The Barcelona Liceu opera house has been closed for more than two months due to the pandemic. But it reopened to the audience of plants, after the coronavirus lockdown last Monday.
The Gran Teatre Del Liceu has 2,292 seats and the first performance after the COVID-19 lockdown was by UceLi Quartet performing Giacomo Puccini’s “Crisantemi” music for the plants, the human audience also could watch the performance via live streaming.
The plants that were present at the concert will be donated along with a certificate of the artist to health care professionals. Organizers wrote that they wanted to recognize the work of health care providers, who have served "on the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations."
It was not the first time that an artist performs for a group of audiences other than humans. Though the artistic view of this performance was not the cause of it, the result was the same.
Performing for dogs, cats, plants, and even objects is a new wave of performances that experiments with objects and their possibilities to act as an interactive performer towards its users or audience. This project researches different ways artists can anticipate this process during the conceptualization and the conception of their work. The artworks made for this project will possibly manifest themselves in different locations outside the regular arts contexts.
The key point to these kinds of performances is that there should still be a human audience present. Humans can be at the stage, stream the performance, see the pictures, or even just read about it later. But the whole point of the performance for objects or animals is that humans will be the audience of the performance and their audiences together.
The quartet performance in Liceu opera hall could be held without any audience and just for streaming purposes. But the fact that the artist chose to have plants as the audience shows their attempt to reach a different level of performance.