in community, beating to the same beat in the infinite abstract space of a theater.” Gema Galiana
PERFORMER Gabriel Eduardo Jimenez Montes
Gabriel Eduardo Jimenez Montes is a performer from Carolina, Puerto Rico. BA from the University of Puerto Rico 2015 and MFA from California Institute of the Arts 2018.
His way of approaching his work crosses different styles and disciplines, the articulation of his body and rhythm being his main way of expression and creation. Gabi is the kind of performer who connects his voice and body from a very intuitive, organic and holistic source. Terribly curious, he is always searching to find clarity with his own voice and style. Participating in physical theatre training workshops and encounters with other artists, he is fighting to not get lost in a schizophrenic world he is navigating graciously and brave.
He was based in LA until 2020, collaborating with Scarlet Kim, Julie Bour, Chantal Cherry, DaEun Jung, Paola Escobar, Evelyn Serrano, The Useless Room, as well as selling dates in farmers markets. He left LA to teach English to kids in Spain during the hardest moments of the pandemic. He is temporarily settled back in Puerto Rico, his homeland, which he feels is his place to reconnect with nature, with his true spirit, practicing free diving and planting the sweetest pineapples you could ever taste.
SOUND DESIGNER Gahyae Ryu
Gahyae is a sound designer and engineer received MFA in Sound Design at California Institute of the Arts, BM in Music Production and Technology from the Hartt School of Music and technical internship certificate in sound from Yale School of Drama.
She won Outstanding Achievement Award in sound editing at 2020 Indie Short Fest with a movie, “Nowhere, Forever”. She developed the sound vision for an Ingress (AR Goegame) Storyline for Niantic, Inc. as a sound designer and composer and designed the content for 196 assets that could be recombined in a large variety of ways based on player choices.
A short film, “Hieu” (5.1 mixing) that she worked on as a sound editor and sound editor and designer, won the Second Prize at Cinefondation, the Cannes Film Festival 2019.
LIGHT DESIGNER Stephanie Lutz
Stephanie is a lighting designer and artist from San Francisco, California. Having worked for Bard Summerscape in New York, and VenueTech Management as house designers she is currently pursuing an MFA at California Institute of The Arts in Lighting Design.
Her passions include embroidery and reading about performance art, semiotics, and phenomenology. She has been challenging herself in the last three years to read a book, dissertation, or article on the topic a week. The first two years having read 50 and 51 in a year on the topics described. She is not satisfied with the how, but dives deeper into the why. Looking at research initially as meaning, then to aesthetic, then to symbol translated into sign, then translated into sign system. This drives her style as well as they are conscious of the pragmatics of placing symbols or signs onto the stage in a layered manner to create complex and compounding meaning.
TEXT COMPOSITION Anthony Nikolchev
Anthony is the co-artistic director of The Useless Room, a movement-based experimental performance group in Los Angeles, USA, and is on the faculty at the California Institute of the Arts School of Theater. He holds a dual bachelor’s in Theater and an interdisciplinary degree in Bioethics from Wesleyan University, then bought many oneway plane tickets, working between Central Europe, the US (Chicago, NYC, Los Angeles), and the UK.
Notable performances include his self-generated solo performances, Look, What I Don’t Understand, (a “tour de force” by the LA Times critics and Best Actor at New York City’s United SOLO Festival) and The Echoes Off The Walls Underground Are Louder Than Your Footsteps Above Me, (a second award of Best Actor at United SOLO in NYC), also the London and LA runs of The Day Shall Declare It directed by Annie Saunders and Sophie Bortolussi. Excerpts of his text for the performance EXILE, directed by Vivien Wood, produced in the UK, was published by HarperCollins in Celtic Daily Prayers Book 2. He currently lives and works in his homeland, used to work with Chimpanzees and Gorillas, and always searches for borders, “where dreams and metamorphosis are common currency.” - Roberto Bolaño