Photographs © Paula Court

Shana Lutker The Nose, The Cane, The Broken Left Arm

Theatre 80, 80 St Marks Place MAP

Shana Lutker’s commission for Performa 13 is a new play based on a fistfight that took place in Paris involving key members of the Surrealist group. Revisiting a moment in which the theater was a site where revolutionary ideas could erupt into violence, The Nose, The Cane, The Broken Left Arm is set on July 6, 1923, the night of The Evening of the Bearded Heart, a Dada variety show organized by Tristan Tzara at the Théâtre Michel in Paris. Early in the program, an insult to Pablo Picasso incited André Breton to rise from the audience in protest. He climbed on stage with a cane raised and chaos ensued. By the time the theater lights were dimmed and the police left, the stage was wrecked and bones were broken. Lutker presents a new perspective on this story, in which eyes and noses run free from their owners to take center stage and characters from an array of Surrealist works break away from their texts, with costumes inspired by those designed by Sonia Delaunay for the original production.

The Nose, The Cane, The Broken Left Arm is a Performa Commission. Curated by Summer Guthery.


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Generously supported by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Ronald Guttman, Andrea Krantz and Harvey Sawikin. Residency support provided by Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation.

Event Title
Date & Time
  • Wed. Nov 13, 8:30 pm
  • Thu. Nov 14, 8:30 pm
Los Angeles-based installation artist and filmmaker creates a new work of filmic fragments in a constructed theatrical set that speaks to movement, travel, and sense of space.
  • Fri. Nov 22, 7:00 pm
  • Sat. Nov 23, 7:00 pm
A surreal and otherworldly performance imagines a culture where humans have devolved into a tangle of fingers.
  • Sun. Nov 10, 9:00 pm
Two evenings of poetry, cabaret interventions, and impromptu performances celebrating the singular Fernando Arrabal.