East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

52°43'N 19°42'E PROJECT, Poland

Sylwia Śmigiel
(+48) 501966366

San Fernando Valley: teaser (full version)

Be_Hot_Famous_Saint_Dead: teaser

Information about institution: 

Wojtek Faruga, director, creator of Project explaints:

“Truly speaking we are not an institution. We make up a performing arts collective and we are able to develop our projects due to the support given by the Polish Centre of International Association of Theatres for Children and Young People ASSITEJ.  

We are not a theatre nor a theatrical group, as we wouldn’t even like to be one. We named ourselves a "project" since a project is a temporary entity. We are all associated with the Polish Centre of ASSITEJ where we all met to begin with. Some of us had the opportunity to meet on the set of a diploma performance "Quai Ouest" (2008), others as partaking in the artistic group "Teraz Poliż" (established in 2008) and the rest when they were cast for "I'm Sorry" (2009), a performance that takes place in Na Woli Theatre.

We are constantly seeking new connections and contacts, and keep involving new people into our project. Our project has hopes for future international cooperation. In January 2010 we decided that we wanted to create our own piece of theatre, but we didn't quite know what it would entail - thus making it more exciting. After 10 months of work, the play "Carson City" was born and its popularity overcame our expectations. The premiere took place in Riga (Latvia) at the Dirty Drama Festa in September 2010. "Carson City" was part of the following festivals: Cena Contemporânea - Festival Internacional de Teatro de Brasília 2011 and the Festival International de Théâtre de Mont-Laurier 2011 (Quebec/Canada). "Carson City" is the primary part of the tetralogy "Be_Hot_Famous_Saint_Dead" which also consists of the sequels: "San Fernando Valley" (2011), "Virginia Town" (2012), "New Heaven" (2013). The premiere of "San Fernando Valley" took place at the Kulturausbesserungswerk Leverkusen. We also performed "San Fernando Valley" in Köln and Warsaw. Believing in what we do and enjoying it is of great importance to us".

Director, creator of the project is Wojtek Faruga, cast/key personnel: Szymon Celej (actor, graphic designer), Mariusz Kamiński (actor), Przemysław Kazusek (actor), Adrianna Kornecka (actress), Sebastian Królikowski (actor), Damian Kwiatkowski (actor), Emanuela Osowska (actress), Agata Sasinowska (actress), Mateusz Winiarek (producer), Kamila Worobiej (actress), Marcin Zbyszyński (director’s assistant), Charlotta Zielińska (actress).

The 52°43'N 19°42'E PROJECT aims to be: ridiculous, shocking, holy, ambiguous, ostentatious.

The most important projects: 

The most important projects:

TETRALOGY: BE_HOT_FAMOUS_SAINT_DEAD – the creators began their work with an attempt to examine records of police surveillance through performance. Their initial idea came the story of a murderer that replays the scene of his crime in front of an audience – his judges. This was the source of the sort of theater they wanted to bring to life. In parallel to this, their attention was directed towards ancient drama. They started combining surveillance records and ancient monologues.

On one hand, the creators were inspired by crime and on the other hand, they were examining themselves and each other, analyzing the reasons as to why they want to make a play about this particular subject. Various books, films, articles and overheard stories started appearing and the research led them into information about a gas chamber that was invented in the United States and used for the first time in Carson City in the year of 1926. This information gave inspiration to the creation of a story about the USA, a story that completely absorbed, converted and reinvented all of their previously collected material. An idea for a tetralogy appeared, which on a personal level would act as compensation for the myth of an America that formed us.

- We grew up in the 90s – a time when, after the fall of the communism, the wonderful process of Americanization reached Poland. Images of beauty, violence or sex that I have absorbed, are based on American or, at least, Americanized imagery. Our aim is to summon those images and form dialogue with them. Each part of the tetralogy will show a different city and a different category - said Wojtek Faruga.

CARSON CITY - a small, quiet, alarmingly dull and insipid town in Nevada: white fences, perfectly mowed lawns, and flawless sunsets. Here, in the twenties of the previous century, a man was executed for the first time in history by the inhalation of gas; which, surpringly, was an American invention. From that moment on all the inhabitants of Carson City are subconsciously infected with death - they're internally overwhelmed by it and disaster is constantly in the air.

Regardless of the apparent tranquility, it seems that a bomb is ticking away somewhere, that this quiet town is going to run amok any moment now. An outsider appears in town, with no name and no memory; he's like a catalyst, accelerating the reaction. The son of a respectable citizen dies, a small and defenseless boy, and nobody reacts. Gradually, a strange determination wells up in the whole town: Steven - a journalist of the local newspaper, who is trying to deal with visions from his childhood of an UFO abduction, Jennifer - an overly decent and exemplary daughter; sister of the paralyzed Alba, Beningo - a nurse, who is taking care of Alba, Anna - the young and beautiful wife of Edward, who frequently goes away for business trips and Virginia - the mother of the murdered child, who in revenge for the death of her son starts shooting at the defenseless inhabitants of Carson City.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY - a story about pornography - an attempt to observe the transformation within porn films in terms of tension, history and changes within the 20th century. The starting point of this play was the "Stalag fiction" – books that fetishisized trauma. They appeared in Israel in the sixties and rapidly gained extraordinary popularity. Their storyline was very schematic. During World War II - the characters were allied soldiers who have been caught by Nazis. They are put in a prisoner-of-war camp (called the "Stalags"), and are being tortured and raped by sadistic female Nazis jailers. In the end, the hero sets himself free and avenges his torturers by raping and murdering them. However, in reality he feels an extreme sexual attraction to them from the very beginning. What we find the most interesting is the whole process of fetishization of reality and history.

Aside from the "Stalags", we are also examining, through performance, some examples of porn films – from the silent films in the twenties to the cult pictures from the seventies: Deep Throat and Cafe Flesh – an apocalyptic vision of the world after a nuclear disaster where people divide into two groups: the sexually positive, who are able to have sex and the sexually negative, who are only able to observe. We went as far as researching the more contemporary function of the webcam.

All of this is linked with the story of the "average and normal" inhabitants of San Fernando Valley – the American capital of the porn industry. Here, the reality is constantly fetishisized and pornography becomes the benchmark for reality. Through this, a vicious circle is formed.

TELE_RE_VISION - 52°43'N19°42'E PROJECT co-established the Turn Off The System project for the History Meeting House in 2010 and 2011. The project evolves around the anniversary of the first, free elections in Poland as well as the fall of communism in general – thus the name “Turn Off The System” was formed. "Turn Off The System" is an attempt to create a newer, happier form of celebration that is stripped of any type of martyrdom. The purpose is to give the people in Poland an opportunity to express their satisfaction and joy. Due to this event, the 52°43'N19°42'E PROJECT prepared a performative action with the title "Tele_re_vision". The idea behind this action was to create a fictional television guide to be broadcast in a contemporary Poland still governed by a communistic regime.

The participants of the event were invited to a reconstructed television studio from the 1980's where they could watch the recording process of the TV shows. This performance turned out to be a slightly amusing and sentimental journey back to the hits of Polish television with shows such as "Dynasty", "Dziennik Telewizyjny" ("Everyday News") and "Koncert życzeń" ("Concert of Wishes") – where the viewers were able to dedicate their favorite songs to their family and friends). The project gave the audience an opportunity to watch the given material on a broadcast screen as well as to take part in some of the selected programmes.

THE CURSE – the performance is based on a play written by Stanisław Wyspiański at the beginning of the twentieth century. This creation is an attempt to render the form of a Greek tragedy into a Slavic setting. Wyspiański's inspiration to write "The Curse" goes back to a criminal notice found in a local newspaper. The notice referred to the discovery of three burned corpses in a forest – a woman and her two young children. In his drama Wyspiański tries to reconstruct the past and that what might have caused this terrifying death. He elevated the criminal story to the level of a Greek tragedy.

The merging of the ancient form and the modern subject is what makes this creation extraordinary. What fascinated Wyspiański were certain mechanisms in society such as exclusion and victimization. The production of 52°43'N19°42'E PROJECT focuses on intersecting the mythological style, which in the performance has been facilitated by the use of a choir. The modern style is carried out through acting scenes. 52°43'N19°42'E PROJECT has invited the Warsaw Female Choir "Harfa" consisting of retired philharmonic singers. The fusion of the young actors and the elderly singers enables one to focus on Wyspiański's play and attempt to understand it through two different world perspectives.

International cooperations: 

International cooperation:

52°43'N19°42'E PROJECT has participated in: Dirty Drama Festa 2010 (Riga / Latvia), Cena Contemporânea - Festival Internacional de Teatro de Brasília 2011  (Brasília  / Brazil) and the Festival International de Théâtre de Mont-Laurier 2012 (Quebec / Canada). The project is working under auspices of Polish Centre of ASSSITEJ a part of big international ASSITEJ network.


"WAW><RIX" interdisciplinary project coproduction with Dirty Deal Teatro form Riga,
"New Heaven" 4th part of "Be_Hot_Famous_Saint_Dead" - tetralogy co-production with the Critical Mass Performance Group form Los Angeles.