Friday, August 6, 2010

Body Theater ~

The other day I ran into an article on the work of a German theater director, Rene' Pollesch, that reminded me of what we're trying to do with You'll Always Come Back, situate the bodies of the performers exactly in the present, in a way that accentuates consciousness without masking response, while, at the same time, maintaining ties to the forces of history and nature that shape narrative. Here's an excerpt:

(Pollesch's work)..."developed under the influence of Happenings, performance art, and institutional critique, this model privileges the actor's singular bodily presence as opposed to the reproducible role, thereby emphasizing the autographic as opposed to the allographic components of performance. Analogously, theater's live element is foregrounded, while competing media such as film and television are marginalized.

Works in this vein advance a critique of alienation, one that seeks to invert the function of the theater with regard to compensatory tranquilization; since we have to play roles in our everyday, capitalist lives and not allowed to be ourselves, then in the theater we must work experimentally with that which is forbidden to us - namely corporeality, extreme fantasies, the act of breaking boundaries of role through a character thought of as endless, unitary.

Pollesch is reacting to our contemporary moment in which performances of body and self are precisely what the social norm requires from its subjects, and in which people would prefer alienation to forced authenticity."

Diedrich Diederichsen on Rene' Pollesch

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