Monday, January 14, 2008

Creature in Performance

Here is Lorena trying out her Creature creation in our very cramped rehearsal studio (we wish:-). Click on the image to see her sweat off a few pounds. No kidding, that is the actual speed at which the Creature moves!

Theater and performing arts are collaborative in nature. In this work as in many others I collaborate with my wife and partner, Lorena Paola1, an accomplished actress and designer on her own right. Our points of view are sometimes diametrically opposed and this means we must find the focus where those points converge in a “pivot of interest”2 as a means to stabilize the vision enough to be perceptible and understandable at some level to an audience that stands in for the community of the “theatrum mundi”3, where we express the cultural and political concerns of the self in relation to the world.

By bringing into the stage streams of everyday actions by people willingly or unsuspectingly captured by the panoptic4 gaze of our modern “society of control” as building blocks of the Creator’s alchemical process, we intend to establish the idea that all actions are performance and the implication that by performing those actions we long for the long lost promise and plenitude of eternal life.5

1- Lorena Paola is a multifaceted artist, working in theater as an actress-director-playwright-choreographer. She is also a sculptor and a glass artist, costume, mask designer and model-maker and is involved in every facet of production for her theater company “TeatroNuestro” of which she is President.
Lorena studied acting in her native Chile, Photography in Munich, Germany, Music Theater and Dance at “Steps” in New York and Jazz at Broadway Dance Center. She was Drama Instructor for the Hispanic Cultural Heritage Center in Miami and acting instructor at New World School of the Arts.

As a playwright her work has been performed in Pappenheim, Germany, at Florida International University in Miami as well as at the Digital Worlds Institute where she wrote, choreographed and acted in an international collaborative piece with Chile.

Her last play “Workshop of Dreams” was premiered as part of the International Theater Festival in Puerto Montt, Chile in July 2004.

- Fernand Léger wrote that he wanted “to conceive of objects as the pivots of interest, objects so beautiful that they have enormous spectacle value.”

3- In Calderon’s “Gran Teatro del Mundo”, he has the world itself state that it only obediently executes that which, although brought about or created by it (the world) the miracle belongs to the actor that enacts his/her given role. There are no spectators in Calderon’s play. Each of us is an actor, and thus responsible for our own image and creation.

4- The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell if they are being observed or not, thus conveying a "sentiment of an invisible omniscience." (Wikipedia)

5- In Lacan’s essay about the “mirror stage” (le stade du miroir) he describes the process of identification with an outside entity as "insufficiency to anticipation – and which manufactures for the subject, caught up in the lure of spatial identification, the succession of phantasies that extends from a fragmented body-image to a form of its totality that I shall call orthopaedic – and, lastly, to the assumption of the armour of an alienating identity, which will mark with its rigid structure the subject’s entire mental development" (Lacan, Écrits (rvd. edn., 2002), 'The mirror stage', p. 5).

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