Imagine a global, apocalypse-scale tragedy has occurred. Something that could happen tomorrow, our current ‘worst fear’ about the environment, a natural disaster, or a disease has come to pass. A group of artists escapes the chaos and creates a safe-haven of art, discourse, comfort and truth. They do not speak of what threatens to beat down their doors, yet it permeates all. Their stories speak to life as it is now and as it was before by spanning the mediums of visual art, installations, dance, music, circus, theater, poetry, scientific presentations and storytelling. They hold a beacon of light and hope through darkness. During The Decameron these artists open their doors to you. Pass through a rigorous check-point and enter their Eden. For 10 consecutive days of 10 performances they welcome you into their inner sanctum. Each night is a stand-alone performance and you are encouraged to attend more than one evening to fully experience the richness of expression developed in this incubator. 100 widows through which to peer into the future of where we are headed as a culture by engaging with art as research.
The Decameron is a container performance that tailors itself to the region and site-specific location each time it is performed. No two iterations are alike as they are individually designed to fit a unlikely, often underground event space, and are created as a collaborative-work by a unique group of artists. It gathers international and local artists together to create a living, breathing community. They imbue their world with true intimacy and real relationships. These relationships develop during the lead up to the performance and continue long after it closes. The Decameron aims to revitalize the local art community by infusing collaborative artistic energy and encouraging novel artistic interactions. You as the audience are but temporarily privy to the living-room entertainment of these contemporary prophets, these thinkers and artists.
Boccaccio’s original Il Decamerone (1351) was a frame story, or series of stories embedded within an overarching context story, set during the plague in medieval Florence. Its collection of candid, witty and often satirical stories, told by the independent voices of seven young women and three young men, paints a lively and transparent picture of humanity in a transitional state. More than six hundred years later, we borrow key structural elements of the original Decameron to engage both artist and audience in a deep exploration of themes that resonate in our contemporary society.