Parasomnia, an immersive theatre integrating installations with images and sounds, entices spectators to ponder the state of somnolence and consciousness with visual arts, poems and interactive offerings. Portuguese artist Patrícia Portela turns the Mandarin’s House, one of Macao’s heritage sites, into several rooms, including waiting, sleeping, bathing, reading and mystery. Taking inspirations from everyday life, it leads audiences to reflect on their relationships with their true self, body, mental state and society.
Portela based this work on the uncompleted essay On Sleeping, Waking and the Absence of Dreams (1890) by Acácio Nobre, as well as his reflections on the research of two 19th-century neuroanatomists about the sleep of birds. A multimedia artist and writer from Portugal, Portela is active in the contemporary art scenes of Portugal and Belgium, and has rich experiences in stage design, image, literature and philosophy. Her work has been awarded the Acarte/Madalena Azeredo Perdigão Prize by the Gulbenkian Foundation in 2004 and Parasomnia was one of the five finalists of the first Sonae Media Art Award in 2015.
Concept, Text and Space: Patrícia Portela
Moving Image Post-production: Irmãlucia Visual Effects
Soundscape: Christoph de Boeck
Voices: Célia Fechas and guests
Violin: Elisabeth Drouwé
Duration: approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, no interval
Recordings in Cantonese, Portuguese and English available in part of the show