Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Edward Gordon Craig: drop the emotion, buddy...

So Craig says, in his Uber-marionette, that actors are a degenerate version of really impressive ancient automated statues. I'm not sure about that, or his criticism that humans, being all emotional, make 'useless' material for art, but I like his idea that massive puppets are the next step in performance.

Craig was writing around a century ago, so he gets to look cool in sepia prints and mutton-chops, and, since he was before Dada, performance art and Beckett, his meditations on theatre are focused on the naturalism of the late Victorian period. 

He's against emotional outbursts ('art is the exact antithesis of pandemonium'), has essentialist views on human nature that I wouldn't dare ('the whole nature of man tends towards freedom'), but he influenced that Polish fellow Kantor and suggests an escape route from the romantic ideal of art. 

So I am listening...

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