Travels from the East coast of America to the West of Canada, September 2015

Whilst in New York in September 2015 I was able to meet with the Canadian writer Erika Luckert who wrote Guernica a play, performed in 2011 and 2012. This remaking forms another of the research case studies into 21st century collective remakings of Picasso’s Guernica. In the interview we spoke about the process of translating the painting into a theatrical production. Significantly the six human figures featured in Picasso’s painting become the people on stage going about their lives on market day on the 26th April 1937 just before the aerial attack on the town occurs. It is through these few people the many killed that day are represented and remembered. Erika spoke about the important role the Director played in the process of translation. Travelling overland by train from New York, Joe Hague (co-camerman) and I continued on to Montreal to meet the play’s Director Jon Lachlan-Stewart. Jon talked about a key moment in the translation process in which the cast came to realise that the play explores Picasso as a destructive force as well as the destruction of the town of Guernica.

Guernica a play, 2011. Nextfest, Edmonton. Courtesy of Erika Luckert.
Guernica a play, 2011. Nextfest, Edmonton. Courtesy of Erika Luckert.

Edmonton in Canada was the final destination of this 2015 research trip into collective remakings of Picasso’s Guernica. I visited the play write Erika Luckert’s family home to look through the materials she had kept from the production of Guernica to learn more about her characterisation of the people depicted in Picasso’s Guernica and to collect materials for the 2017 exhibition I am planning on Guernica Remakings.

Whilst in Edmonton I also interviewed the plays Stage Manager of the 2012 Guernica Canadian tour Gillian Bird and the Designer of the play, Kevin Boyer.

I took the Guernica banner with me when I travelled to share our experience of collectively remaking Picasso’s Guernica as a protest banner. This really helped connect us as makers, enabling a sharing of motivations, practices and interpretations.

Guernica Remakings Videos

The interviews carried out on this series of trips are going to be released here on: as a series of videos. An exhibition of the remakings featured in this research will also be on display in July / August 2017 in Brighton, UK marking the 80th year from the bombing of the town of Guernica.