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EMPAC Video Archive 2008–2018

Phantom Limb: 69˚S.

Inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton's harrowing expedition to Antarctica in 1914, Phantom Limb unites puppetry, dance, film, history, and photography with contemporary music to create a stunning vision of the great arctic continent—past, present, and future. Dim light plays across a lunar terrain dotted with icebergs. Shackleton’s crew, played by half-life-size puppets, struggles to survive in this vast landscape, putting into stark relief the power of endurance and camaraderie and the price of knowledge. With sound that combines the junkyard dog aesthetic of the band Skeleton Key playing live, a score recorded by the Kronos Quartet, and glacial field recordings, 69˚S. mines the inherently bittersweet and complex nature of the Shackleton experience and what the future may hold for this fragile environment.

69°S. is an ArKtype project produced in association with Beth Morrison projects in co-production with Grand Theatre Groningen/Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival en Noord Nederlands Toneem, and co-commissioned by Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College; Arts Centre of Melbourne, Australia and Victoria College of the Arts; and EMPAC / Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Additional residency development provided by MASS MoCA and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Additional funding provided by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Production design support provided by the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).

September 23-24, 2011

Curator: Hélène Lesterlin