A THEATRICAL-WEBSITE-COLLAGE IN ACTION
We will soon be launching an interactive website called THE JUXTAPOSE TENEMENT.
This virtual shadow-box, tenement building will feature portals through which visitors glean poetic glimpses of characters, environments, and fantasias.
This show was originally conceived as a live performance and began development as part of a residency at Joe's Movement Emporium. It took as its inspiration the shadow boxes of Joseph Cornell, the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, nostalgia, ephemera, mass-extinction and the Anthropocene, discovery, creation, play, attachment and letting go.
When the global pandemic hit and all live performance became dangerous, we were not sure how to proceed. In many ways the crisis resonated so well with some of the themes we were exploring, but how to continue the work when we couldn't gather as an ensemble and had no live performance option?
Then Sabrina, in her Visionary Tornado way, had an epiphany...
JUXTAPOSE (the play) had been set in an imaginary tenement building - with the feeling of a turn-of-the-century boarding house - inhabited by eccentrics whose journeys, within the container of this dwelling, become art. What if we could continue to play with the characters that we'd developed and use video to create rooms and portals within a virtual tenement building? We could film both in isolation and do group work outside at the Happenstance Atelier with plenty of room to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
And then we could invite guest artists to create rooms to house and share their imaginings. This Tenement assemblage will be an artistic feast for visitors to inhabit for a spell.
And so, as if by Happenstance the project is finding its way to fruition.
At their best, the screens that people find themselves in front of are like Cornell's boxes: inspiring places where we can lose ourselves in the poetic dreams of others. Using simple video techniques, Georges Méliès inspired film magic, manipulation of objects, puppetry, physical theatre, theatrical clown, sound layering and vintage spectacle, we are conjuring portals to hope.