The National Body


Sound design and music.

The bigger the legend, the lesser the man. The National Body creates a return journey between collective consciousness and the individual body. An athlete’s body destined to magnify the legend of a nation can be interpreted as a metaphor for the devouring of individuals by the state in order to achieve national glory. Through a collection of learned and artificial movements, the gymnast becomes a collective legend, a rhetorical toy that wipes away their identity but enhances the identity of the state. Just like in the classic tragedies, the hero must be sacrificed to support the story that defines us as a political group. So, the perfect and virtuous figure on stage is like a political mirror of the ideal.

Apart from the stage and theatrical impact of the biographies of ex-gymnast Enrique Navarro and Kaspar Hauser —an adolescent who mysteriously appeared in Nuremberg in 1828 after being locked away for more than eight years in a dark basement without contact with any other human beings—, The National Body presents open research into how the collective gaze affects individual identity, how the desires and hopes of others limit and shape personal choices. A reflection of the idea of the legend, the need for epics and the potential of the spectator’s gaze to weaken others.