the first time, I saw myself
A dark pool of water is a source from which faces emerge and dissolve. Mutation arises. Glistening transparent plastic forms and computer-generated video merge with the human body. A man is augmented by technology and at the same time manipulated. His life story unfolds from birth, through development, encounters with various creatures, a battle, a meeting with “death”, and the passing beyond a veil. Movement, transparent puppets, video art and spatialised sound form a combination of ancient and hi-tech imagery, mirrored in a liquid skin of water.
The work takes as its starting point literary, mythological and scientific notions of creation and metamorphosis. Specifically, the artistic team delved into the following areas for inspiration: biological mutation, encounter of the genetic & binary codes, digital procedures, cloning, left/right brain hemispheres, robotics, emergent behaviour, body change, ageing, metamorphosis, sci-fi, myths of mutation, monsters, golem, and homunculus. They also responded to the aesthetic and imaginative aspects of water, mirrors, transparency, projections, reflections, extremes, & contrasts.
STYLE AND ELEMENTS OF THE WORK
Unique dancer James Cunningham integrates his paralysed left arm into his personal movement language.
Master puppeteer Frank Soehnle created exquisite Plexiglass puppets, ranging from small string puppets to one spanning 2m, manipulated using a system of pulleys.
Performer Bruce Ellison finds ways in which the puppets interact and fuse with the body, extending it beyond the confines of the purely physical, into the unlimited realm of myth and imagination.
Video artist Suzon Fuks uses computer-animated writing, mixing the 3 languages used during the creative process (English, German and French), superimposed and flowing, like a multi-layered stele relating fragments of history, of stories. Live projections magnify the small puppets and pre-recorded images create an evolving tridimensional architecture of light.
Composer Bobvan enfolds the audience in a web of spatialised voice, sound and music.
The work is highly visual and suited to a public audience interested in diverse art practices, as it places elements of performance art, dance, object manipulation, visual art, video, sound art, contemporary music, installation in a contemporary theatrical context, as well as arts for and with people with disabilities.
The show tours with 4 people.
Raked seating: each of the audience must see the floor.
Performance area minimum 8m wide x 10m deep x 4m height + wings.
Grid needed for hanging lights, puppets and screens. Quadraphonic sound.
WORKSHOPS, FORUMS AND LECTURE
Workshops are available in mime, and in the interaction between movement and visual projections, as is a lecture/demonstration on the history of multimedia performance.