Fringe Uncut Ep.4: Antigone, a Hubris

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 OMADA7 answering questions about their performance “Antigone, a Hubris” at Buffer Fringe 2023, their inspiration and more. Read on and get yourself ready to immerse into the world of Buffer Fringe!

Q. Please introduce yourself/your group.

Omada 7 is a research art group. Our work is based on axes that touch on the one hand the cultural peculiarities of the country and on the other hand the use and subversion of methods and techniques of post-dramatic theatre. The troupe was formed in 2003 and has over twenty productions to its credit so far, in which artists of various specialties and volunteers participate each time.

The nature of our productions is research in terms of the integration and synthesis of performance art forms and methods: in situ installations, use of multimedia, theater of invention, modern theatrical kinesiology, visual arts, education, etc. How can the “classical” theater methods, devised theatre, performance, in situ installations, physical theatre, the use of multimedia, today be combined and constitute an interesting, for the spectators and creative for the artists, form of creation?

Structural elements and operating principles of Omada 7 are:

– the creative reconciliation of different aesthetics through the personal expression of each partner.

– the use and management of space (public or private) as an artistic environment.

– the use of a variety of audio-visual material.

– the processing of texts as part of a dialogue with modern dramaturgy.

– the role and position of research theater in modern Greek reality.

– the interaction and conciliation with the wider environment of the international scene.

Q. Can you describe your performance? (the topic you focus on, the main message of the performance, etc)

Sophocle’s text and philosopher Cornelios Castoriades’ thoughts are vehicles for revisiting a classic play, using the materials of devised theatre and contemporary reality, as we experience it in the troupe

Omada7 engages in a dialogue with the perpetual tragic feeling of this “most troublous of all creatures”. “Terrible wonders walk the world but none the match for man” Sophocle’s wrote. “Nothing is more awesome, astonishing, achievement-capable, than man” the philosopher says.

We ask questions:

Is resistance to the hubris of authority a moral duty?

Can resistance become hubris?

Can we resist to that?

Is our judgement the only valid one?

Are we capable of listening to other opinions and to different people?

Are we really capable of listening to the Other?

For Castoriadis and Omada7, Antigone represents a peak of democratic political thought which condemns  “being wise alone”. It recognises the innate hubris of human beings and responds to it with wisdom.

Q. What was the inspiration behind this piece?

In the texts  that come from the depths of the centuries and seem not to grow old, not to grow old. Today, what kind of experience can we have without being weighed down by our ancient marbles.

We wanted to measure the distance of the work from our narratives, to make the memory a present experience, to form another collective, with a cohesive tissue the well-known story of Antigone and her resistance. We tried, above all, to face the distances that cannot be bridged: the tragedy of this “worst” of all creatures, man.

In this terrible passage perhaps our only support is precisely this first person plural, we. Is resistance an attitude / response to the Absence of power or can it become Absence itself?

Q. Can you tell us about your creative process developing the piece?

Our intention in all our productions is to create an action like a journey that unites the past with the present and the future.

So during the troupe’s rehearsal period, with the main element of improvisation, we invent visual installations as a stage space, multiple audio-visual installations/projections, parallel texts, etc., with the performance intention that people, objects, images, sounds, memories and smells travel freely to everyone.

Dominant concepts that preoccupy our thinking and work such as power, fear, submission, freedom, love, wisdom, resistance, death are always there. Then, Now and  in the future.

If  the caricatures Antigone’s Horus  came today and watched the news? If  they traveled through time and met us what would they tell us and what would we want to know? What happened when Antigone crossed the distance from the city walls to the dead brother’s body? How many transitions, escalations, intercepts, and accelerations took place during this crossing? Today; What kinds of readings could Antigone perform? And what distances does it ask us to cover?

Q. How would you describe your performance in relation to the festival theme “Turning Point”?

The concepts of power/ authority, resistance and hubris as a complex, in the current grim reality, are of deep concern to us. We wanted to focus, not on the presentation of the well-known story of Antigone, but on the questions that arise from it for us today.

What comes before irrevocable decisions? What are the centers of authority today? The palaces, the governments? The financial lobby? What margins of resistance do we have and how can this resistance be defined? What implications do we face and how prepared are we for it?

The concept of displacement either in the form of punitive or violent imposition, or in the form of a marginalization of the individual imposed from above, is included both in our own performance, and in Sophocles with the “displacement” from Antigone’s life itself. A network of themes that are still unsurpassed and desperately relevant today. In a global, homogenized and gloomy environment, as long as humanity does not take bold steps of improvement and continues its self-destructive course, as it does for at least 2,500 years that separate us from these emblematic works of human thought, we will be trapped in ‘ a closed, vicious circle where “reality” and its image intertwine and all together interact with the timeless tragedy of this “worst” of all creatures, Man.

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?

As Greek artists, it is a fact that we feel a deep kinship with the Cypriot people, we know not only the fact of the dichotomy of Cyprus, but also the tragic consequences in the lives of the people of this country until today.

Through the art of theater, the only thing we can effectively do as a resistance against the structure and operation of any kind of authority that contradicts humanistic values is to march as consistently as possible towards them.

For Omada7, it is shocking and at the same time extremely honorable that our Antigone will stand up and speak fearlessly, in a dead zone, in a non-place, which we hope will soon be a place of full light for all the Cypriot people. To be the “land of the lemon, the olive”. The “golden leaf cast into the sea”, without dividing lines.

Q. What should the audience expect?

Our audience will watch, the result of the research process from which it emerged, a stage installation with audio-visual media and a peculiar distribution with three female performers, sharing all the roles, but also interjecting their personal opinions and experiences

The 15 people of the Dance, who belong to the high echelons of power and have absolute personal responsibility for what is done and what is not done, come on stage through a video, mediated, and its function expands and looks like at the same time frighteningly “alive” but also essentially absent.

We assumed that the meeting place of all the characters is a rotten international financial center. Which without realizing it or caring, disintegrates and makes, in this destructive course, decisions for the fate of the planet and people.

In this closed, vicious circle of modern “civilized” power, soundscapes can flirt with noise and create a hazy and ambiguous atmosphere while any claim to true dialogue is lost in the incoherence of parallel monologues.

The character of the performance Antigone, a Hubris, is research in terms of the integration and synthesis of performance art forms and methods: in situ installations, use of multimedia, theater of invention, modern theatrical kinesiology, visual arts, education, etc.We are concerned with how the “classical” theatrical methods, devised theatre, Performance, in situ installations, physical theatre, the use of multimedia, the techniques of post-dramatic theater, can today be combined and form an interesting, for the spectators and creative for artists, form of creation.

Antigone, a Hubris / 6th of October / Gardens of the Future / 21:30-22:30



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