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Concepts and tools related to the discipline of Living Statue

Estatuar: In Argentina, action of interpreting a living statue.

Living Statue

Staging where the performer maintains an expressive stillness proposing the appearance of a sculpture or a painting.



Ideal state, unattainable by any living being. During the rest on stage it is the fiction that is proposed, expressively constructing this illusion. By recognizing its fictional status, it is possible to develop it with visual and interpretive resources.


Quality of stage movement, result of the search for a state of rest; a place to stay, where there is nowhere to go. The search for the state of rest results in stillness, which during the scene gives rise to the appearance of the illusion of stillness.


Interpretative state that allows contemplating and directing voluntary movement, that on which one has the possibility of intervening, thus favoring the free appearance of involuntary movement.

Rest on stage

Procedure through which the scenic action of representing stillness is sustained, in a conscious, premeditated and expressive way.



Make conscious the information that enters the body through any of the five senses, voluntarily making contact with the state of my body. It has the quality of being concrete information: it describes what it is, what there is, what it is, without value judgements.


An accessible, urgent and infallible symptom of life that reveals the quality of life. The first thing we do when we are born is inhale and the last thing, before leaving, is exhale. So, the recording of breathing is the direct link to the event of being alive. I breathe: I am alive.


Expressive effect of moving a single part of the body: one joint or one muscle at a time. During rest, what moves is seen. A fraction of the body takes center stage by moving separately from the rest. This tool allows you to direct the focus of attention.


The game is hidden in the transition. When the performer moves, life is revealed; and when stillness appears, death is hidden.

Key Tool

Fragmentation transition

In the transition from rest to movement, when “death dies”, it is revealed that stillness is a fiction, that there is an actor or actress interpreting an stillness. During this change of state the possibility of building charm appears, with the resource of conducting the transition through breaking up the movement.

This characteristic allows us to direct the focus of attention in a premeditated way to a muscle or joint and at the same time organize this peak moment in the representation: build, draw and shape the metamorphosis from “dead” to “alive”.

The same thing happens in the opposite sense, when “death is born”: on a body at rest, I fragment the movement to show that stillness is about to arrive.

Meditation on stage

Rest leaves the way clear to enter a meditative state during the scene, aware of what is happening within and around you.


The being of the performer, on stage

During scene rest training, “the voice” of thought is very easily recorded. There is a particular moment in which above that “voice” a silence can be registered in thought, which at the beginning are fleeting periods of time, but as the training progresses this silence grows, in addition to the awareness that I am gaining. about this rest.

This is the magical moment in the scene: the silence of thought, the meditation. In it, the body vibrates at frequencies that emit large amounts of energy in the form of light.

I am in a state of connection with my interior and with everything that surrounds me, opening possibilities of connection with the public and the environment in an infinite way. This is how I experience meditation on stage, the phenomenon that marvels and exalts locals and strangers: ecstasy in the living statue. My Being is on stage.

Stage meditation is a resource through which energy is managed consciously; From this, acting, life and Being merge into an infinite learning about myself and what surrounds me.

Visual Theater

Scene with dramaturgies that propose the elaboration of a discourse expressible exclusively or primarily in images.

Study approach

A dialogue between disciplines

In the discipline of the Living Statue, Theater and the Visual Arts dialogue, coexist and develop their communication with an interdisciplinary relationship that allows dialogues to be built between their systems, giving way to the appearance of a singular poetics.

A dialogue occurs between the visual language and the theatrical language, the same one that occurs between the component elements of the scene: color, depth, scenography, makeup, performers and even spectators, all members of this great between that develops during this magical act of dialogic symbiosis, in a situation of liminality, confusing the borders, translatable from one to another in any sense, where dialogue is not just another component, but a constitutive factor in the transition.


Various formats, depending on where and how it is interpreted

Depending on location

On street

It is interpreted by intervening in urban spaces, gaining visibility in spaces with a lot of movement of people in which it explicitly opposes the cosmopolitan movement. Included within the disciplines of "street art", it is called "the actor's graffiti" making explicit reference to the theatrical-visual link where the piggy bank is a determining component, having as a convention to serve as a medium that allows the possibility of exchange with the public that proposes the piggy bank movement.

On room

It takes place in exhibitions, events or parties held in open or closed spaces where the character's link with the public is situated in an intuitive or circumstantial instance because the piggy bank becomes an optional element, based on a commitment to participation between the artist and a contractor or due to a particular motivation of the performer.

According to interaction


He maintains the stillness throughout the entire intervention, delivering the illusion of stillness of his interpretation as an offering to the viewer.


Moves slightly with a grimace or gesture to develop a bond with the audience.


It interacts with the viewer based on movement in contrast to stopping, and may include the stimulation of other senses in addition to the visual to cyclically return to stopping.


The idea of ​​the living statue appears in all times and in all disciplines, in fairy tales and philosophy, in ancient magic and romantic novels, in classical ballet and modern television advertisements.

Some background


In the myth of Pygmalion, of Greek origin, Pygmalion falls in love with a statue that he himself has created. Thanks to divine forces, the statue takes human form and they are able to be together. This myth gives rise to the play called “Pygmalion” published by George Bernard Shaw in 1913, the film of the same name in 1938 and the musical film “My Fair Lady” in 1964.


In William Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," King Leontes attends the house where a large statue has just been completed in memory of Hermione, his wife who died upon learning that their baby had died 16 years earlier. Upon seeing the monument, Leontes breaks down in tears, where magically, the statue begins to come to life, triggering the ending that takes place with the reunion of Leontes and his wife with his daughter who was raised by a woodcutter and had no dead.


In Molière's “Don Juan,” a skeptical libertine invites the stone effigy to dinner on the grave of a man he has killed in a duel; Arriving at the appointed time, the statue refuses to eat and takes the protagonist to hell.


Sarah J. Horton mentions that at least since the Japanese Middle Ages there are records of living Buddhist statues where priests with formal training, equipped with masks and costumes, represent Buddha in temples, helping to spread Buddhist beliefs among the population in Japan in the centuries X and XI.

Etienne Decroux

It defines an archetype of acting that corresponds to mobile immobility where it classifies detention as a style of dramatic action on stage; “Someone who bows his head and remains static in appearance, but only from the outside, is because he relies on the inside, has a tendency, moves!”

It's part of nature

Stillness is a defense, attack or reproductive courtship mechanism used by various animal species to protect their lives from the danger of the jungle.

Stillness in animals

An adaptive behavior

Thanatosis is an adaptive behavior of a wide range of animals through which they simulate being dead as a form of mimicry.

The tactic is exclusively defensive to avoid or deter predators, pretending to be dead for a certain time, possibly so that attackers do not risk eating carrion.

Another hypothesis considered is the possibility that stalking animals lose interest in playing with something that no longer moves, as is the case with feline babies and juveniles that are activated by potential “toys” that move.

Once the test time had passed, the specimens were returned to the terrarium where in 100% of the cases, specimen 1 was deposited in the terrarium even pretending to be necromimic.

The public is companion

The spectator’s rest is also rest on stage.


The viewer builds the scene

Reflecting on my meditative state in a stage condition, I register that this energy has the capacity to intervene on the viewer, also incorporating in him a contemplation with a meditative quality.

The spectator who establishes a link with the character is a partner in the scene, accepting the convention of being part of the game of theatricality consciously or unconsciously.

Considering the spectator as part of the scene, it is possible to highlight the transformative power of meditation on stage: intervening on the body of the passerby, modifying it and turning it into a spectator by spontaneously causing it to rest. Being part of the scene, it can then be said that the spectator’s rest is also rest on the scene.

The living death

A body that looks lifeless emanates vibrations that stimulate the appearance of emotion and show evidence of being even more alive than ever.


Expanded consciousness on stage

Remaining in the same stage space for a certain time, maintaining place and position, with full attention to breathing in addition to registering the here and now, leaves the door open for the appearance of expanded consciousness on stage.

During moments of expanded consciousness the body vibrates at very high frequencies, emitting large amounts of energy in the form of light. I am in a state of full connection, with myself, with the environment and with the spectators, opening the possibilities of connection infinitely. Acting, life and Being merge into infinite learning about myself and what surrounds me.

Reflecting on my meditative state in a stage condition, I register that this energy has the capacity to intervene on the viewer, also incorporating in him a contemplation with a meditative quality.


Divine source that reveals itself during rest on scene

Spirituality and scene

Expressive capacity

Light is a tool of protection and support in the bustle of the crowd during stage work. It is recorded through the senses or intuition. Registering the light that lives in my body is a key step in training.
If light is in motion in our body and spirituality allows us to understand its mechanism of operation because we are channels of light of life, it may then be possible to link spirituality with the scene. The work of managing interior light in harmony with the light of the environment allows shaping interior expression.

The recognition of the light moving inside me
opens the door to a new power over the expressive movement of the body during the scene.



The text presented here is a compilation of the following publications:


Poéticas de liminalidad en el teatro II - La liminalidad en el lenguaje de la estatua viviente


El diálogo en el transición de cuadro pictórico a cuadro viviente en “Los tres músicos”


Artistas-investigadoras/es y producción de conocimiento desde la escena IV - El reposo en escena: la muerte viva.

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