Sunday, January 3, 2010
Tattoo - by Rejane Desvignes and Igor Bauersima
Published in Theatre Forum #35, and translated from the German by Neil Blackadder, Tattoo unfolds in a modern, European city. Fred and Lea are broke artists, Fred is working on a novel, Lea is a discerning actress. Their old friend, Tiger, now a big deal in the art world turns up one night and over comments about his completely tattooed body being valuable, illicits a promise that the couple will take care of his body when he dies. He will have it plasticized and they are to keep it, never sell it.
And that's the beginning of a play questioning what the responsibility of an artist is and what an artist can and can't do for money. The plot of Contempt is referenced throughout as the play unfolds...Tiger is killed in a freak accident and his assistant plasticizes his body and deposits it in Lea and Fred's house. They now have an object, that they do not want, stuck in their home, over-shadowing their relationship - that is also tremendously valuable. What will they do?
This play was written in 2001. It is pointed out in the preface that a couple years after the play was written a man's tattooed back was sold online, with the stipulation that he display it 3 times a year as long as he lives, and once he dies his skin goes to the buyer.
Specific music, video projections, art installations, off-stage voices and a plot saturated with moral quandaries about money and art accumulate to create the world and gist of this play.