Saturday, 15 October 2011

skin: sand

[twenty new plays about 9/11 and its legacy]
Commodity Quay | St Katherine Docks

Conceived and Developed by:
Rupert Goold and Robert Icke
Director: Rupert Goold
Set Designer: Miriam Buether
Costume Design: Emma Williams
Choreographer: Scott Ambler
Lighting Dersign: Malcolm Rippeth
Composer & Sound Design: Adam Cork
Technical Sound Design: Sebastian Frost
  • compelling
  • the multiple perspectives
  • that corridor!
  • the sense of ensemble
  • the movement and choreography
  • the audience as witnesses
  • the humour
  • the countdown from 2011
  • the structure
  • the 20 shorts
  • the 20 writers
  • that tiny homage to musical theatre
5 highlights:
  • Recollections of Scott Forbes | edited by Samuel Adamson
  • The Enemy | Mike Bartlett
  • Gift | Ella Hickson
  • not resentful at all | Harrison David Rivers
  • Everyone | Christopher Shinn

Friday, 14 October 2011

skin: beauteous

by William Shakespeare
Jericho House | Barbican: St. Giles' Cripplegate

Director: Jonathan Holmes
Design: Lucy Wilkinson
Lighting Design: Katharine Williams
Original Music: Robert Johnson
Composer: Jessica Dannheisser
Photo: Jamie Archer

  • the canopy of lanterns: enchanting
  • the acoustic: resonant
  • the shadows: beguiling
  • the comedy: original
  • the music: mystical
  • the poetry: playful
  • how beauteous mankind is!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

skin: brutality

by Sarah Kane
Arcola Theatre

Director: Bronwen Carr
Design: Anna Bliss Scully
Lighting: Tom White
Sound: Steve Mayo
Composer: Laura Jane Bowler
Photos: Simon Kane

Note to self:
  • What is the structure of this play?
  • What is the language of this play?
  • The relentless boredom of waiting...
  • Desire...
  • Just not brutal enough!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

skin: treasure


Saturday, 8 October 2011

skin: dance

Merce Cunningham Dance Company
The Legacy Tour | Final London Season
Dance Umbrella 2011 | Barbican | 5-8 October 2011

Choreography: Merce Cunningham
Music: John Cage, Roaratorio,
An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake
D├ęcor and Costumes: Mark Lancaster
Lighting: Mark Lancaster with Christine Shallenberg
Restaging: Patricia Lent with the assistance of Robert Swinston (2010)

  • the joy
  • the ease
  • the style
  • the technique
  • the sounds
  • sheri burt (where it all began)
  • paul davies (where it all began)
  • john cage (where it all began)

Friday, 7 October 2011

skin: elastic

Barbican Art Gallery
Curated by Rotor
06/10/11 - 19/02/12

  • the EU bar code
  • the Wyly Theatre: Dallas
  • the materials
  • architectural skins
  • the competition(s)
  • the PRADA catwalk
  • preoccupations
  • 3,454,204 images on the server
  • a place as 'worth ethic' / 'work ethic'
  • a building as strategy
  • don't describe: show and prove
  • sustainable architecture
  • part with the familiar
  • accommodate change
  • authentic humans
  • elastic organism: not death

"Minimum / Sustainable* now exists in a state of parasitic codependency with overdose: to have and not to have, craving and owning, finally collapsed in a single signifier."
from: Junkspace | 2002 | Rem Koolhaas | adapted by Rotor* 2011 


skin: glamour

Marlene Dietrich | George Hurrell | 1937

Marlon Brando | John Engstead | 1950
for: 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Vivien Leigh | Laszlo Willinger | 1939
for: 'Gone with the Wind'

Marilyn Monroe | Ernest Bachrach | 1952

Rock Hudson | Leo Fuchs | 1961
for: 'Lover Come Back'

© John Kobal Foundation | 2011

Thursday, 6 October 2011

performance-making: theatre-maker

Created by Serge Danot | 1963
Original UK Broadcast: 1965-1977 | c. 450 episodes

From left to right:
Dougal | Florence | Zebedee | Brian | Ermintrude
a dog | a girl (a human: but not really) | a jack-in-the-box | a snail | a cow

Dylan is absent from this photograph. He played guitar.

The only way to make theatre: magic roundabouts!

Thank you Janette Froud: dancer, actor, performer, theatre-maker, lady-in-a-cardboard-box.

You can be, play, do, any of these parts, roles, animals, beings.

"But tonight, Janette, you are going to be: the roundabout."

I now understand the roundabouts: THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT.

I now understand theatre and its making.

No BLUE PETER for me...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

movie stillness

  • crafted!
  • the stillness: the silence
  • the tension!
  • a movie about movies
  • being present
  • obsession with possession
  • sacrificial
  • gangster
  • clarity of thought and action
  • clarity of being

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

skin: blanket

Javier Moscoso
Research Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
Spanish National Research Council
Co-curator of the 'Skin' exhibition
wellcome collection | Prologue Essay | 2010

"The history of the human body has lately given particular attention to our organs. The heart, the liver, the brain have all become the objects of new academic study. The cultural history of medicine has assumed that the history of the whole body differs from the history of its parts, a conclusion that especially applies to the historical understanding of human skin.

The largest and most visible of our organs, skin has historically enjoyed an independent life. Before the development of dermatology, what covers us was regarded as a cultural and scientific excrescence, a cloth that had to be opened up and removed in order to gain access to the hidden innards. Only recently, as the result of looking at the layers of the skin detached from the body, has skin come to occupy a privileged position within the medical sciences. The first treatises entirely related to its diseases were published at the beginning of the 18th century, and dermatology, as we know it today, was only established as a professional discipline in the 19th century, in connection with the rise of venereal diseases.

Sometimes the body has been considered without a skin; at other times the skin has been thought of on its own. Early anatomy used classical or sacred iconology to conclude that, deep down, there was a perfect, ideal body. Dermatology, by contrast, concentrated on the pathological features expressed at the surface. Through either colour plates or wax models, the naturalistic representation of the skin became an educational tool and, very often, a matter of public entertainment and public display. Scientific readings of the skin went hand-in-hand with popular prejudice, moral rules and social indoctrination; accurate depictions were combined with a taste for the exotic or unusual.

From the 18th century, the skin was given a relevant place within the new systems of thought. The claim that our ideas begin with sensory impressions - with what we see, hear and feel - turned the skin into the ultimate frontier between knowledge and ignorance, life and death.

It is difficult to find any place where the bonds between science and society, nature and culture, and even mind and body, have been more visible than the skin. From the alleged powers of the maternal imagination to produce birthmarks to the supposed ability of hysterical patients to impress the name of their disease on their skin, the body's surface has always been linked to aesthetic values, scientific implications and cultural connotations. This is true of skin decoration, deformation, ageing and illness, as well as orifices, scarification and tattooing. From sacred stigmata to beauty spots, the marks of the skin might contain clinical information, but around its hair, spots, scars, wrinkles or blemishes, there have always been many other stories of individual actions or collective practices to tell.

From the representation of the body without skin in the early 16th century, to the academic scrutiny of the skin without a body from the mid-19th century onwards, the understanding of this organ has always been tied to personal feelings, collective anxieties and cultural values. Usually treated with care in private and disrespected in public, the skin - the pellis, la peau, la piel - remains even today full of social and cultural connections. The interior and the exterior, the normal and the pathological, life and death, structure and function, integrity and rupture, combine around this traditionally forgotten organ of the human body."

Monday, 3 October 2011

what is there more...

Photos: Marc Brenner

National Theatre: Olivier
Arnold Wesker

Director: Bijan Sheibani
Set Designer: Giles Cadle
Costume Designer: Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson
Music and Sound: Dan Jones
Movement Director: Aline David
Cookery Consultant: Jeremy Lee

  • the choreography / the movement
  • the tableaux
  • the silence (the stillness) amidst the noise
  • the stylisation: period / costume / movement et al
  • British Society - 50's - present: nothing changes!
  • the racism
  • a sense / the sense of community
  • the interlude: the dreaming
  • the bus driver
  • the working man
  • being the meat someone else's sandwich
  • what is there more?
  • Tom Brooke as Peter

Why would someone walk away from this performance and say: 'we may have enjoyed it more if we had left at the interval'?

The whole point of the piece is fully revealed during the Interlude and Part Two...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

skin: story

Image: Shelley Jackson: still from Skin, tattoo | 2003

  • by the skin of my teeth
  • it gets under my skin
  • s/he is so thick-skinned
  • beauty is only skin-deep
  • I am skint (skinned)
  • hide bound
  • scratch my skin
  • s/he is so skinny
  • save one's skin
  • s/he was skinned alive
  • it's no skin off my nose / back
  • the skin worms
  • the skull beneath the skin
  • the heart never knows the colour of the skin
  • we went skinny dipping
  • there's more than one way to skin a cat
  • I jumped out of my skin
  • s/he makes my skin crawl
  • I am soaked to the skin
  • it'll save your bacon (skin)