Update from Enter Face: This process is bizarre to me. But I dig it. Right from the beginning we sat around a table and talked about our ideas. Some proposals sounded cool or strange or interesting and it was decided that they we should try them and video tape them. We wrote them all down and then we made a list of stuff to go buy. The list resembled a material supply list of my kindergarten art class. String, balloons, confetti. But it also included fake wig, tin foil, potatoes, candles and so on. Just toys for our playing.
The substance of what our leader is looking for has been revealed slowly. He shares with us the video he has shot and immediately I get why he finds some ideas interesting and others not. He plays the footage backwards, with basic effects layers, he slows some material down or has the image upside down. There’s a teenage playfulness in how he sees and hears what we do.
After I made a video of a visual idea which included some text the project leader said “Now how to make it theater and not a film.” But what he sort of meant was how to remove the narrative of my chosen text (it was a Shakespeare soliloquy). On a walk from our lunch to rehearsal he told me that the institutional theaters in Russia who are doing Chekhov and such don’t really interest him. Some of their practices as tools could be useful and of course he would take work designing lights or implementing video for a traditional company. But I sorted out from our rehearsals and from this conversation that what he was doing would be generally labeled as time-based contemporary performance.
So we are trying to strip away the performance with extreme elemental / plastic / material confrontations. The research is about what lies beneath and asks if we can get there through the face. I don’t know where it is going. That in itself is a refreshing discovery in the rehearsal room.