Monday, February 27, 2006

You Mean There's A Wall There? {Updated}

Most performances, TV and film stay within their "three walls." A few "break" the fourth wall and address the audience... but Friday I saw something else.

Danzahoy, mentioned previously, had a sequence where the dancers approach the edge of the stage, and "pushed" at it tentatively, leaned out, and struggled to see through "it." It was one of the few times when I've seen a performers deal at length with the existence of a "wall" separating their experience with some other.

There was hesitation, curiosity, often some anxiety.

In a parallel thread, I've started Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking." She describes an inscription in her late husband's prep school poetry text, where he lists three points to consider when reading a poem. She closes that chapter noting how she hadn't used one of the considerations in viewing her own grief.

What I see joining these two pieces are how tools of art clearly serve as tools of life.

What happens when we analyze our lives in the way we analyze art and media. Is there an outside observer in my life (hello webcam, security cam, and satellite viewers). How is time altered (ever notice that a computer's expected time of a task is much faster than your watch, or perhaps much slower). What is the resonance of a line or a conversation?

Do we analyze our lives? And if so, with what tools?

{Update} I didn't have Didion's book with me, and I couldn't remember the questions, but here they are: 1) What is the meaning of the poem and what is the experience? 2) What thought or reflection does the experience lead us to? 3)What mood, feeling, emotion is stirred or created by the poem as a whole?

I think we occassionally discuss our lives around the 2nd and 3rd question, but I can't help but to think how much richer our experiences and discourse would be if we always used these questions.

Finally, I forgot to mention how much I love the cover: simply, mostly blacktext reading:

the year of

The bold letters are blue, gently weaving in j-o-h-n, her partner.


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