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Two worlds meet and mix in Bisbee; three, if you want to be technical. The first: the town’s conception as a mining site and subsequent boomtown at the onset of the industrial era. This phase is heralded by bricks and copper—bricks that created shelter, provided a means of construction pursuant to questions of cost and time and paid for and enabled by the profits (or simple necessity) of getting as much ore out of the Earth as humanly possible.
The second: a post-occupancy life as an artist’s haven. Small businesses have long since replaced incorporated giants in the same structures once occupied by big business and a culture of production, now used to cultivate a culture of richness in the small pleasures of life.
And the third: the question that arises from the mixing of past and present. How does a contemporary structure marry itself to a site of rich history and countless stories? How does a building designed in an office 200 miles away ensure its place among such unique circumstances?
The simple answer? The building becomes the question. The true answer is left up to those who know the town’s needs better than anyone, or those who know what they want to add to its growing roster of creative outlets. The Apelido Theatre Company’s own concepts are also twofold: the first from Brazil, where practitioners of Capoeira use their bodies to create artistic performances in displays of martial prowess. The second: from the lessons of historic designers whose work brought forth fresh ideas about performance, dwelling and presence.
But in Bisbee, these concepts serve only as permission to participate in the town’s unique existence. They say: These things are what I know, this is my art. What is yours?
All images are by Brandon Willmon and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of their creator.