Maria Pessino AKA Maria BacardiIn 2013 Maria Pessino changed her artist and stage name to Maria Bacardi and began a singing career. Please click to see Maria Bacardi's new works and events on her website mariabacardi.com

Troves

 

DESIRE, CAUGHT BY THE TAIL

By Pablo Picasso

 

Staged reading at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center,

Watermill, NY

2000

 

Designed and Directed by Maria Pessino

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

We offer you a strange dish, mi-figue, mi-raisin. During the first winter of the German occupation of Paris, Picasso laid aside his brushes for three days and emerged with a present concoction. It was clearly a painter’s recipe. The odor of oil which spreads through the play literally. The close of act four-is of oil of the atelier ,no less than of the cuisine. The congealed disrespectful will remark, “Three days? Obviously.” Or, “It reflects the decline of the French cuisine during the food crises”. This will exhaust sociological criticism. The reverent will marvel at this three-day wonder. But there are other alternatives than disrespect and reverence.

Add a Spanish chef, a bit ill at ease with the ingredients of the French language, which it must be observed, he abuses. The result is Le Desir Attrape par la Queue, which title rendered literally as Desire Caught by the Tail is a reproduction in black and white of painting, as the informed will agree; it should be a project of the uninformed to learn why.

The play is beyond criticism and likewise beyond those who seek more in it than a farcical creation of new objects and new relations. It does not invite comparison with Hamlet or Phedre, though it does with Ubu Roi. It says nothing of human destiny or the human condition. In an age which has discovered Man, it is gratifying to advise the reader that Picasso has nothing to say of man, nor or the universe. This in itself is a considerable achievement. In fact the characters are not even human. Nor, except for the Two Bow-wows, which articulate briefly, are they animal. This is a further achievement. The reader should note these matters.

Amusez-vous bien,

Bernard Frethman

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pablo Picasso (1881-1899) was born in 1881 in Spain. His birth name is 23 words long; the family called him Ruiz, not Pablo, when he was a boy.

His father taught drawing at a local Fine Arts school, which allowed Picasso to receive formal drawing and painting lessons from a very young age. In 1895, Picasso's father got a job at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. The professors at the school immediately recognized Picasso's talent; the young Picasso was accepted into the school and passed exams with comparable ratings to senior students.

At the tender age of 15, Picasso's famous oil painting "The First Communion" went on display in an exhibition in Barcelona. A year later, his painting "Science and Charity" won a competition in Malega. Picasso spent hours in the Prado, a local art museum, studying and copying works by master painters.

In 1898, Picasso came down with scarlet fever and was so sick that he had to take a break from school and art. Picasso finally recovered in early 1899 after more than six months of illness.

1900 
In 1900, Picasso changed his name from Ruiz to Pablo Picasso. He moved to Paris and strained his relationship with his parents by rejecting fine art styles in favor of new techniques. Picasso landed his first paid job, earning 150 francs each month for his paintings. Picasso wandered throughout Europe, a habit that he would continue for the rest of his life.

1901-1904
 The blue period in Picasso's work began after his dear friend, Casegemas, shot himself in the head after a woman rejected his love. This triggered a flurry of paintings, starting with "Death of Casegemas," painted in shades of blue. For three years, Picasso moved almost constantly and painted many depressing paintings, all in shades of blue, depicting sorrowful scenes.

1904-1906 
In 1904, Picasso began to work more colors into his palette again, especially shades of rose, which is why this time is referred to as his rose period. The subject matter he painted was still somber, depressing or disturbing, but lighter colors again appeared in his work. During these years, Picasso fell in love with a married model named Fernande Oliver, who refused to leave her husband. Picasso found himself fascinated by performers at the circuses he attended with Olivier. Many of his paintings from this era feature circus performers, who Picasso saw as representative of the outcasts of society.

1907-1918 
In 1907, Picasso became fascinated with angular African sculptures. Inspired by these sharp angles, Picasso began to paint in the style now known as Cubism. He began by painting profile noses onto frontal views of faces, but the style soon evolved to include still life paintings of fruit and other subjects.

1918-1936 
Picasso settled down and married a dancer named Olga Khokhlova. At first, Picasso returned to a more conventional style as he painted dancers and mothers with children. As his struggles with his celebrity status increased, his style changed again and again and he delved into surrealism. During this time, Picasso had an affair with a young nurse in charge of his child.

1937-1945 
Picasso's work became political for a short while, including a mural he painted depicting the bombing of Guernica. Picasso actively handed the Nazis copies of anti-war prints he had produced during the occupation of France.

1946-1973 
In his later years, Picasso devoted his talents to painting humanitarian images and fighting for peace. He even named one of his children Paloma, which means "peace". Picasso had many lovers over the years and seemed unable to remain faithful to any one woman. He passed away at the age of 92.

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SELECTIONS FROM PICASSO’S STAGE DIRECTIONS

 

Act I

Scene I – None

Scene II – Storm

 

Act II

Scene I – A corridor in hotel Sordid. Shadows of monkeys eating carrots.

Scene II – All characters in bathtub filled with soapsuds in period costumes. Undertaker dumps actors in coffins and carries them off.

 

Act III

Scene I – None

Scene II – Characters cut off big foots hair until bald. Whips of sun strike the actresses through venetian blinds. All actresses faint, covered in blood.

 

Act IV

Potatoes are heard, seen and smelled in boiling oil. Smoke of potatoes fills the theater to complete suffocation.

 

Act V

Tart pisses, farts and syphillises for a good fifteen minutes.

 

Act VI

In the sewer bedroom of the Anguishes. Actors, filthy dirty, get out of bed filled with French fried potatoes.

 

 

CAST

Scott Core, Larry Nathanson, Michael Citranini, Janice Bishop, Jacqui Leader, Dominique Hawksly, Eric Davies, Kristin Sinkel.

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