Curatorial Statement – Rouge
January 21, 2011
by Norman Armour, Executive Director, PuSh Festival
For years, I have been searching for a work that would, with brutal abandon, cross the lines dividing performance art and what is most commonly referred to as the performing arts.
If I were to find such a work, it would need to garner respect from both performance art camps and those on the performing arts side.
The work would need to be infused with ideas of such daring purity that one could not but sit up incredulously, one’s mind slack jawed in disbelief.
On the other side of the line, it would need to be a work where the stagecraft would also be of the highest order. It would need lighting, set and sound designs that were singular and unforgettable. And perhaps, it would need the craziest collection of props you might ever imagine. Heck, they could be all in one dominant colour.
The work might conjure the films of John Cassavetes—their slow, erratic journey to the edges of a human’s contorted tolerance.
It might best if the work had a wonderfully straight-faced, non-pulsed sense of humour. The text? Well, here’s a thought… it could be minimal, maybe even really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really minimal. It would be a human analogued, broken record, decaying over performed time…. at once, always the same, and yet with each repetition, each utterance, something completely different—variations on a theme, so to speak. Could there be such a thing? Maybe just a simple question and answer.
However, whatever the work’s aesthetics, whatever its ideas, and whatever its thematic and material obsession, the work would need to be audacious, I mean truly audacious—to the point of insanity. But it must, must, must be created by an angel of a person.
Now this search for such a work could well take many years. Needless to say, I’d have to be patient. I’d have to “go down a few blind alleys.” I have to not lose track of my sense of need, no matter how far I had wandered from the impetus and origin of my search. My search might well turn desperate at times; yet, I must never lose my sense of possibility. And, at all costs, I should remain steadfast, insistent on taking no prisoners.
I found it.
Now it’s your turn.