project

city as a stage

In video #1 on September 29, 2009 at 09:55

hmmm…. My inner soul is craving for some woods and trees. The ‘wild man’ inside of me is longing to reconnect with nature. But the fact is,… I am living in Rotterdam. Not necessarily the most green place on earth.

artist_impression_groene_daken_rotterdam

There are some parcs around. And there are gardens. I am very interested at the moment to make performances in some public gardens of Rotterdam. It is in fact the perfect location to bring the faun/the wild man in me alive. Just imagine having this guy jumping up and down between the bushes. I am sure at first you will think I am some homeless guy discovering new territory. Or perhaps you might think you just discovered a new secret gay cruising area. No, it is way more unique than that. There is somebody making a performance for you. All for free. And you just discovered it. I wonder if you would stop for a moment and enjoy this unexpected encounter? Or would you feel embarressed? I wonder how I could bring it in such a way that it feels innocent and inviting? Rather poetically than confronting?

In the book ‘Iron John’ Robert bly explains the symbolic meaning of ‘the garden’.
The word ‘garden’ in mythological tradition suggests a walled garden; a place marked out, seperated from farmyard, grain field, forest or desert, in order that human beings can cultivate there precious plants or flowers.
The Greek God Hermes/Mercurius has a very ancient connection with walled gardens, in fact with all that is enclosed with or by intent.
To this day a can of peaches is said to be “hermetically sealed”. Hermes guides the forming of containers, the establishment of boundaried places, particularly those areas set aside for  inward work.
A nun’s cloister, a meditation room, a deep well, a niche for a god, a closed tomb, the lover’s room, the philosopher’s study, the alchemist’s vessel are all hermetic containers. My idea is to use the stage as a place as such.
Entering the garden we escape from the rain of blows offered by “the world” and find a temporary shelter, a place to recover from broken trust. Also it can be a place to develop introversion. A nourishing place where there’s time to look at one self and discover one’s driving needs, one’s hidden desires. A place to perhaps look at one’s shadow side, one’s ‘wild’ side.
We could say that  in the walled garden, as in the alchemical vessel, new metals get formed as the old ones melt. There is a suggestion of cultivation as opposed to rawness, boundaries as opposed to unbounded sociability, soul concerns as opposed to outer obsessions, passion as opposed to raw sexuality, growth of soul desire as opposed to obsession with a generalized greed for things.
In the garden the soul and nature marry.
We cultivate yearning and longing and notice tiny desires.

For the piece ‘Performing Portraits’ I had the desire for the stage to become a garden. A contained space which can mirror the qualities of the mythological garden. An environment where we could cultivate personal character studies (portraits).
As a natural plant developped by intent.
Now I am thinking to turn this idea around and make (public) gardens into a stage…
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