Project Description


by Vanessa Montfort (Spain), 2007
One male, one female.


The elections approach, and Alfredo Santana is on track to become the first immigrant to ascend to the country’s presidency.  One photograph could clinch the result:  a portrait by renowned photographer Cornelia Grau.  The shoot has been booked, but will the famously racist, cantankerous, egotistical and eccentric recluse even go ahead with it?  And what are the secrets hidden in the four pictures that hang covered in cloths on the wall of her studio?

I have no idea why you insist on having me of all people take this damn photograph, and I’m willing to make an exception, even though you make my skin crawl, but in return, what I’m proposing to you, what I’m offering – if it’s true that you’re not just an earthworm put in a ballot box as bait for the rest of your species; if it’s true that you want to represent all of us because you feel like just another one of us – I’m offering you the opportunity to convince me. 

Me.  Someone who doesn’t like you, someone from that other species whom you have to win over.  I am challenging you to take off that Armani suit – whose shoulders you don’t fill and which doesn’t match your working-class philosophical rhetoric one iota – and look at this camera with naked eyes. 

If you are right, this photograph will win you the election. 

But if I’m right, that starving wolf I see behind your orphaned puppy-dog eyes will rise out for all to see.

Flashback was first performed in English at the Royal Court Theatre’s 2007 International Residency, directed by Fiona Laird and performed by Natasha Parry and Mark Lockyer.

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