DE LAS MANOS
Madness is a force of nature, for better or for worse;
while stupidity is a weakness of nature, without counterbalance.
Italo Calvino, The Baron in the Trees.
Since the second half of the XIX century, work therapy began to be implanted in many psychiatric hospitals. This was intended to cure patients through work by giving them different manufacturing or agricultural tasks. Factories and workshops will play an essential role in the new architecture of asylums. By doing this, this psychiatric institutions manage to self-finance themselves and to be self-sufficient. However, in some of these institutions, this new therapeutic technique will soon become one of the most productive exploitations techniques, which will allow the development of a great regional industrialization process and the enrichment of new social elite.
Industrial psychiatric hospitals recover patients for a new economic system which devours healthy workforce. Attending to their own interests, hospitals consider mental illness to be a chronic disease, thus, making it a long duration problem. Therefore, the patients’ stay at the hospital becomes an imprisonment.
'De las manos' it directs us to one of these places of confinement. He presents us opposite to the domain of the madness. The caging of those that stay isolated and forgotten.
Inspired by Chuck Gamble's work.
Two men in work clothes are eating during their rest time while they observe, on a TV, the improvised acting of one of the inmates at the psychiatric hospital they work in. The sound of an alarm disrupts their routine to inform them about the entry of a new inmate.
This admission place is not only home to the mental sickness of the people who live in it. It is also the confinement of the mind of each one of them, their imagination and dreams. This place also takes over the energy and working ability of the weak ones, those who are forgotten. Surveillance and control ensure this exploitation system, in which the inmates’ hands are the most valuable thing.
But not all of them have accepted confinement. Some of them hide a dangerous way of escaping isolation.
Imbeciles, idiots, madmen, problematic and useless; they have become docile workers, hard-working and even intelligent. Hopeless unfortunate ones that once were only a cause of scandal and danger for the country and a burden for their families have managed to get out of the hospital and, through the working and discipline habits acquired, they have become submissive and capable of doing lucrative jobs.
Dr. Labbitt (1861)
- Actors/puppeteers: Juan Muñoz y Carlos Cazalilla
- Idea and direction: Carlos Cazalilla
- Lighting: Juan Muñoz
- Stage design: Ricardo Amado Palomino y Teatro Lafauna
- Puppets and automatons construction: Carlos Cazalilla
- Costumes: Inés Maroto
- Sound effects: Carlos Cazalilla
- Photography and slides: Miguel Palomino
- Video: Luis Martínez
- Co-producción: Teatro Lafauna y La Tartana Teatro
- Distribution: Proversus