In the year that marks the centenary of José Saramago, Imaginarius – International Street Theatre Festival of Santa Maria da Feira celebrates its full return to the public space and pays homage once again to the literary work of the Nobel Prize in Literature with the presentation, in world premiere, of the multidisciplinary installation and performance “Venham enfim as altas alegrias”. A creation of plastic artist Fábio Araújo, which proposes a journey through Saramago’s books in the gardens of the Municipal Library, where 20 years ago the writer celebrated his 80th birthday.
Inspired by the poem “Venham enfim”, by José Saramago, the installation and multidisciplinary performance “Venham enfim as altas alegrias” brings to mind the novels, poems and short stories of the Nobel Prize in Literature, in a path built with wooden pallets that transports participants and spectators to imaginary places, populated by fragments, ideas, quotes, clues and even rumours that refer to Saramago’s universe and imagination.
There are books that are unavoidable in this ten-station route, such as “The Cave”, “Blindness” or “Baltasar and Blimunda”, among others, but the plastic artist guarantees that not only those who know the literary work of José Saramago must interact and participate. Fábio Araújo wants to arouse the imagination, curiosity and interest of those who have never read a book or a short story by the Nobel Prize in Literature.
During the festival, the Municipal Library gardens will be populated by installations with objects built in residence and by a contemplation space, integrated in a route with multiple entrances and exits, where the public chooses what they want to see and what they want to do. An exercise in full freedom and permanent discovery, where nothing is explicit or linear.
The creation “Venham enfim as altas alegrias” is being finalized and has the active participation of six students from the 11th year of the Visual Arts Course at the Santa Maria da Feira Secondary School (Alexandrina Costa, Ana Rebelo, Catarina Silva , Lara Jesus, Maria Louro and Maria Moreira), who for about two months have supported the artist Fábio Araújo in the design and construction of the objects that make up the installation, in addition to the participation that they will all have in the performance during the festival.
Resulting from a challenge launched to the artist by the Municipal Library of Santa Maria da Feira, within the scope of the celebrations of the centenary of José Saramago, the creation by Fábio Araújo is one of the seven Portuguese premieres of Imaginarius and will be shown on 26, 27 and 28 May, always at 10:30 pm, at the library gardens.
It is not the first time that Imaginarius has honoured the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2011, the festival presented, in its Portuguese premiere, the Polish production “The Blind”, by the company KTO, based on the work “Blindness”. In 2013, the play “Jangada de Pedra”, a theatrical adaptation of José Saramago’s work by the theatre group O Bando, premiered at the 13th edition of Imaginarius, in the presence of the writer’s wife, Pilar del Rio. A landmark was also the tribute paid by the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira to José Saramago on 16 November 2002, the date on which the Nobel Prize in Literature celebrated his 80th birthday at the Municipal Library.
Imaginarius takes place from 26 to the 29 May in the public space of Santa Maria da Feira. 178 artists from 35 companies from 16 countries will pass through the 13 stages of the festival, in a total of 140 presentations in 4 days of programming. The complete programme is available HERE.