THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ALAN TURING
Alan Turing was a mathematician who graduated from elite universities, and became a world-renowned scientist. During World War II, he created ways to decipher messages encoded by the Enigma machine of the German army. It is said to have shortened the war by at least 2 years. A machine that decodes ever-changing codes. A machine that encodes the desire for a body and the desire for extermination. Or first of all, its loss, a body that is no longer there, and inventing ways to encrypt a desiring machine. Body-machine-desire. Turing led the team that created the decoding, made up of a majority of women, as far as we know. Alan Turing was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, 1946 and Fellow of the Royal Society, 1951. The same Alan Turing that was convicted of acts of serious indecency in 1952 - in this case, homosexual acts. The same law that led to Oscar Wilde's trial: Section 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. A law that was spread across the British Empire and that paved the way for incarceration and, in some cases, death penalty, for people incurring in a serious indecency crime in several countries previously colonized by the UK. Alan Turing was given a choice between chemical castration and prison. Dietilstilbestrol was the chemical substance used in this process; a transgenic oestrogen, used to reduce testosterone. A chemical code of gender too, showing the materiality of gender and the law. A cyborg body, a biotechnological hybrid, limited due to the knowledge of State secrets, limited and excluded from its functions. He died at 42, 2 years after castration, eating an apple laced with cyanide; an apparent suicide. Extermination: dietilstilbestrol is a depressant. Only in the 1970s was his contribution to the war effort made public. In 2017, the Alan Turing Law, gave amnesty to more than 49,000 people who were convicted of serious indecency, and to other men convicted of laws that discriminate against sexual orientation. Before that, in 2013, Turing had been the target of a pardon from the Queen in relation to this "crime". His effigy is to be used as an image of the 50-pound note. Alain Turing is a gender coding and reprogramming process. The other Turing machine that made breaking codes possible is his cyborg body, an example of the state violence that knocks down bodies to make the codes of Victorian and colonizing morality bleed. Alain Turing is an experiment of the creation of a decoder and recoder body, body technology, gender technology. A post-mortem experience - being dead and receiving honours, posthumous pardons and apologies. Such as to receive a commendation from a dead empire and pardon from queens. Necropower.
- João Manuel de Oliveira
Director, Composer, Writer and Performer: M̶i̶g̶u̶e̶l̶ Bonneville. Co-creator, Composer and Performer: Clothilde. Sound effects: BlackBambi. Sound Operation: José Veiga. Costume Design: Mariana Sá Nogueira. Light Design: Nuno Patinho. Set Design: Nuno Tomaz. Preface: João Manuel de Oliveira. Photography and Design: Joana Linda, M̶i̶g̶u̶e̶l̶ Bonneville. Design/Publication: Ilhas. Executive Production: Diogo Melo. Production: Teatro do Silêncio. Support: Fundo Cultural SPA. Residency Support: Arte Total/ Guelra – Laboratório de Criação Coreográfica, Teatro Cão Solteiro, Voarte/Soudos – Espaço Rural de Artes e AAC-Soudos. Co-production: Circular Festival de Artes Performativas, Festival Verão Azul - casaBranca. This project was financed by Governo de Portugal/Secretaria de Estado da Cultura/DGArtes.
25th of September 2020, Circular Festival de Artes Performativas, Vila do Conde, Portugal
14th - 15th of October 2021, Festival Temps d'Images, Lisbon, Portugal