Sunday, 2 December 2012
Work from Matter enclosed in heavy brackets.
“The project Matter enclosed in heavy brackets centers around the cancelled theatrical premiere of The Cradle Will Rock, a play directed by a very young Orson Welles for the Federal Theater Project in New York. Both a wonderful Opera and a remarkable piece of theater history, The Cradle Will Rock is an allegory of corruption and greed, set in the fictional Steeltown, USA and composed in a style that falls somewhere between realism, romance, vaudeville and agitprop. Originally set to open in New York on June 16, 1937 with elaborate sets and a full orchestra, the production was shut down due to political pressure and the scenery, props and costumes, regarded as government property, were confiscated. Orson Welles moved the cast and the spectators to another theater, in which the actors sung the entire play from the position of the audience, in complete absence of props. Through a process of associations and symbolic gestures, historical facts meld with personal interpretations and semifictional narratives. Thus, the incident of 1937, is inserted into a larger context while its political actuality is implied. The sculptural elements, placed halfway between matter and the representation, replicate modernist vocabulary and agit prop theater set design to create both a precise and minimal stage. While applying lyrical titles, often borrowed from songs, an austere and conceptually accurate range of materials such as glass, concrete, steel and fabric is employed. Additionally a new series of collages relates, appropriately, to the concepts of disappearance, appearance, superimposition, and substitution.” – Iris Touliatou