Anna Lublina is a theater artist, puppeteer, and educator. She embraces ideals of collectivity and community action that she first encountered in her research into the Soviet conceptualists. Her work has been presented at the Old American Can Factory, Dixon Place, The Brick, The Tank, The Pit, Vital Joint, Bread and Puppet Theater, and at the Communal Spaces Festival. She is a teaching artist with Ping Chong + Company and is the general manager at Meredith Monk’s the House Foundation. Anna has been an artist in residence at the Barn Arts Collective (2018), Azule (2018), and Bread and Puppet Theatre (2016). She was recently accepted into the St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab and awarded the Blueprint Fellowship by COJECO, an organization that supports the Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) community, in support of Бабушка | BAb(oo)shka.
As a theater maker, I aspire to collectively write new mythologies for our time. My work is founded in the belief that experimental performance can be a step toward political revolution: it offers an alternative to the status quo and asks audiences to question the permanence of structures. As I explore the mutability of structure in my work, I inevitably draw from multiple disciplines, dissolving the boundaries between forms to create something that attempts to be beautiful in its idiosyncrasy, like the breath songs of Meredith Monk (a key artistic influence). I meld text, puppetry, physical theater, music, and voice to create queer performance with a hefty dose of idealism.
The transdisciplinarity in my work is perhaps an outgrowth of my bicultural upbringing; as the child of a Soviet immigrant, I have words and ideas in my English and Russian vocabularies that literally cannot be translated into the other language; this knowledge makes me aware of the failure of language as a structure to contain all possibilities. My work proposes the possibility of live performance offering more expansive structures built on collective thought and action. It creates mythologies founded on queer, radical value systems that upend the histories upheld by neoliberal patriarchal power structures.
On a fundamental level, I want my work to be accessible to a broader public. I have been deeply influenced in this regard by the work of Bread and Puppet (where I worked for a summer) and by the Moscow Conceptualists (about whom I wrote my college thesis in art history). Their work reminds me that revolution can only be born out of a sincere desire for change. This is why my work embraces earnestness in affect and ethereality in aesthetic, even as it often melds these forms with camp and humor. I believe that sincerity is the antidote to the apathy of my generation, and this belief informs my artistic practice from process to production.