An Apartment on Uranus

Michał Borczuch

After reading Paul B. Preciado's books, nothing is as it was before. Old concepts and divisions become meaningless. The pharmacopornographic capitalistic system finally becomes the merciless enemy of the individual.

Premiere: 03.03.2022 Tickets: 50/35 PLN

After reading Paul B. Preciado's books, nothing is as it was before. Old concepts and divisions become meaningless. The pharmacopornographic capitalistic system finally becomes the merciless enemy of the individual.

Premiere: 03.03.2022 Tickets: 50/35 PLN

Michał Borczuch directed in Nowy Theatre the following plays: The Apocalypse, Cinema of Moral Anxiety and The Call of Cthulhu. Now he is the first one to introduce Preciado’s texts into theatre and activate their performative power. The essays he adapts come from the book An Apartment on Uranus and are not translated into Polish yet. 

Pharmacopornographic capitalism is a systemic formation in which we live today, unaware of the rules and consequences of functioning in the system. Michał Borczuch transfers the brilliant and radical theories of Paul B. Preciado to the stage and builds a new utopian reality out of them. He focuses on the topic of sexual transition, taking it out of the author's intimate zone and transferring it to the field of universal experience. The structure of the performance is based on the personal story of Anu Czerwiński, someone who went through the transition in Poland. The nightmare of the formal and procedural hell is contrasted with the search for a new future, in which the identity of the individual will have secured conditions for development, and interpersonal relations will be based on new values and guaranteed by new rules of coexistence. This utopian reality grows in strength during the performance and slowly engulfs the entire audience, giving everyone a strong experience of community. At least for a few moments, we believe that we do not need to flee to Uranus to fulfill our desires.

PROPHET: I bring you a tiding of a passage that leads neither to the kingdom of God on earth nor to the cesspool. I come to speak, to you as well as to the dead, but also to those who live as if they were no longer alive. But above all to speak to the cursed and the innocent children who have not yet come into this world.

APOSTLE TOMASZ: With Michał Borczuch, we are preparing a stage adaptation of Paul Beatriz Preciado's An Apartment on Uranus, translated by Sławomir Królak. The texts included in the book were written mainly in airports and hotel rooms. They were commissioned by the French newspaper Libération and other European media from 2013 until the first months of 2018. If there is a prophet whose way of thinking challenges the system, there are Apostles to

APOSTLE JAŚMINA: When the texts began to be written, He/His name was Beatriz. Although, as a queer lesbian, he already was a dissenter, in terms of his social position and legal situation he remained a woman.

APOSTLE MARTA: Having finished working on these memoirs, still standing at the crossroads, he signed them with a new name. He was holding in his hand a new identity card in which the sex by law was registered as male.

APOSTLE ANU: Passage is a journey accompanied at every step by risk, the unobvious, a sense of bizarreness and alienation. But this is not a weakness, therein lies the greatest strength.

APOSTLE BARTEK: Nothing that happens to me is unique. I am subject to the same planetary metamorphosis as everything around me.

APOSTLE MICHAŁ: In the words of Paul B.: I would go so far as to say that it is the processes of transition that allow us to explore the global transformation of politics, which takes place right in front of our eyes.

The citations are taken from Paul B. Preciado's An Apartment on Uranus, translated by Sławomir Królak.

Paul B. Preciado is a Spanish writer, philosopher and art curator. He studied Philosophy and Gender Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York where his mentors were, amongst others, Agnes Heller and Jacques Derrida. He obtained his PhD in philosophy and architectural theory at Princeton University. His major interests include issues of identity, gender, architecture, and sexuality. He is one of the most widely read contemporary authors working on queer theory. 

His first book, Countersexual Manifesto (2000) became a key reference for European queer and trans activism. Two of his books have been published in Poland so far. First one, Testo Junkie. Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in The Pharmacopornographic Era is a diary that documents the author's intake of testosterone and in the same time it is dedicated to the political history of technologies related to human sexuality. The starting point of the second one, Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboys Architecture and Biopolitics, was Preciado's idea for a dissertation on the conversion of Saint Augustine as a transsexual experience.

Preciado was also director of public programmes at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art from 2012 to 2014, curator of public programmes carried out as part of documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens in 2017, and curator of the Taiwanese pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. He collaborates with the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

An Apartment on Uranus, which will not be published in Poland until autumn 2022, is a collection of essays by Paul B. Preciado originally published in the French newspaper Libération. In these short forms, Preciado, a cosmopolitan born in Spain, educated in Paris and New York, and living in Athens and Paris, describes the experiences of nearly seven years of his international travels while undergoing a process of transition. “I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not heterosexual. I am not homosexual. I am a dissident of the sex-gender system. I am the multiplicity of the cosmos trapped in a binary political and epistemological system shouting in from of you”, says the introduction. The subject of reflections, anecdotes, but also philosophical discourse is the physical crossing of borders, both in formal and identity dimensions and in the personal, but also global and political sphere.

Cast

Guest cast

  • Marta Ojrzyńska
  • Monika Niemczyk
  • Anu Czerwiński
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Information

  • An adaptation of Paul Beatriz Preciado’s An Apartment on Uranus, translated by Sławomir Królak
  • Direction: Michał Borczuch
  • Adaptation and dramaturgy: Tomasz Śpiewak
  • Set and costumes: Dorota Nawrot
  • Music: Bartosz Dziadosz
  • Light Design: Robert Mleczko
  • Videoesej: Anu Czerwiński
  • Make up: Monika Kaleta 
  • Assistant director: Michał Lorent 
     
  • Cast:
    Bartosz Bielenia / Magdalena Koleśnik (6, 7, 8 May)
    Anu Czerwiński

    Bartosz Gelner
    Jaśmina Polak

    Jacek Poniedziałek
    Jan Sobolewski
    Monika Niemczyk
    Marta Ojrzyńska

    A reproduction of the painting "Bigger Man" by Veronica Hapchenko courtesy of the artist and the Import Export gallery.

See also

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