Confronted with the SARS-CoV-2 crisis, we had to cancel the 25th edition of the festival in May 2020, including this project.

El pasado nunca se muere, ni siquiera es pasado

    16/05  | 19:00 - 22:00
    17/05  | 18:00 - 22:00
    19/05  | 18:00 - 22:00
    20/05  | 18:00 - 22:00


€ 8 / € 6 (-25/65+)
± 30min 
Meet the artists after the performance on 17/05
Performance in the frame of The May Events @ INSAS, 16>20/05

Why to think the present from the present? By entering the new performative installation of Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol we are in 2048, listening at the interviews of a group of artists that thirty years ago – hence in 2018 – started the project for a movie. It was (or maybe is) a movie reflecting on how to deal with the heritage of 1968 in Mexico and the student revolts that ended with the Tlatelolco massacre. After El rumor del incendio, a piece in which they convoked the Mexican guerrillas during the 1960s and 70s, Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol is back at the festival in the frame of The May Events with an installation that brings together cinema and live performance. A space to experience a future from where to imagine the present, and where the past never dies, and – as the title says – is not even past. It is also a room where fiction and reality converge: indeed, this installation is the first step of a future movie that the group is making today...

A project by
Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol   

Concept & coordination
Gabino Rodríguez   

Performed & developed by
Francisco Barreiro & Gabino Rodríguez   

Artistic collaboration
Luisa Pardo   

Artstic advice
Bernardo Gamboa & Chantal Peñalosa

Juan Pablo Villalobos, Nicolás Pereda & Christian Rivera   

Light design
Sergio López Vigueras 

Iconographic research
Juan Leduc 

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, INSAS 

Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol

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We suffer not only from the living but also from the dead. Because the living are in the grip of the dead.
Karl Marx  

The film El pasado nunca se muere, ni siquiera es pasado (The past never dies, it is not even past) was a project planned for 2018. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 movement, and the thought of this legacy was causing great uneasiness. The film was part of this context, but it was not made. 

In 2018, the world was passing through strange times: Donald Trump was governing the United States. Iraq and Syria were confronting a complex future after the territorial defeat of the Islamic State. China’s economy was growing steadily and it was looking forward to a period of reform (we know how that ended). Venezuela under Nicolás Maduro was facing increasing tensions. Brexit was approaching, and the extreme right had been given a strong boost in the West. Ten years on from the 2008 economic crisis, no serious recession was predicted. Airborne drones were on sale and increasingly popular, along with driverless cars and artificial intelligence. Cancer continued to be a common malady. 

In Mexico, it was a year of presidential elections. The previous year had seen the greatest level of violence in the country’s recent history. There were 29,168 murders, and 2018 was looking no better. The electoral race was viewed with huge despondency, lawlessness in the country had reached scandalous levels, and there seemed no plan for “real” transformation in prospect. 

In 2018 Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI was governing Mexico. Six years earlier, just before this party won the presidency once more, the #Yosoy132 movement was formed. This movement reported that the candidate from the PRI, Enrique Peña Nieto, had been supported by the major communications media and had demanded the democratization of the media and a third debate among the presidential candidates. The imposition of the PRI candidate was seen as the enemy to be defeated.  

We joined this movement, and there have been many really huge demonstrations, a very emotional time. The march on the 10th June attracted around 100,000 people. We felt things could change, as there was a citizens’ organisation aiming to transform reality.  

In the end the PRI won back the presidency, and the movement dissolved. We were left with nothing but our outrage (…). At this time, we were reflecting a great deal on 1968, and we could not get the words of Marx out of our thoughts: “history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”
Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (May-October 2018) 

Years later, in 2018, we wanted to make a film based on the premise that “what can be acted can be thought, and maybe can live”. The film would portray three characters planning a series of crimes while trying to transform the way they thought about politics, love, friendship, value and fear. The film was a way to settle scores with 1968 through fiction. 

In Mexico in May 1968, nothing, or almost nothing, happened. Mexico was going to be the venue for the XIX Olympic Games, to be held in October, and at this point it was experiencing a period of economic growth and expansion of the middle classes. Nonetheless, unrest was increasing because of lack of freedom and prospects for democracy. The country was not an island, and little by little it was beginning to breathe in the influence of the Prague Spring, May in Paris and the demonstrations against the Vietnam War. 

It was in the last days of July that the government implemented a series of repressive actions against students, provoking a wave of anger which gradually became organised, creating the student movement. Strikes took place in August at almost all the high schools, the University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Polytechnic Institute. There were continuous clashes, the army was on the streets. The National Strike Committee (CNH) was formed, proposing a six-point petition to bring an end to the student strike and stop the conflicts. The movement was essentially student-based, and although there were efforts to create bonds with workers and the peasants, they had little success. But the movement’s demands were not about education but about politics, and included reforms to the Constitution. 

Demonstrations continued to grow, 100, 200, 300 thousand people. 

We are unwilling to take steps we do not want, but we will take them if necessary.
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (President of Mexico) 

On 2 October, in the Plaza de las 3 culturas, in Tlatelolco, thousands of people gathered for a rally which was violently dispersed. The army and the Olympic Battalion besieged the square and attacked the unarmed crowd. It is estimated that between 300 and 400 were killed that afternoon, in addition to an undetermined number who were injured, arrested  and disappeared. 

On 12 October, the Olympic Games began. As the opening ceremony started, the giant screen in the Olympic stadium displayed the words “We offer and desire friendship with all peoples on the Earth”. Ten thousand white doves and forty thousand balloons took to the air. 

The student movement of 1968 in México is scarred by its ending: the brutal repression by the government. The movement became a symbol of purity and of righteousness, the image of the martyr was crystallised, the idea became solid. 

For us in 2018, it was impossible to imagine any social transformation programme that was not rooted in 1968. It was the absolute benchmark, and it is well-known that it is difficult to negotiate with saints. Our question was, “how do we grapple with this legacy?” 

Today in May 2048, 30 years on, we want to remember this film which failed to materialise. Today, 80 years after the movement of 68, we want to remember that the past does not exist; to remember that it is not even past.

Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, May 2048

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Gabino Rodriguez Lines (Mexico, 1983) is actor and director with a master’s degree in theatre from the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK). He began working in cinema, where so far he has contributed to over 30 feature-length films with directors such as Nicolás Pereda, Raya Martin, Gust Van der Berghe and Cary Fukunaga among others. In 2003, he and Luisa Pardo founded the collective Lagartijas tiradas al sol [Lizards in the sun], with which they create stage productions and publications. They have taken part in the Vienna Festwochen, the Paris Festival d’Automne, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Escena Contemporanea in Madrid, Transamériques in Montreal, Theater Spektakell in Zurich, and many more. They won the prize for best play at the National Festival of University Theatre in 2003 and 2005, and took part in the National Theatre Show in 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2014. In 2010, they were invited to the KunstenFestivaldesarts, for the “Residence and
Reflection” programme. The following year, 2011, they won the audience prize at the Impatience Festival in Paris and the ZKB Foldpreiss in Zurich. As a stage actor, he has collaborated with Jesusa Rodríguez, Daniel Veronese, Martín Acosta and Alberto Villarreal. In 2007 and 2017 he was nominated for Best Actor at the Ariel. In 2008 he took part in the Talent campus at the Film Festival in Berlin and the same year was a nominee for the “Rolex Mentor and protégé arts initiative” for his work in theatre. In 2009 he was awarded the Prix Janine Bazin at the Belfort Festival, and accredited with Best Performance at the Gramado Festival for his performance in Perpetuum Mobile. In 2011 the Toulouse Film Festival had a section dedicated to his work, as did the Paris Cinema Festival the same year. In 2014 the Cali Film Festival had a spotlight event called: Gabino Rodríguez.

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