Maritza Núñez

From the introduction to the first edition of

Dreams of a Sunday Afternoon

by Yolanda Pallín

The winning text, Dreams of a Sunday Afternoon by Maritza Núñez immediately stood out as the first choice of all members of the jury. Its literary quality and intrinsic scenic viability made this work one of the most dramatic and ambitious choices available to us. By constantly alternating between realistic dialogue and a series of poetic images, the author depicts a historical situation as a fable. The term historical here has two senses. On the one hand, the protagonists of her story are themselves historical personages, namely. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera. Breton and Trotsky; but on the other, they appear not only as particular individuals but also as the motive power behind social movements which have modified history, and they express certain points of view about the historical and social meaning of the reality which they inhabit and upon which they exert an influence. This dual historical treatment does not, however, deprive our observing the intimacy of their private lives, upon which the complex relationship between politics and art impacts decisively.

It is no coincidence that the author presents us with scenes contrasted through the use of a complex temporal structure, which may be seen to correspond to the ambiguous mental state of the heroine, visually represented by the two Fridas who embody and symbolise her internal conflict. By means of this compositional technique we observe the superimposition of different planes of reality which challenge one another without providing fixed answers to the myriad questions they evoke. Thus, we are present at the happy moments which immediately succeed the crisis; equally, we are shown Frida's suicide attempts amidst dreamlike images which are indistinguishable from those which we accept as real, in such a way that we are made to doubt the existence of one sole and true plane of reality.

As the author rightly avers— using Frida as her mouthpiece— the real and the fantastic are not contradictory but are perhaps the only way to portray horror, both personal and social. The question which underlies the whole text therefore concerns the responsibility of the creator vis-à-vis the period of history which he happens to inhabit, much more than it does the concrete circumstances of any one character.

The debate between art and revolution affects the very laws of artistic creation. The author does not hold back, and plays a metatheatrical game laden with distorting expressionism thereby asking herself-and her audience-wherein lies the error of our ways; her conclusion is that "Deep down, we all have tyranny inside us. And life continues in a constant struggle with ourselves in order to defeat that tyranny".


©2006 Maritza Núñez