Stone Theatre

Book Launch with Camila Sposati and Diedrich Diederichsen

Brazilian artist Camila Sposati will talk with Diedrich Diederichsen about her project Earth Anatomical Theatre (2014), a conical and subterranean anatomical theater based on a 16th century theater in Padua, and constructed on Itaparica island in Bahia, Brazil. The work established an intense dialogue with Itaparica’s Island in all of its spheres, demanding unorthodox negotiations with the geographic conditions, the island’s authorities and the local community. Throughout the process of collaboration with local workers, authors, dancers and musicians, Sposati took the theater space as a platform for experimentation. With Diederichsen she will talk about her use of materials, the ethics of art and how to work as an artist in a place (and on things) one is not part of.
Stone Theatre records the long and troubled history of the construction of the Anatomical Theatre of the Earth by the artist Camila Sposati during the 3rd Biennial of Bahia (2014). Placing the project in relation to earlier research and works, Stone Theatre brings out the specificity of the artist’s thought and gives a comprehensive introduction to Sposati’s layered practice.

Anatomical Theatre of the Earthwas a wooden construction based on the form of a small circular arena with the stage in the center and around it the seats for the audience watching the scenic performances. In form and concept it referred to the Renaissance amphitheaters where the first dissections of human and animal corpses, in front of curious and astonished looks, took place. The theatre was however not built on the ground, but excavated in it to a depth of nearly six meters, behind the still standing façade of a colonial house in ruin, on the island of Itaparica, next to Salvador. Sposati intended not only to create a space for theatrical experiences, but also - and above all - a framework that would lead the public to leave the surface of the world and down, literally, into the immemorial depths of the Earth’s inside.

“The hole is an image and also a vacuum that makes us question and feel a belonging to the Earth, the experience of being alive, vitality,” explains the artist, about the project that was started far from Bahia, in Turkmenistan, where Sposati researched “holes” produced by nature and also by the exploitation of man in the Soviet era.
“Teatro Anatômico da Terra is not configured as an illustration or summary of those experiences. Its very existence proposes a staging of the drama of the Modern based on each of its acts: geologic layers, an archaeology of the species and of civilization, a brutal increase in scale, the eruption of a new time in space and, under the Bergsonian perspective, the confrontation with the void (that which nature abhors, the horror vacui) and the need for another form of energy that is able to fill it.” writes the curator and art critic Marcelo Rezende in one of the texts in this book that both analyses the challenging work of Sposati and questions the reader about the relations between art, nature, history and thought.

Camila Sposati was born in Sao Paulo and has been living and working between Brazil and Europe for many years. Her works investigate transformation and energy processes, using methods that often approach scientific research methodologies. She has examined processes on microscopic and global scale, such as the growth of crystals in laboratories and the geological effects on the Earth’s crust on different sites. In her work, Sposati juxtaposes material and historical processes in order to challenge official time and its significations.

Sposati’s research has taken her to the Amazon, the dry backlands of Northeast Brazil, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the United Kingdom, France, Holland and Japan. Her work has been supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Goldsmiths College, Goethe Institut, Mairie de Paris, British Council, University College London, Arts Catalyst, Tokyo Wonder Site, Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea. She exhibited ao at the 10th Mercosul Biennale, Porto Alegre?(2015), CCBB Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2015), 3rd Bahia Biennale, Salvador (2014), Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2013), Eleven Rivington Gallery, New York (2013).

Diedrich Diederichsen is a writer, cultural critic and intellectual who works continuously on pop-music, contemporary art, modern composition, cinema, theater, design and politics. He was the editor of musicl journal such as Sounds and Spex. Diederichsen has taught in numerous university, amongst them ath the Merz-Academy in Stuttgart, the Art Center in Pasadena, HfG in Offenbach, Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar, Washington University in St. Louis, Städelschule Frankfurt. Since 2006, he is Professor for Theory, Practice, and Communication of Contemporary Art at the Institute for Art History & Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Art, Vienna.

His texts appear in several magazines, dailies and journals in the German speaking world (Texte zur Kunst, Theater heute, Cargo, Die Zeit, tageszeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung and many others). His most recent books include Körpertreffer – Zur Ästhetik der nachpopulären Künste (Adorno Lectures), 2017; Über Pop-Musik,2014; The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside, 2013. For a complete list of publications visit: