Advertisement

“Object” of CONTROL: Framing the Fragments

Chapter
  • 253 Downloads
Part of the Performance Interventions book series (PIPI)

Abstract

Filling the stage of the London Coliseum is the giant form of a naked woman, crouching on hands and knees, one arm reaching forward, mouth agape, frozen in alarm or pain. Two human heads appear as pupils in her eye sockets; they later move through her head and emerge from her mouth. These and the other human bodies expelled from this giant woman-set’s orifices are the cast of La Fura dels Baus’s production of György Ligeti’s opera, Le Grand Macabre staged for the English National Opera in 2009. In this production, an Ubu-like story of excess and decay, the oversized naked woman is the characters’ playground, a corporeal metaphor for the opera’s chaotic cityscape into which death descends to wreak havoc with its inhabitants. The body on stage has replaced an opening video depicting the inside of a flat littered with overflowing ashtrays, and empty food cartons — tubs of ice cream, a take-out pizza box — and a book on Breughel. This is the Breughelland of Ligeti’s opera, a body abused — the camera cuts to a woman, “Claudia,” mouth open in a panicked scream, perhaps having a heart attack, in pain. A close up of her distressed face remains visible as the lights shift and the projection appears on the face of the model on stage. The model-woman is fixed throughout the production, capable of rotating to expose other orifices, and transformed by spectacularly lush projections that reduce her/it to a series of systems and processes: the body suddenly appears as a 3-D skeletal system, or as the digestive system with particles moving through the bowels; a projection of fire representing the pain she might be feeling seems to consume the body structure; a film of a naked fleshy body rocking back-and-forth is projected upon it, making it seem to move.

Keywords

Chaos Theory Physical Body Commodifiable Product Electric Light Object Body 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Jennifer Parker-Starbuck 2011

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations