press release

Tate Modern presents a re-creation of one of French artist Guy de Cointet’s influential and visually stunning plays, Tell Me, that was originally staged in Los Angeles in 1979. Tell Me will be performed by Denise Domergue, Jane Zingale and Helen Mendez Berlant, the actresses who starred in the original production.

Tell Me is a performance about abstraction and language; staging the question of how reality is perceived and interpreted. Striking visual elements of form and colour make up the set design. The three characters use, discuss and inhabit their theatrical environment in unexpected ways.

"Northern California, October 1979. It’s late afternoon at Mary’s. Her house is situated on the bank of the Sacramento River, in that stretch of the river which is as beautiful as the Danube between Ybbs and Melk, east of Vienna. A few miles away is the town of Courtland, a Chinese settlement for many years, where the famous Dr. Sun Yat Sen lived for a time in exile. After her day’s work, Mary is home planning to spend the evening with some of her best friends: Michael, Olive, and hopefully, the elusive Mark. The way these young women behave, talking and listening to each other, how they see and perceive their surroundings interest me. One of these days, I believe, I’m going to drive up North and pay a visit to Mary." Guy de Cointet, 1979

Guy de Cointet (Paris 1934 – Los Angeles 1983) lived and worked in Los Angeles and influenced a number of artists there, notably Mike Kelley.

only in german

UBS Openings: Saturday Live
Guy de Cointet, Tell Me.
Performance, 30.06.07, 22.30–23.00