Tuesday, January 6, 2009

M.C. Escher

You will find his work in any college dormitory in the country. Stairways leading upside down and winding into other stairways in an endless loop. One hand drawing a second hand which is in turn drawing the first hand. There is a certain level of intellectual balance and mathematical genius that is so simple to grasp that it is just plain fun. We are talking, of course, about the works of M.C. Escher.

Escher's works are self referencing to infinity; like holding a mirror up to a mirror and looking into the infinate number of reflections that occur. His works are appealing to inquiring minds looking to delve deeper. His work is also strangly poignant in a world where most of our knowlege and information can be tracked down in an interactive web that uses links to connect you with more and more data and information. A person could get lost in the loop of websites and live completely in a virtual world.

When this is what the medium of theatre is up against, how do we make our art form more self referencing. How do we make the finite space of two hours, or whatever it takes from the beginning of a play to an end, more meaningful and thought provoking. How do we layer in other plays or information that will make the audience compare other plays and other experience and other memories that they've had. So rather than watchin a linear story play out in front of them, they are watching a series of symbols and metaphors for past experiences in their life. And by putting them together on stage, the audience is forces to compare and contrast their old experience and thought, weigh them all together and come up with something new.

In this idea the theatre experience is not the ends but the means. It is now that we perform on stage that matters, but what is experienced because of what happens on the stage.

How do we do this?

No comments:

Post a Comment