A Theatre without Theatre

A Theatre without Theatre
Temporary exhibition
16/11/2007
- 17/02/2008
Floor: 
2
Curator: 
Bernard Blistène
Yann Chateigné
A Theatre without Theatre
Temporary exhibition
16/11/2007
- 17/02/2008
Floor: 
2
Curator: 
Bernard Blistène
Yann Chateigné
Body: 

A Theatre without Theatre analyses the relationship between theatre and the visual arts during the 20th century. Starting from the theories developed by Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874-1940), Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), Samuel Beckett (1902-1989) and Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990), among others, which have transformed deeply the notions of space in the classical theatre, such as their correspondence to historical avant-garde movements (Futurism, Dadaism and Constructivism), a story is built, having as a point of inflection the inventive fever of the 19605. In this period, many contrasts between the two disciplines show up, extending until the late 19805. The exhibition presents a critical reading of the consequences of these contributions to art, highlighting paradigmatic authors and moments and going through reconstructive itineraries on the complex net of relations that surpass a merely linear or chronological interpretation; from Hugo Ball (1886-1927) and Dadaism to Mike Kelley (b. 1954), from Oskar Schlemmer (1888-1943) to Dan Graham (b. 1942), from Minimal Art to the generations of post-minimalism artists such as Bruce Nauman (b. 1941) and James Coleman (b. 1941).

The analysis of the influences that the language of theatre has in art becomes a useful tool in interpreting nowadays a vast offer of propositions and artistic attitudes. In this sense, the pieces which compose this exhibition reflect the different evolution levels in the relationship actor/ spectator, of their interactions in their roles, of their negotiations of space, of the presence of narrative, and thus of speech, and the revision of the status of document. It also shows the constant and mutual interaction of the popular art expressions and those coming from ‘high culture’ origins, from cabaret to opera, to rock and dance, from street theatre to performance.

The exhibition follows two essential guiding lines. The first one focuses on artistic attitudes that deal with the performative element as a fundamental element of their practice. This process demands the integration of ‘real time’ of the different aspects of the action, and of brief events, such as street parties and folk music, paired up with the retrieving of elements from the event culture. The second line deals with the debate, emerging from the critics of minimal art, about the autonomy of the work of art and its perceptive conventions – the renouncing of ‘visuality’ as sole category on the creation of meaning and the idea of the work of art as ‘instrument’. The exhibited pieces challenge each other around the notion of theatricality – the construction of time and space, of the scene, the length of the experience, the importance of the text and the need for a new attitude from the audience, often addressed directly, always questioned in the act of perception.