Get to know the artists of Buffer Fringe 2023 up close!
Fringe Uncut blog series aims at peaking into the backstage of the 10th edition of the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, taking place from the 4th until the 8th of October, including parallel activities and workshops.
This edition hosts Marlen Puello answering questions about their performance “The Rest of it Al” at Buffer Fringe 2023, their inspiration and more. Read on and get yourself ready to immerse into the world of Buffer Fringe!
Q. Can you describe your performance? (the topic you focus on, the main message of the performance, etc)
“The Rest of it All” is an interactive performance in constant evolution. Designed for transient and unconventional spaces, the duration of the piece can range from 15 to 40 minutes depending on the audience, as the spectator plays a pivotal role in shaping the performance. The viewer complements and continually transforms the work. This performative presentation introduces the concept of “We are with others,” acknowledging that we are beings in interaction and that being part of a collective is essential. What happens when we don’t fit in or deviate from the norm? What is at stake in that encounter with the Other?
Q. What was the inspiration behind this piece?
It has been a quasi-autobiographical project. I am a multicultural “patchwork.” The rest of it all within me is an ongoing question.
Q. Can you tell us about your creative process developing the piece?
In general, I like to approach the creative process from the standpoint of a proposal and a meeting with the performing artist. I bring ideas to the table, but I propose co-creation. We had a first stage of working on content related to identity, then we moved on to an improvisation stage, and finally, we structured the performance. Considering that the piece has an open format, we always take into account the possible options based on what the audience might do. That’s the most exciting part because we never know exactly what will happen.
Q. How would you describe your performance in relation to the festival theme “Turning Point”?
Regarding the theme of the “Turning Point” Festival and the performance “The Rest of It All,” I believe that the perspective we have on reality transforms it. Accepting the other person’s difference implies that not only does the other person go through the process, but I am also involved. I have to move, to act, as I am a part of it. Every connection is two-way, and every difference is an opportunity to create a connection. In our time of acceleration, simultaneity, and hyperculture, flexibility to change is essential. We need to move away from anthropocentrism and consider ourselves as beings in relation.
Q. Buffer Fringe Festival celebrates its 10th edition this year, yet considering Fringe tradition, it’squite young. It’s also defined as a festival with an aim to contribute to peacebuilding, in a divided country. What are your thoughts on this, were you aware of the situation in Cyprus before applying, and what are your expectations as a participating artist?
First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Buffer Fringe Festival. I am thrilled to be a part of this festival celebrating its tenth edition and with a unique focus on peacebuilding in a divided country.
Before applying to participate in the festival, I had a basic understanding of the situation in Cyprus as a divided nation. However, my involvement in the festival has provided me with the opportunity to deepen my understanding and awareness of the challenges and opportunities that Cyprus faces in its pursuit of reconciliation and peace.
As an artist, I believe that art has a transformative power and plays a significant role in bridging divides and promoting dialogue. My expectation as a participant is to make a meaningful contribution to the festival’s mission of using the arts to foster understanding and collaboration among divided communities in Cyprus. I hope that my artistic work can serve as a vehicle for reflection and connection among people, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds or nationalities.
In a world marked by acceleration and cultural diversity, it is crucial to promote flexibility, openness, and adaptability to change. I believe this festival provides a unique space to explore these qualities and to reimagine ourselves as beings in relation, transcending pre-existing divisions.
In summary, I am excited to be a part of this artistic and human experience in Cyprus, and I hope that my work contributes positively to the pursuit of peace and understanding in a country with a complex history and present.
Q. What should the audience expect?
The audience should expect to feel part of a proposal that aims to establish connections amidst the differences.
The Rest of it Al/ 5th of October / Home for Cooperation / 21:30-22:10