Ricky Seabra [Rio de Janeiro]

Empire, Love to Love You, Baby

Empire, Love to Love You, Baby
Empire, Love to Love You, Baby


Empress of the American Empire

On 11 September 2001 people all over the world watched on their televisions as two planes bored their way into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. This act of terrorism ended the western illusion of inviolability and changed the world for ever. At the Spoken World festival the Brazilian-American artist, designer and performer Ricky Seabra will present two solo performances in which he reflects on the consequences of this attack for the inhabitants and history of America. Airplanes & Skyscrapers is a perceptive and personal answer to the destruction of a beloved landscape. Empire, Love to Love You, Baby (2004) is a comic-satirical account of the insanity of war that broke out in the US immediately after 9/11.

Seabra delves deep into the collective memory of popular culture. Using his camera, the Internet (three cheers for Google Earth!), and pen and paper he creates a unique world in which criticism and hilarity go hand in hand. It is not Ricky himself who addresses the audience, but Rickyoncé, empress of the American Empire who will stop at nothing to make the US a great and powerful empire. Flanked by her princely consorts Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix she is bent on saving her empire and with it the rest of the world.

‘Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.’ (British commander Gen. F.S. Maude, Bagdad, 1917)

text Ricky Seabra, Dirk Verstockt | performance Ricky Seabra | direction Dirk Verstockt | dramaturgy Marcia Beatriz Bell | movement director Sonia Destri | assistant Raphael Russier | English translation Elisa Hugueney | historic consultancy Jan de Pauw | costumes Marcelo Marques | lighting Kim Rens | light operation Marcelo Augusto Santana | soundtrack Kreng | video Ricky Seabra, Dirk Verstockt | video editing & finalization Roberta Rangé, Stef Deneer | throne building Izan Curvas / Taguatinga Crew | production & administration Fomenta Produções | producer & technical director João Braune | executive producer Carla Mullulo | production assistent Karina França | thanks to Andrea Jabor, Bernardo de La Peña, Boris vzw, Casa da Glória, Joaquim Moleque, Leen Laconte, Marcos Viana da Silva (Marcão), Charles Bridges