About Paul Bargetto

Paul Bargetto is an international theater director, dramaturg, festival producer, teacher and arts activist. He currently lives and works in Warsaw, Poland where he is the artistic director of two independent initiatives: Teatr Trans-Atlantyk, a documentary theater ensemble and Eldorado Teatr, a digital live arts platform. He also collaborates on projects outside of these organizations especially in the field of dance.

Before coming to Europe, he lived and worked in New York City where he founded the theater company East River Commedia (1998-2010).  Important productions include Striptease and Out at Sea, Philosopher Fox and Serenade, The Magnificent Cuckold, and A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians.  He also founded and directed the undergroundzero festival, a festival of experimental independent live arts (2007 -2014) that was presented in six incarnations in numerous locations throughout the East Village and Lower East Side including PS 122, Collective:Unconscious, Clemente Soto Velez, and the Living Theatre. In 2005, he helped to found the League of Independent Theater, advocacy organization for independent theater in New York City.  He served on the board of directors and as the managing director of public affairs for five years.

Recent directing credits include Album Karla Hockera and California with Teatr Trans-Atlantyk, Plateau, Fabula Rasa, and  i, on the Verge of Humanity, and with the choreographer Maciej Kuzminski, and Historie Mowione, a site-specific performative installation in Poznan. He is currently developing and producing Alphabet Cities, a multi-year project of arts and advocacy for the LGBTQ community in Poland. His work has been presented internationally in Poland, Germany, Belgium, China, France, Turkey, Lithuania, and the United States.

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Artist Statement

Paul Bargetto (°1969, San Jose, United States) creates performances, photos and conceptual artworks. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, Bargetto wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.

His collected, altered and own performances are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, he finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. The artist also considers movement as a metaphor for the ever-seeking man who experiences a continuous loss.

His works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. By questioning the concept of movement, he absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.

His works isolate the movements of humans and/or objects. By doing so, new sequences are created which reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and sound. Paul Bargetto currently lives and works in Warszawa.

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