The journey is over. It´s time to settle down, to find a place where one can plant a tree, build a house, raise his kids. A place surrounded by surveillance cameras, fences and security staff, and protected against the violence from the cities. A safe place. This place is called ÑBricklandì. Named after a vacant residential development in Buenos Aires, birth place of Constanza Macras, this place is not seen as a concrete location, but rather a symbol for many other cities in the globalized world that are, in essence, interchangable: gated communities, as we know them from the United States, South America, India or China. These enclosures resemble classical ghettos due to the segregation that takes place. People from a certain social stratum, mostly from the middle-class, withdraw from the public space in order to satisfy their increasing needs for security, nourished by real or sensed threats. As somebody in the piece expresses: But who wants to go out anyway? It´s too violent.
One seeks for lost paradise but creates a community which distinguishes itself by strict rules and regulations. Freedom, isolation or utopia? This reflects the dilemma of how to protect ourselves and our children from danger, crime and unknown others while still perpetuating friendly neighborhoods and safe homes. It reinforces the norms of a middle-class lifestyle in a historical period in which everyday events and news exacerbate fears of violence and terrorism.
Similar to Atom Egoyan´s film “The Adjuster” (Canada, 1991) in which an insurance agent named Noah visits refugees in a boat-like motel, these places are not a home, but rather a hopeless refuge. “Brickland” oscillates between the impression of wretchedness and desperate attempts at the idyll; it can and should be understood as a metaphor fort the increasing ghettoization of our world and the rapid increase in urban slums, in which sayings like there´s no place like homeì are sheer derision or nothing more than vacuous platitudes.
“Brickland” is a false front that conceals chaos, despair, isolation, insanity and the middle-class ennui.
A production of Constanza Macras | DorkyPark and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz , coproduced by DuoDijon, Kampnagel Hamburg, Teatro Comunale di Ferrara and Théâtre de la Place Liège. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. With the support of der Regierende Bürgermeister – Senatskanzlei – kulturelle Angelegenheiten.