THE WAY WE WORK //
A GLIMPSE INTO THE WORK PROCESS
Our works emerge out of long research processes, which are aimed at the momentary and human, and strive to find a radical language for creating live art. We find great interest in creating productions which highlight the theatricality and sensory keennessof encounters between people, and in forming events that foster intimacy between groups of strangers.
The group’s work begins with an in-depth analysis of the chosen text. Step by step, we unravel the tangles of the classic text, examining its components in both performative and local contexts, then reassembling the show’s structure, in accordance with the space.
The way we see it, contemporary reading of classic materials gathers together all layers created since the writing of the work to the moment it is read. This is why we correspond not only with the text itself, but with additional materials – adaptations, insinuations, responses, and paraphrases, philosophical, literary, dramatic, and scientific texts inspired by it along the years, as well as with materials conceived by us and written by the participants during the work on the project.
In the next stage, we identify an appropriate space and begin working in it. The Lighthouse building, where our work premiered (designated to be used as a youth community center) is characterized by an architecture of domination – a large central space overlooking a ring of smaller rooms around it, supplying those rooms with light and air.
Daylight, and the viewer’s gaze, both catch the happenings in the rooms, and are caught by them, in the absence of darkness to provide shelter or protection.
As part research on the building, we used the municipality’s archive for studying its history, urban role, and architectural aspects. We studied the restoration process, read protocols form governmental committees meetings in the subject, and held discussions with local residents regarding their opinions about it.
Being designated for “strict conservation” this building underwent renovation over a period of twenty years. The renovation, as an intrusive act having a tragic aspect, was taken as an essential element for the show and for questions of classical historic value versus the contemporary, and of aggressive, intrusive, occupying, and divisive actions versus reflection, listening, identifying, and supportive actions.
As part of the group’s work process structure, each artist brings with him different “tools”. The freedom of movement between various fields of art, styles, and media, forms a basis for construction of a fresh and unique artistic language.
The various artistic means in the work, combining many different media and artistic languages (visual art, video art, sculpture, design, movement, sound, new media, theater, and performance, strive to broaden the scope of the theatrical event, to dismantle any social order to its elements, to present different view points simultaneously, to liberate the viewer from social conventions, to abandon prejudice, and take a fresh look at reality, thus thickening and widening the range of expression in both content and aesthetics, and the ways of communicating with the audience.
Based on the text and dramaturgic structure of the Greek tragedy, and out of the questions which came up in the group, and the artistic process of coping with those questions in a given space, a new dramaturgic structure was gradually created.
The play “Prometheus Bound” comprises the three unities, which according to Aristotle shape the classical text: the unity of time, the unity of space, and the unity of the plot. In the project “Lost Paradise” we chose to break those three unities, and disassemble the text to its elements, with the aim of inspecting the classical text in a modern interpretation.
The length of fictitious time in “Lost Paradise” is undefined, and the plot, which contains several parallel happenings, is not linear. The choice of a site-specific show, i.e.one that is located in a concrete space, and relating to its specific historical and political aspects, in parallel to the re-assembly of the different elements in a pattern of frames within frames, was an expression of the attempt to re-unite today’s audience with the classical text, and make the heart of the tragedy into contemporary reality.
When Aeschylus supposedly disappears behind the speaking performers, who incorporate their personal lives and experiences into the classical text, the mythological discussion form transformation, and opens to different perspectives raising questions about the perception of truth, reality, and distribution of power in society.In accordance with the Lighthouse building’s architecture, resembling an octopus with its 8 arms, and based on the dramatic mapping, the artists were assigned characters, with the goal of creating short self sustained pieces, within a larger tactical fabric weaving them into one homogeneous site-connected experience.
The fact that the group consists of artists, immediately directed us, so to speak, as a chorus, leading the dramatic investigation, but concomitantly examining the place of the individual within it. The collective members’ portrayal of the various characters and of the chorus members, while echoing their “real” identity, connects and exposes layers of identities and points of view.
A double process takes place during the work, finding out on the one hand what are the social and political consequences of the Greek chorus (vs its role today), and on the other hand, stemming from the personal contexts of the artists during rehearsals, questions about the price and advantages of blending in a group.
THE ART SCENE AS A CRIME SCENE
In “Prometheus Bound”, the values of rulers and subjects collide. From the work arose the question of justice – who is right, and who has the right to judge whose who broke the law (this law being controlled by a specific world of values). Thus, Prometheus’s trial became a crime scene, containing evidence of the crimes committed in it. As he enters the show, the viewer is invited to an investigation about the issues raised.
We chose to look at the fictitious reality and beyond it, to respond to it and to its various appearances, and offer food for critical thought. The works presented in the rooms formed a multi-layered environment forcing the viewer to act between fiction and reality. The viewer was asked to change the way he observes and conceives, and to give himself to the deluding space, acting within experiences and aesthetic feelings provided to him by the artists.
Like an investigator arriving at a crime scene, the audience will have to assume responsibility and decide– is there one truth?