Category Archives: Performance Art

Liminal Theatre – Antonin Artaud


~ The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything — gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness — rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.

~ All true language is incomprehensible, like the chatter of a beggar’s teeth.

~ No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.

~ When we speak the word ”life’,’ it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach.

~ You are outside life, you are above life, you have miseries which the ordinary man does not know, you exceed the normal level, and it is for this that men refuse to forgive you, you poison their peace of mind, you undermine their stability. You have irrepressible pains whose essence is to be inadaptable to any known state, indescribable in words. You have repeated and shifting pains, incurable pains, pains beyond imagining, pains which are neither of the body nor of the soul, but which partake of both. And I share your suffering, and I ask you: who dares to ration our relief? We are not going to kill ourselves just yet. In the meantime, leave us the hell alone.

~ The race of prophets is extinct. Europe is becoming set in its ways, slowly embalming itself beneath the wrappings of its borders, its factories, its law-courts and its universities. The frozen Mind cracks between the mineral staves which close upon it. The fault lies with your moldy systems, your logic of 2 + 2 = 4. The fault lies with you, Chancellors, caught in the net of syllogisms. You manufacture engineers, magistrates, doctors, who know nothing of the true mysteries of the body or the cosmic laws of existence. False scholars blind outside this world, philosophers who pretend to reconstruct the mind. The least act of spontaneous creation is a more complex and revealing world than any metaphysics.

A. Artaud

The ‘sacred theatre of absurd’, the ‘theatre of cruelty’, theatre of non-identity, non-existence – mind-blowing, weirdo, genius, in parts completely nuts…

Beckett-sque, Kafka-sque… Sartre, Camus, Dada, Surreal…

Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Tadeusz Kantor…

Creating void in thought, a gap between words and thoughts, language and ideas, a silent beyond-ness hovering between a creator and the creation, ‘me’ and ‘them’…

Stage drama and the very personal drama, sacred and profane, opening wounds as spaces of healing and the risk of even deeper harm… No retreat from life, no cheap escapism, no straight-faced moralism, no mere subversion…

But one huge effort, experiment, ferment, fever, game, challenge – to make sense of life here and now – by the most nonsensical means there have been invented yet…

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Polish Theatre gets the clapping!

I just couldn’t miss this great opportunity to dive in the memories of my family town – Krakow (‘Cracow’ as it is misspelled sometimes).

The annual,  intensely energetic festival of theatrical performances – the “Divine Comedy” hosted by Krakow’s stages has made the arts news in the Irish leading newspaper. In the recent edition of the “Irish Times” Peter Crawley reports from Poland in all the acclaiming terms, tinting the relation with a bit of jealously (‘why something similar cannot be done here, in Ireland?’ – one can read between the verses).

To emulate the success of the cultural event is equally difficult like – I guess, to gamble if a transplant will be accepted by the ‘mother’-body or not. In Krakow, as far as I can remember, there were at least three major national theaters (independent companies) functioning all year long and few minor ones – all employing the set of full-time and excellently prepared professionals – actors, directors, stage design artists and so on. To be a respected theatre personality in Poland has meant to be more than the talented painter, even some of the writers didn’t get the same devotion; some of the poets only (mainly Nobelists and other great-s) would equal or surpass the actors and directors on the Pantheon of the ‘moral’ and ‘existential’ guides. The most famous academies for the future ‘theatre people’ have got the magic aura around them; fine art centers only rarely could have matched them in the sky-high level of the artistry in their principles and the artworks produced.

Above that, Poland’s social, political and cultural life has been always evolving around the drama-comedy sweet-sour swing – it’s been full of a struggle, bloodshed, brain-washing, oddities and bizarre elements, hate and vanity – a bit like in Ireland, yet – in Poland there is ten times more hands to meet the challenge of becoming a professional playwright or a performer. Adding to it the long tradition and the comparatively recent excitement with the ‘showing Europe who we are’ (Poland joined the EU in 2005) – and you got a high-quality international festival, prepared and ‘powered’ mostly by the young generation and – what’s important – getting the claps!

Well done Krakow. Looking forward to hear more good news.

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Read the original article here.


Florent Pagny “Savoir Aimer”

Savoir Aimer / To Know how to love

Savoir sourire / To know how to smile

A une inconnue qui passe / To a passerby

N’en garder aucune trace / Without trying to leave a mark

Sinon celle du plaisir / Just for pleasure it gives

Savoir aimer / To know how to love

Sans rien attendre en retour / Without wanting anything in return

Ni espoir ni grand amour / Neither hope nor the great love

Pas même l’espoir d’être aimé / Not even any hope of being loved

Refrain

Mais savoir donner / But to know how to give

Donner sans reprendre / Give without expecting

Ne rien faire qu’apprendre / Only for the sake of learning

Apprendre à aimer / Learning how to love

Aimer sans attendre / To love without waiting

Aimer à tout prendre / To love accepting everything

Apprendre à sourire / To learn how to smile

Rien que pour le geste/ For nothing just a gesture

Sans vouloir le reste / Without wanting the rest

Et apprendre à vivre / And to learn how to live

Et s’en aller / And how to go


Savoir attendre / To know how to wait

Goûter à ce plein bonheur / To taste the happiness in full

Qu’on vous donne comme par erreur / Which you got as if by an accident

Tant on ne l’attendait plus / So much you wouldn’t expect any more

Se voir y croire / Seeing is believing in itself

Pour tromper la peur du vide / To deceive the fright of the void

Ancrée comme autaant de rides / That is anchored like the wrinkles

Qui ternissent les miroirs / Which tarnish the mirrors

Refrain

Savoir souffrir / To know how to suffer

En silence sans murmure / In silence without murmur

Ni défense ni armure / Neither any defense or armor

Souffrir à vouloir mourir / To suffer wanting to die

Et se relever / And then to recover

Comme on renaît de ses cendres / Like being reborn anew

Avec tant d’amour à revendre / With so much love to offer

Qu’on tire un trait sur le passé / That it draws a line at the past

Refrain

Apprendre à rêver / To learn how to dream

A rêver pour deux / To dream for two

Rien qu’en fermant les yeux / Nothing but closing eyes

Et savoir donner / And to know how to give

Donner sans rature / Give without harm

Ni demi-mesure / Without half-measure

Apprendre à rester / To learn how to stay

Vouloir jusqu’au bout / To want to stay till end

Rester malgré tout / To stay regardless of anything

Apprendre à aimer / To learn how to love

Et s’en aller / And how to go

Et s’en aller / And how to leave…


Jerome Murat – art is an illusion

This piece corresponds well with Baudrillard’s theory of art, yet it appears to be rooted in a totally different ideological position. So, in this very world of no real meaning art is an illusion, a deception and a lie but it’s full of inner life and sense just because it chooses to be a sort of a trick. What is Murat’s performance? What is all about? An illusionist’s manipulation? An actor’s game trying to impress us with an appearance, a story or – simply – by playing? I believe that Jerome, being a skilled actor/mime as he seems to be is making a good use of his (presumed) fascination of David Copperfield’s or Derren Brown’s performances… But he is a performing artist first of all and his message is that of an art asking magic for a date…

It’s about chemistry of an Encounter, about beauty and drama of being One among Others – so similar, yet detached; it’s about a desire of a total assimilation/unification with those whose Presence seems to be mysteriously inseparable from our own existence… It’s about re-discovering your own Face

What a pleasing and thoughtful comment on humanity…

P.S.

This video has been originally uploaded to the Youtube service by “dobetko” – thank you. If it’s not playing go here, please.

21/12/2007

This performance possess an obvious in a sense entertaining quality and it can be distracting – watching it, first of all, as a show… But it’s “just” a sign of our times – street performers engaging themselves in a superficial world (hyper-reality) of a television production…But the message is still there – I can easily imagine it being done without that catchy scenography – in black and white, without music and…it would be even more evocative.


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