Propositions: On Text and Space

My production Some Stage Directions was commissioned for the Delhi Ibsen Festival of 2009 for Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman. I used the basis of the Ibsen text as a device to develop a response to history, to everything that we hear around us in relation to mining, extraction and accumulation and the great gambles that go awry. Stage directions from the Ibsen script and texts by the New Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective (that constructed a landscape of larger histories) were used as the spine of the text. The use of monologue (instead of dialogue) and the analytical, annotative texture of the stage directions provided moments to step away from the immediate emotional landscape of the play, allowing for personal histories to be reflected upon rather than felt.

The (2009) production explored the different ways in which images can be constructed and imagined using text. Can the description of an image serve as a mode of its performance? In what forms can a text be moulded and spoken as such that images develop primarily from textual permutations? The different qualities and narratives of the texts used in the production has led me to think about what would happen if there was no performer through which the text is mediated – if there is only text and space how does text transform, literally, into image? Text as landscape, text as visual, text as object, text as installation, text as performance, writing as performance, text as a plastic and a concrete form. The proposed installation will seek to map text as a landscape through a series of three-dimensional light installations that interprets and responds to the text spatially and experientially.Through the installation I hope to map further three somewhat parallel trajectories that have emerged over time in my work: the movement from actor to space (and its interaction with text); from personal tragedy to social history and from performance to installation.

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