Digging the Archive: Santa Sofia. Teatro Khmer
In Santa Sofia. Teatro Khmer (1986) the set is dominated by an enormous Byzantine icon of the Pantocrator Christ, staring with a piercing gaze the audience, as well as the five figures on stage: that of the prophet of the destruction of the image: the emperor of Constantinople Leo III Isaurus, the “greatest iconoclast of the contemporary age”: the Cambodian red Khmer leader Pol Pot, who had asked his soldiers to destroy everything that came from the contaminating West, a child to be sacrificed and two stylite monks holding machine guns. Pol Pot is presented in a catatonic stage, lying sick and motionless in bed throughout the duration of the performance, introducing the concept of “theatrical paralysis”, which was further developed in the company’s subsequent great productions, I Miserabili [The Miserables] (1987) and Alla bellezza tanto antica [In praise of such ancient beauty] (1988).
Chiara Guidi as Pol Pot
Photo from the volume 20 Years of Eurøkaz, Zagreb, 2006
Item 19_04_211, The Archive of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio