Saturday, April 24, 2010
Victoria Libertore debuted her solo workshop performance to a sold out space at the Brooklyn Art Exchange (BAX) last night, and received a standing ovation from her audience. The show lasted about sixty minutes but had us talking into the wee hours of the morning. I have distilled our discussion about what the piece is now, and what it can become with time. Portraying Countess Bathory, a notorious mass murderer from Hungary who died in 1614, Libertore takes on the most challenging role of her career. We meet the Countess in the last moments of her life as she is walled into a room in one her many castles. Aided by magnificent costumes, props and sets by Jeff Studivant and Jono Lukas respectively, Libertore has a bit of fun with the gruesome, gory details of Bathory's legendary cruelty. In so doing she dominates an entire audience. In the end this sad tale is about a woman who is the prisoner of her desire to be beautiful forever. Narcissistic vanity may be the driving force of her fury, but a keen sense of our place in history here and now allows Libertore to bridge centuries of myth with laser like accuracy. "I have eye like hawk," she says. With those eyes she communicates present day themes of lust and greed, along with the irresponsibility of those in absolute power using graphic depictions of torture and abuse. Rosalie Purvis directs.