It's nice to see you all posting away. Just one quick blog maintenance thing... Don't post your personal info on the blog, anyone can read it. Eric, I took your phone number off your post, just so's you know... anyway... on with the play itself.
I'm glad, Brian, that Anselm Kiefer really spoke to you. The more I read about him + his fascinations with texture and mysticism the more right-on I think he is. The other artists I've been looking at are Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter. I've also been reading/looking at the book The Perfect Medium a catalogue and analysis of 19th Century Spirit Photography.
I want to try to draw some links between these different things. First, the Francis Bacon. I think with Francis Bacon, what I'm drawn to is the attitude behind the art rather than specific images vis-a-vis this play. Bacon said of his own work that "I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of a human prsence and memory trace of past events, as the snail leaves its slime". J.G. Ballard (who wrote Empire of the Sun amongst others) said of Bacon (whom he was friends with) something along the lines of Bacon's paintings are like the dead trying to draw what they looked like when they were alive. This quote speaks to me of what the characters themselves are doing in this play.
Kiefer I think speaks for itself. The rough textures, the mystical symbols, the way it draws on the more occultish ends of Judaism etc. Also, the moments of beauty. There's a painting of his that has his trademark rough-hewn textures all over the canvas, and then at the top, one lone white feather. This play is full of those moments.
The Richter and the spirit photography speak to a very specific thing to me, and trying to find the theatrical equivolent is gonna be tough, but I think is part of our jobs... it's the blurryness of it. When ghosts appear on photos, they're orbs of light. When they appear in the spirit photos, they're bits of ecoplasm, or sometimes super-imposed images. Here-yet-not-here. The same sensibility invades blurred photo paintings">the Richter blurred photos as well. You get the sense of a person, yet they're not really there. How do we do this on stage? (Besides using Pepper's Ghost, of course). Also, the sepia color of the old photographs really speaks to me. Is there any way to make these people somehow old photographs of themselves but come to life?
Anyway... check out these artists and let me know what you guys think.
Also... any visuals that I should be looking at?