We split! We split! We split! Reading, Rehearsing and Performing the Scene One of the Act One of Shakespeare’s The Tempest Within Three Baltic Winter Storms
We Split! We Split! We Split!.. is a video installation realized during the winter 2015-2016, in the frame of my doctoral research on scenic thinking, deep stage and time ecology.
The eight minutes video consists of the simultaneity of three point-of-view shots, operated with an action camera, of the successive acts of reading, rehearsing and performing the shipwreck scene (sc.1 act.1) of Shakespeare’s The Tempest within three striking Baltic storms at the tip of the island of Suomenlinna in the bay of Helsinki. The process consisted of keeping a close eye on weekly weather forecast for South-Finland in order to keep up to date major storms warnings. When a storm would be about to hit the Baltic coast, I would take the ferry to access the island off-shore of Helsinki. After walking across the island in the harshening weather, I would reach the cliffs facing the sea. Once there, the performance would consist of monovocally reading, rehearsing, and performing the text of the inaugural scene of Shakespeare’s play in, with and to three successive raging storms. The recorded poly-caco-phonic soundscape, the specific visual regime of subjective camera and the simultaneous display of the three sequences through split-screen are combined in the video work in order to render this theatrical experience of performing on the edge, radically immersed and weathered within the environmental turmoil.
This durational project, whose progress and achievement depends fully on weather agency, and whose eco-dramaturgy is about to expose my practice of directing to representational breakpoints, intends to challenge theatre through the excessive permutation in between the backstage and the stage agencies. It engages with the question of how the anthropogenic control of the practice might collapse, or indispensably adapt through weathering to the actual ecological demand on the revision of mimesis bearings. We split!.. thus intends to open an experiential and critical access to unexpected flows of more-than-human ‘actants’ entering into play.