Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Notes from the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski

Thomas Richards, Artistic Director of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Mario Biagini, Associate Director of the Workcenter, in conversation with Anne Bogart, 3/29/10

- co-presence in art (Tino Sehgal, Marina Abramovic) is unironic, uncynical
- is cynicism from the Greek? etyomologically? (means dog?) We only have cynicism in a time of luxury.
- Richards, on working with Grotowski: When you're hit by lightning, what are you gonna do, complain about it? After twenty-four years in the work, it's like you and what you do are the same substance.
- Biagini, explaining how he got into theater when he never saw any growing up (his parents only took him tot he opera): I hated opera, but I loved theater—the construction, the machine, the people taking the tickets. I could not play soccer; I hated it also. I had to find other way to survive.
- This was all in my head and I thought theater would bring it into my body.
- ekstasis: distance and intimacy
- Alfred Brendel, famous pianist, paused before final chord in concert to see how long the audience would let him wait
- Our idea of spectator is quite limited. There are other possibilities out there.
- What is the relation between someone who does and someone who looks. I do and you see and you do and I see. Circular relationship.
- (on creating work) It's not what do we need to do, but what is needed from us.
- Biagini, on his working relationship with his ensemble: You go to a party and think, "Maybe this is the good time."
- In poetry, flashes of meaning create overall experience.
- You can go for a walk in the forest and find a tree and you can have an aesthetic experience, but you can also just walk on by. The tree won't ask, What do you feel? What do you understand?

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