Sonia Gardés is a visual and performing artist. Her interest focuses on the intersections between plastic arts and the living arts, from design and direction for other companies to her own creation. Her academic and creative research explores the impacts of patriarchy, how historical memory constructs her contemporary experiences, and researches for more sustainable creation.
Graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona and having studied Costume Design and Making at Nottingham Trent University, Gardés trained in Scotland in visual, object and contemporary puppet theater with artists such as Mervyn Millar, Olivier Ducas and Dalija Acin. Thelander. She has also been an artist in residence at the National Theater of Scotland, the Village Storytelling Festival and the Alden Biesen International Storytelling Festival.
In Catalonia, the artist has presented her show El que sé (i el meu avi no saba) and has worked in the design and creation of puppets and as a performer in Himmelweg by Atrium Escena Digital, a work directed by Raimon Molins. Currently, Gardés combines her creative work with academic research into the world of puppetry, dramaturgy and contemporary art, and with teaching at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona.
Residency January 2024
Conferència manipulada is a show in the format of a performative conference that puts the perception of puppets in the world of contemporary theater at the center.
A speaker presents to the audience her thesis on the possibilities of contemporary puppetry, unknown in a popular and folkloric imagination. Little by little we are discovering that her interventions are being manipulated in a subtle way. Historical and class prejudices about the puppet, on the one hand, and the need for contemporary creation to incorporate new languages, on the other, are coming into play and conditioning its view. These two contradictory forces, embodied in two puppets with very different styles, will put into tension not only the speaker’s speech, but also the ideas and expectations of the audience about what role a puppet should have in a theatrical show. As it develops, the thesis talks less and less about puppets and becomes more of a space for reflection and a comic portrait of how prejudice is formed.
This show arises from previous academic research carried out by the author and performer herself on the perception of the puppet in contemporary creation. Through the staging, the proposal highlights some of the power relations that have conditioned the way in which both the sector and the public have imagined and conceived the puppet throughout history.