Last Night of the Deer is a performance by Jānis Balodis and Nahuel Cano, telling the story of a roadtrip and a deer crash in a snow storm.
Last Night of the Deer performance is based on frustration with our anthropocentric worldview. The performance takes us on a road trip in the intermediary space somewhere between the human and non-human.
In December 2021 Nahuel Cano was traveling from Amsterdam to Riga. I, Jānis Balodis, picked him up from a ferry in Klaipeda, and we were driving to Riga. It was late in the evening, already dark, and a severe snow storm started right after we left Klaipeda. We decided to take a smaller road and there we hit the deer.
The Last Night of the Deer is a story about that one December evening when we visited Lidl, refueled LPG in Viada and met an anthropologist there, hit the deer, crushed a skull, got covered with blood and feces, were running from dogs and were barely accepted in a taxi. It is a story about all-too-human forests and more than human spirits that inhabit it.
The starting point of the work has been the connection between the education system, legacy of enlightenment and anthropocentrism. We assume there are deeply rooted, most probably unnoticeable ideas, patterns and ghosts that inhabit the education system and prevent us from having a mindset that is needed in the face of the climate crisis.
The research is based on real life events between inhabitants of Avila (Runa) and other living beings around them. Even more – all this understanding of the world is embedded in the stories Runa tells to each other. Although we are not from Avila, we both come from places (Patagonia in Argentina and Latvia, Eastern Europe) where dead are not really dead and trees can speak back.
Last night of the deer is part of Festivals’ Path project. The project is co-curated and co-organised with International New Theater Festival Homo Novus. Festivals’ Path project is funded by Ministry of Education and Culture Finland.
Implemented as part of ACT: Art, Climate, Transition project. Supported by EU programme Creative Europe.