If every time my reflections on the work of art I contemplated were shared with my friends, I would’ve had no friends. No matter if it is considered a masterpiece or a kitsch, if it’s commercial success or a commercial failure, ‘shitty’ or ‘amazing’. My mind and perception works in another way: it distills the ideas.

“Gray Box” drama production stroke me as art-house multi-media performance as early as I entered the auditorium. I’m “neglect the preface” kind of guy, so not even the idea of performance was known to me before. Open for interpretations, the example of the contemporary drama prelude was awaiting me: the audience being on the stage and sitting on the floor round the perimeter. Some people closer to the middle, while the others – leaning on the walls, where the first film visuals were projected: close-ups of people’s faces. Bracing myself for the journey through multi-disciplinary experimental drama.

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photo by Paula Castro Suarez

Breaking the “fourth wall”, they started. As if wanting us to be the voyeurists, the sketches expressing the utmost pleasure followed, One by one, as a symbolic plotless yet colorful narrative.

 

The scene reminiscent of Eden, with actors eating gracefully the earthly goods, and showing utmost lust towards each other and gluttony while partaking. Probably implying that there is no sin in pleasure. 

 

Next scene took my breath while taking advantage of those visual film projections. That was something that would’ve definitely been banned by the authorities for being “sexually explicit”, if it were shown publicly in the open-air theater. And ridiculously, there would be no evidence for censorship, as usual. Basically, the film depicted how, gently and playfully, the human hands were manipulating with nature: tongue-in-cheek slight touches of the flower’s upper part by fingers, licking the nectar in close-ups, and suchlike, thus evoking sexual connotations. Yet, all in all endowing me with the aesthetic orgasm. 

 

The other scenes were also related to hedonism, eroticism and sexuality, and backing it all up with the divine power of pleasure for the pleasure’s sake. 

 

Complete nudity embracing the love for their feminity: to my delight, actresses nonchalantly undressing, plunging themselves in the hip bath and bathing languidly. Lovingly helping each other throughout all the stages of bathing process. Cherishing each other and the shared moment. 

 

Eccentrically looking and behaving themselves youth, also intruding the make-believe privacy of the audience’s comfort-zone as spectators: extravagantly striding around the audience, with bombastic music fueling the fire of their queerness. Disturbingly contagious, I would say it was all.

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photo by Paula Castro Suarez

Or young adult singing a capella, striving for the highest note of his voice capacities, evoking the sensation of divine and goose-pimples on my skin – for the splendor of his vocal music that was truly touching on the raw.

Clearly, there was no plot and the necessity of it was not felt either – still, the narrative following the theme-related sketches grabbed the attention and raised curiosity – for their unexpectedness and further development. The use of various mediums, e.i. music, light, visuals and the overall physical interactivity, made a lasting impression on me. Sensual pleasures the actors were radiating with during the performance stabbed me as a poison dart and made me attuned to those as well.

Utmost pleasure of visiting the contemporary drama theatre.

Shared experience with the Gray Box production as a mutual reward for the synergy between actors and spectators. 

And me.

by Nikita Khellat, active spectator & video editor in Bakelit Multi Art Center
Gray Box: alleyezon__ / 28 November 2017
Featured image by Paula Castro Suarez

Read a brief article about the active spectator programming HERE

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