Many cities or countries have a distinct malaise. They are places that could be Portugal, so sunk in a painful longing of the past, and where each tension of the present is only the tip of an iceberg that is explained in successive retreats that can go straight until origin of the species, at least:
– The city of Istanbul often plunges into a state the Turks call Hüzün: a kind of acute, collective melancholy that comes with the rain and the cold wind from the East and devours everything.
– The heart of Trieste stopped beating in 1914 when the bodies of the Austro-Hungarian archdukes were transported there after they were murdered in Sarajevo. Since then the port city has been renamed Tristesse.
– Since Wales became the first colony of the British empire in 1285, the Welsh experience a state they call Hiraeth, a deep incompleteness that misses a home to which one cannot return to.
– In Germany the Sehnsucht is lamented, in Moscow to Toska, in Memphis the Blues are played, in Bucharest the Pain is felt, throughout the former Yugoslavia ruminates to Jugonostalgija …
This feeling common to many latitudes is often presented as a diagnosis, a denial of a painful present as opposed to the desire to return to a glorious past. Pedro Penim thus creates a performance that begins in 2017 and goes back in time through an Atlas of melancholy.