About the Grant

$18,000 to support Goat Island's new performance work, The Lastmaker (MAP 2006), which takes its inspiration from the historical trajectory of the Hagia Sophia: church/mosque/museum, considered here as movements encountered on different planes. The Lastmaker recapitulates the concerns of 20 years of Goat Island, in what they hope will be a fitting conclusion to their contribution – a journey, within a restrained structure, from the intellectual to the emotional, with lasting resonance.

About the Project

The performance situates spatially between two audiences at opposite ends of the theater. Its temporal structure reflects the historical trajectory of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, a triple life of church/mosque/museum. Goat Island consider these not conflicting theologies, but contrasting movements encountered on different planes.

Part 1: A dance in 13 rounds. Each round adds a triad of detailed movement. Through the course of the 39 movements, the performers diverge and reconverge, in accordance with hybrid mathematics, to a regular beat with irregular measures, periodically accompanied by recorded sounds and music. Research into the interiority and the polyphonic proliferation of imagery of Byzantine architecture and ritual guides this section.

Part 2: Not performance, but instructions for performances. The community enters the work as instruction-givers, in response to the question, “How do you make going down that street one thousand times in a lifetime (or maybe not at all) last?” A micro-performance on a bare stage answers each recited instruction: a universe in restrained words and gestures, a journey of attention with no destination. Research into the exteriority, the textual call-and-response and the absence of representation of Islamic ritual and architecture guides this section.

Part 3: A high-energy concert begins that is also a museum and an archive, populated with colliding futures and restless ghosts. A series of three-minute theatrical acts, monologues, and dialogues loop and repeat, weaving contrary time signatures, and overlapping meditations on lastness. The collaborative company decision to make this the final Goat Island piece in particular informs this section.

Related Websites

Goat Island

the last performance

Photo by Nathan Mandell
Photo by Nathan Mandell


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