The Catalan artist reveals the secrets of La Carn, his raw and sensual performance that leaves no one indifferent.

A room plunged in darkness, only a few spotlights and a computer screen illuminate the room. The audience, in silence, watches as a young man appears from the shadows to stand in front of the screen of this small device, a window to the world, in this case and in La Carn, a window to the intimacies and fantasies that we let ourselves see on websites such as Chatroulette. For some years now, the Mallorcan artist Lluís Garau has been starring in this performance, devised by himself, which provokes the scandal and acclaim of critics and public alike. This is the story of a boy who explores his body, his desire and socially imposed limits through a series of conversations he has with strangers in an online chat room. Physical and emotional nudity are the zenith of a show that is a real slap in the face of reality, dense and sensual. Lluís reveals the secrets of this show in the middle of the tour and with tickets practically sold out. It is undeniable, we love this overwhelming tunnel known as La Carn.



First of all Lluís, I want to congratulate you for the success that La Carn is having, selling out all the shows. How do you feel to see this great reception?

I’m very excited by the reception the play is getting, some of you will understand me when I say that I’ve been taking care of an audience in networks for years and in the end it has paid off with so much effort and exposure. I would like to dedicate the work to them, for their support and the trust they have placed in me. Followers who have not hesitated to go from liking to buying a physical ticket for a play, I have felt their presence when I have needed it most, unlike the big theater institutions that have always had their doors closed to those of us who are just starting out.



I would like to know why you think the public has connected so well and feels such an interest in a production like La Carn.

Intimacy and sexting. “La Carn” is a play that invites the spectator to observe the intimacy of a young man who, from his bedroom, decides to sell his body online to strangers he meets on Chatroulette. He reveals the wounds and the abstract form of his ills. Penetrating this private space is what makes it addictive and the Chatroulette device allows us to discover characters that open up other worlds outside the purely theatrical space.

The Chatroulette device has left its mark on a generation and awakened a fantasy that we had never experienced as a society. The physical distance between the subjects is the origin of sexual fantasy and in turn the dissatisfaction of coitus is what makes the practice addictive and aspirational. Fantasy and reality travel through the screen and the culmination of the practice wanders between reality and fiction.


La Carn is a performance exposed to the gaze of an audience that can understand the vulnerability of your nudity, but also sexualise it. How do you work with this part of the work? Has La Carn changed your relationship with your own body? Have you learnt anything from people’s reactions to nudity?

I try to respect my body and myself, not to judge myself and not to let myself be carried away by external approval. This is not possible without prior work on self-esteem, which is clearly a utopia for everyone. What has worked best for me is to persist in the act of nudity and to sublimate the body to the purely anatomical aspect, away from the parameters dictated by society. I also want to take the confidence to explain that a few weeks before the performances I go to the gym a lot and follow a simple diet, sharing experiences is necessary and insecurities tend to be generalized.



Watching La Carn I couldn’t help but wonder if in one way or another we are all intrinsically voyeurs. In La Carn we observe the intimacy of the character in a literal way, but we also do the same with a film or a book, even if it is fictional, as we delve into the thoughts and lives of the characters. Do you think we are irremediably attracted to the intimacy of others?

We are attracted to many things and each person is different, but art, especially literature, film or theater, is sustained by the stories of others, by narrative and by events that are alien to us. It helps us to know ourselves better and to know the society around us. It builds our ethics and reaffirms our political inclinations. Art must be a tool of thought without ever falling into indoctrination or banality.



Isn’t this fascination with the intimacy of others a symptom of crushing loneliness?

 Yes, and the networks have proved it. What strikes us most is to observe the intimacy of others, whether close to or far from our own, out of sympathy or admiration. The lives of others allow us to make an analysis of ourselves and also to keep our professional objectives firm, in the end it is just another construct of the capitalist system. Unattainable dreams that provoke envy or longing, a subsequent motivation or persistence, to end up in the resignation of work. In the end we feel lonely because the system wants us to be more and more individualistic and constantly frustrated.


You could say that “La Carn” portrays a moment in life when we are all trying to find out who we are, what we want, what we desire and how to achieve it. I would like to know what is fact and fiction in the character you play in La Carn.

The character is a reflection of myself. Obsessed with attracting others, connected to the whole world through the internet and at the same time, a feeling of unbearable loneliness, with one of the worst addictions there is: boredom. Triggering a series of self-flagellations. I won’t deceive you, La Carn is a dramatic piece and although there are some glimmers of light, down there in the basement there is, for the most part, a deep sense of guilt and a relentless search for divine redemption.



I know that you grew up in Mallorca and that we belong to the same generation, a generation whose lives were changed by the Internet and who were exposed to a huge and uncontrollable amount of information. What was that first contact with the Net like, do you think you were ready to look out of that enormous window onto the world?

You are never prepared for the unknown and the danger is not the tool, but rather the impulse and the personal decision. I feel that I have learned a lot from the world of the internet and I have become closer to all the young people around me. As an artist I don’t want to live with my back to the reality of the internet, to understand the common language and investigate the underworlds that exist within it. At 16 I wasn’t ready and I could have saved myself some trauma, but I’m very glad that I built my personality on the basis of everything that surrounded me on the screen.


Chatroulette is one of the main characters in La Carn and, as I understood it, a tool with which the protagonist channels his intimacy and sexuality. Have you experimented with this well-known chat room yourself? What role has it played in the development of your own intimacy?

I’ve spent so many hours in that chat room that I think I’ve gone a bit crazy. At first it started with the idea of the external gaze, since my work as a dancer is solo, I came up with the idea of someone watching me in rehearsals. That someone ended up becoming a character in the piece and eventually the protagonist. I feel that the chat has ended up devouring me. I like to feel that I don’t have total control in the scene and that chat can do whatever it wants with me, you have to sacrifice yourself for the art. I would do everything in the name of art and that’s why I don’t want to decide for myself, I don’t want the work to control me and not me to control it.



Could you tell us about the first time you performed this piece?

In the first performance I realized that the device I had created worked, honestly it was a coincidence. I wanted to do a dance piece in which I had the focus, but the chat commands ended up taking all the audience’s attention.


The musical aspect seems to me to be key, how did you integrate music into this performance?

On the one hand, Mahler’s 5th symphony, the climactic work of “Death in Venice”, my favorite film. Which is intertwined with La Carn because of the obsession with beauty and falling in love with the forbidden. Then there is also Reggaeton and trap music, music that defines my inclinations and at the same time I know that it disconcerts the theater audience and that amuses me a lot! The sound space is important because what we hear in the play are the sounds of the multiple lives of others that appear on Chatroulette.

I know you are preparing the film of La Carn which will be released in 2025. Can you give us any details about how the project is developing and how it will differ from the play?

I am currently working from home to create the video calls and develop my character in the film. It is a project that will be shot in November and then released in 2025. The team is made up of the director of the Samantha Hudson documentary, Joan Porcel, Charlie Bujosa in the production and Pere Sastre in the script, together with the director and myself.

The film will tell the story of this boy, who lives locked in his room, deeply obsessed by conversations with strangers. He will be involved in a terrible event that we will find out about later. La Carn will always be the gateway to observe the intimacies of a young man who freely decides to sell his soul to Chatroulette!



Check his profile @lluisgarau for new dates of La Carn