Yasen Vasilev - trace
Yasen Vasilev
1988 | Bulgaria
Form of Art: Writing, Performing arts, Spoken word performance
In residence from 03/01/2014 to 25/06/2014

 
 
The Walled in Ones, CD, Digital video recording of the first performative reading in English of my debut play that was originally written in Bulgarian and first produced in Sofia in the fall of 2012, Duration: 40’26” 
Trace:
 
1. THE CATHEDRAL OF THE BODY, THE BODY OF THE SHADOW, a manuscript consisting of 10 handwritten poems in prose in Bulgarian on separate pieces of paper. The texts were written and re-written between January and April 2014 in Shanghai.
 
2. YEZZEN, an audio recording of our collaborative peformance with Christian Berg that took place in Basement 6 on June 10th and was re-performed during an O!Collective event on June 15th.
YEZZEN is a collaboration between Bulgarian playwright/poet Yasen Vasilev and Swedish musician Christian Berg (KITE). It is an intense improvisational 20-minute spoken word performance combining original contemporary poetry in Bulgarian with noise created live at place. Thus with the audience not really understanding the language the focus is moved from meaning to sound and words start to have almost ritual functions.
 
3. THE WALLED IN ONES, a video recording of the first performative reading in English of my debut play that was originally written in Bulgarian and first produced in Sofia in the fall of 2012.
Cast includes Aaron Garcia, Awesta Zarif and Björn Dahlman. It was performed twice on June 16th in Room 39 of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel as part of my open studio. Colette Fu and Mauro Andrizzi shot a video of the performance, the sound and the editing were done by Salome MC.
Synopsis of the play: A writer blurs the line between dream and reality as he struggles to understand if his sickness is the result of his writing or the other way around. Bastian Bertello moves into an old house to try to stop writing. A young woman named Ivy who already lives there, convinces him to let her stay and take care of the house and soon they fall in love. The neighbour Isadora Graf suggests Ivy does not exist and claims the house has been empty for years, the owners are dead and there are no heirs. Bertello starts to grow suspicious and tries to find out what happened to Ivy's parents. Instead, she tells him the story of The Walled In Ones – thirteen women sentenced to death after being accused of witchcraft. She hears whispers and footsteps and warns him that the house is dangerous. Bertello doesn’t believe her and accuses her of making things up as their relationship begins to fall apart. After a strange dream, Bertello wakes up and finds Ivy’s dead body. He asks the priest for help but when they arrive, Ivy’s body is missing. The priest also shares with Bertello his versions of the mysterious events that happened around the house. Bertello becomes more and more delusional blaming Isadora for hiding the body and eventually becomes one of The Walled in Ones. 

 

Additional work:

Borgestriptych - Filmed theater play by Yasen Vasilev:
Borgestriptych is Yasen Vasilev's second text for theatre. It was written in 2012, developed at a workshop in Sofia conducted by The Drama League of New York and produced for the first time in English at Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai in 2014. A contemporary text for theatre, Borgestriptych draws inspiration from three short stories by Jorge Luis Borges but also from the life and general oeuvre of the Argentinian writer. Four performers are four different versions of Borges, metamorphosing into his many characters who are ultimately the same person constantly talking to himself. In the world of this play library and universe are one and the same and the spaces and their dwellers are entirely built of letters.

Borgestriptych, directed by its author, premiered as half-live performance, half-video installation on Halloween night 2014. The piece is devised so that the six scenes of the play fit the six floors of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, starting from lobby and finishing up on the rooftop. On the night of Oct31, as part of the 3-year anniversary celebration of the residency and the opening of the Faces&Traces exhibition, five scenes of the piece were screened on five different floors and the 6th scene was continuously performed live throughout the night on floor R in The Good Fortune Suite. Then on Nov 1st the full live performance had its first two full runs as a site-specific immersive theatre piece with the audience moving along with the actors from lobby to rooftop.

BORGESTRIPTYCH Credits:

CAST AND CREW
PHILIP BOAFO as MAN AT THE RECEPTION DESK, EDITOR, CHAUFFEUR, BLACK
FINNEGAN, POLICE OFFICER, NEWSPAPER SELLER
AARON GARCIA as ERIC LÖNNROT
TYRONE RUTH as FRANZ TREVIRANUS
JEROME MAZET as RED SHARLAH, MARCELLO YARMOLINSKY, DANIEL SIMON
ASEVEDO, GINSBERG-GRIFIUS
Costumes JIANLIN CHENG
Assistant Director AWESTA ZARIF
Director of Photography SIMON BETHKE
Written by YASEN VASILEV
inspired by the work and life of J. L. Borges
Directed by YASEN VASILEV.

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