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  1. The Theatrical Superfield: On Soundscapes and Acoustic Dramaturgy
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Psychology for Performing Artists: butterflies and bouquets by Glenn D. Wilson Call Number: PN P78 W56 N5 R54 Giovatto Library. Spectacles of Reform: theater and activism in nineteenth-century America by Amy E. Hughes Call Number: E-Book. Stagecraft 1: a complete guide to backstage work by William H. Lord; Arthur L. Zapel Editor ; George P. S8 L6 S44 Will it make a theatre : a guide to finding, renovating, financing, bringing up-to-code, the nontraditional performance space by Eldon Elder Call Number: NA E38 Giovatto Library.

Peer reviewed articles covering the performing arts of Asia, focusing on both traditional and modern theatrical forms. Cambridge Opera Journal Opera. Comparative Drama Feature articles and thematic issues on all aspects of drama, international in spirit and interdisciplinary in scope. A special issue is published annually. New Theatre Quarterly Essays, criticism, interviews, profiles and book reviews on all aspects of modern theater; new theater reports and announcements. Shakespeare quarterly Essays and book reviews devoted to William Shakespeare published by the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Stage Directions Inspiring production ideas, solutions to your everyday theater dilemmas, as well as exciting book, CD and play reviews. Theatre History Studies Presents critical, analytical, and descriptive articles on all aspects of theatre history since These reforms continue today, ultimately seeking to empower elected officials to shape policies and pushing public servants to manage operations in the same manner as their private-sector counterparts.

In Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? Savoie argues that the traditional role of public servants advising governments on policy has been turned on its head, and that evidence-based policy making is no longer valued as it once was. Medicare is more than laws and regulations. As the Romanow report pointed out, from the beginning medicare has been an expression of our care for one another. As some other writers have said, it is as binding an element of Canadian life today as the railroads that connected East and West in the nineteenth century.

Our medicare is a commitment Canadians made to one another more than half a century ago. In times of need brought on by health problems, we will continue to help each other financially. Medicare is ours. It is not the beneficence of governments, be they federal or provincial. Nor is it the goodwill of health care corporations. However much appreciated, it is not even the kindness of front-line health care professionals: physicians, nurses, equipment technicians, medical administrators, and hospital orderlies.

All those simply represent the will of the people fed by a spirit of generosity and care for one another. Canadians sometimes forget this fact, and who can blame them? Gordon puts forth a similar argument for the antitextual return to the primal state of thesign as its substantial feature. It is neither a book nor a work, but an energy, and in this sense it is the only art of life. It is vocal sound that brings a pure energy to the Futurist theatricality of presence. It acquires materiality and earns dramaturgical currency exactly by dissociating itself from mere meaning and turning text into performance just to the extent that it succeeds in betraying its denotative function and developing an energetic field of perpetual becoming.

Furthermore, since sound is a temporal event that can never be repeated in the same shape twice, it shapes nothing but a non-representational performance. So far, this all conforms to avant-garde theatre theory and practice, but now the question arises whether to approach sound on the stage as an act of theatrical semiosis or a mere performance device. The semioticians of theatre faced this issue when examining a non-textual idiom based on the synergy of sound, light, movement, objects, and people on the contemporary stage.

Whether this cloud was drifting toward any signification was left to the theatre audience to decide. Sound is temporal by nature; it lives as long as it sounds and it literally does not point to any meaning outside itself. That a thing need not be a this standing for that but immediately a that … [that is, sound] free of the implications of the metaphysics of linguistic absence.

This opposition is crucial for the understanding of the crisis of the sign born from the controversy between the discursive language of written text and the performative idiom of the theatre. Our understanding of the aural and the temporal, as distinguished from the visual and the spatial, in theatre may be liberating, proposes Pavis. A domination of another avant-garde, that of time, rhythm and voice, is seeking to break. Perhaps one should see in this mutation the failure or at least the limits of semiology based solely on a Cartesian examination, measurable, geometric and in a word, spatial, of the theatrical performance.

Insistence on stage visuals as opposed to text too hastily dismissed the temporal, continuous and pulsional aspect of the theatrical performance. Petersburg, and Berlin in Naturally, the crowds erupted with hostility. Lacerba, 15 December , reported on the Grande serata futurista held at the Florentine Teatro Verdi, publishing a poster with the subtitle Resconto sintetico fisicale e spirituale della battaglia A Synthetic Physical and Spiritual Description of the Battle on the front page. It presented two antagonistic camps graphically in two parallel columns.

On the hall side are enemies: clerics, bourgeois, students, liberals, aristocrats, the virtuous, journalists, policemen, and commoners. Two additional columns list arms, states of mind, allies, wounded, and the results of the battle on both sides. Symptomatically, the list of enemies is exhaustive; it includes even students and liberals, who could be considered as possible supporters of Futurist ideas, since according to the Futurist performance strategy an arte-azione event could win people over only by confrontation.

Lecture with Hans-Thies Lehmann September 2017

A bellicose attitude obviously became integral to the Futurist theatricalization of the act of reading poetry and manifestos. The reading set in motion a mechanism that went far beyond the appreciation of an artistic creation.

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The Theatrical Superfield: On Soundscapes and Acoustic Dramaturgy

The text functioned as a score, the reciter as a conductor, and the audience as the orchestra. The main task of the declaimer was to challenge the spectators and to provoke them into reactions of an unpremeditated kind. Big theatres were not randomly chosen as functional venues for the staging of the serate; they were singled out as the architectural and cultural sites of an antagonistic art tradition that needed to be demolished.

Futurists used the theatre as a topical resource of their disdain, and its physical space stage and auditorium as a playing area of their totally non-illusionistic, hybrid performance. They played with its institutional character and manipulated spectators into participating in an anti-theatrical environmental event or happening. Therefore the serate can be considered embryonic of avant-garde environmental theatre.

Such a practice has the immediate character of an event, is descriptive and propagandistic rather than narrative, and leads naturally to the theatricality of the futurist manifestos and the deliberate audience-baiting at the serate futuriste. Ong provides a substantial number of examples of such verbal practice in folk riddles, counting exercises, and tongue-twisters, together with exhorted confrontations in ancient rhetoric and classic literature such as the Iliad, Beowulf, the Old Testament, or medieval European romance. Ancient orators, poets, and minstrels often competed publically in angry but eloquent exchanges of insults called flyting.

Panegyrical exultations, victory odes, or funeral speeches are of the same kind of oral practice that, in this case, exaggerates the positive side of its subject. The use of the psychodynamics of orality, as Webster posits, places Futurist manifestos in the wider genre of oral literature. No less provocative, his sound poetry often constituted a functional part of those manifestos. His theoretical elaboration of colour-sound synaesthesia was enhanced by the multiplication of letters in the manner of sound poetry. A crescendo of vocal sounds of vowels and consonants suggested an intensification of colour tone and thickness: I rossi, rooooosssssi roooooosssissssimi che griiiiiiidano.

I verdi i non mai abbastanza verdi, veeeeeerdiiiiiissssssimi, che striiiiiidono; i gialli non mai abbastanza scoppianti; i gialloni-polenta; i gialli-zafferano; i gialli- ottoni. Reds, rrrrreds, the rrrrreddest rrrrrrreds that shouuuuuuuut. Greens, that can never be greener, greeeeeeeens, that screeeeeeem; yellows, as violent as can be; polenta yellows, saffron yellows, brass yellows.

Blackboards had been set up in three parts of the hall, to which in succession I either ran or walked, to sketch rapidly an analogy with chalk. My listeners, as they turned to follow me in all my evolutions, participated, their entire bodies inflamed with emotion, in the violent effects of the battle described by my words-in-freedom. There were two big drums in a distant room, from which the painter Nevinson, my colleague, produced the boom of cannon, when I told him to do so over the telephone.

Here, Zang Tumb Tumb acquires qualities of a straightforward performance text for the staging of a dynamic, synoptic declamation. Its elaborate blueprint suggests a stage that spills into the audience space as if it were an act of environmental theatre. The iconicity of the graphic and aural material in the poem provided dramaturgical potential for theatrical performance. Petersburg and Moscow followed his London appearance. Accounts of these performances confirm that their dynamic declamation, vocal onomatopoeia, and accompanying non-vocal sound, together with their spatial presentation, made the poem fully theatrical.

Futurist theatre had to strive for the synthesis inherent in poetry. Their extreme brevity inherited from the aesthetics of poetry was a viable antidote to the naturalist dramaturgy Marinetti warned against in his address to Futurist playwrights published in It is] a synthesis of life in its most typical and significant tendencies. Futurist, Dadaist, and Surrealist poets revisited all these forms in their experiments with sound that broke ground for contemporary poetry making.

Unlike the standard poetry that concentrates on versification, rhythm, rhyme, euphony, assonance, alliteration, and other literary figures, they explored the way in which sound can be extended beyond its use as a prosodic device. For centuries, poets did not know how to derive from this very effective source of expression in language. Only the futurist poets, with their free words, were able to hear the entire value of noise in poetry. Though superficially playful, text-sound art embodies serious thinking about the possibilities of vocal expression and communication; it represents not a substitute for language but an expansion of our verbal powers.

In fact, the whole Dada owes its historical formation precisely to this kind of infantile, primitivistic denial of adult logic. At the time Zurich was an international city of dissent where one could meet disenchanted modernist writers, refugees, and revolutionaries of various backgrounds, from Romain Rolland, Frank Wedekind, and James Joyce to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Grigory Zinoviev. Every word that is spoken and sung here says at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.

It stems from the belief in a primeval memory. Unreached by logic and the social apparatus it emerges in the inconsiderate infantilism and madness, where all inhibitions are removed. This is a world with its own form; it poses new problems and new tasks, just like a newly discovered continent.

He wanted to destroy language as a social organ and transform it into an idiom capable of expressing the most profound human experiences. They are just letters of the alphabet on a page; you can roll up such a poem like a map. The syntax has come apart. It is imperative to write invulnerable sentences. Sentences that withstand all irony.

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The better the sentence the higher the rank. In eliminating vulnerable syntax or association one preserves the sum of the things that constitute the style and the pride of a writer - taste, cadence, rhythm, and melody. In the oft-quoted journal entry for 23 June , he describes the workings of this new poetry genre and its performance: I have invented a new genre of poems, Verse ohne Worte [poems without words] or Lautgedichte [sound poems], in which the balance of the vowels is weighted and distributed solely according to the values of the beginning sequence. I gave a reading of the first one of these poems this evening.

I had made myself a special costume for it. The heavy vowel sequences and the plodding rhythm of the elephants had given me one last crescendo. But how was I to get to the end? Formally, they resembled the Expressionist abstract Geist style of acting later developed by Lothar Schreyer, also a follower of Kandinsky. Unlike a dramatic representation or a conventional poetry reading, a recitation of text-sound poem relied exclusively on phonetic material in which the performer would immerse himself.

Indeed, it was precisely this aspect of the aural which may have recommended it to the arts of dissolution practiced by Futurism and Dadaism. The avant-gardes inherited their interest in phonetic ambiguity, a prevalent figure in postmodern art, from the likes of Paul Scheerbart and Christian Morgenstern, whose enigmatic sound poems Ball had more than likely heard in the cabarets of Berlin. His mordant, intriguing, darkly humorous poems in the collection Galgenlieder Songs from the Gallows, belong to the genre of Dada-like poetry of subversive nonsense and superior sense.

One of them is Das Grosse Lalula that relies solely on the innovative sound of its vocables. Seiokrontro - prafriplo: Bifzi, bafzi; hulalemi: quasti basti bo … Lalu, lalu lalu lalu la! Ein Eisenbahnroman I Love You! A Railway Novel, : Kikakoku!

Humanities

It is not yet exactly a sign … but it is not any more a thing. His simultaneous poems, or dramatismes, as he called them, were composed of different verbal, vocal, or musical elements played against one another. In print some of them were typographically aligned as chorus scores. Apollinaire praised the work for allowing the spectator to capture its content the way an orchestra conductor captures superimposed notes on a sheet of music, deciphering graphic and written elements at the same time. This was an energetic performance in which three Dadaist poets simultaneously sang, whistled, and declaimed verses in German, French, and English.

To the verbal delivery of the text they added the vocalization of non-verbal sounds, coughs, sighs, and grunts in such a way that the clash of surprising utterances created a cacophony of sound and sense. Fulfilling the Dadaist aleatoric credo, the numerous possible outcomes of such simultaneous recital made each performance a singular, unrepeatable play of chance. It was originally printed on two pages of an open book with lines running across the whole width to accommodate a spate of words, syllables, or verbalizations of noise. The cacophonic tone of the poem is emphasized by the aleatoric combinations of words arranged in sliding lines with irregular beginnings.

Their text is set out on five-stave sheet paper, while some, like Canzone pirotecnica, include actual musical notation. Traditional poetic prosody including vers libre, which Marinetti had practised earlier in his French-language poetry, seemed insufficient for such an ambitious task. They were supposed to orchestrate colours, noises, and sounds in the synaesthetic oneness of a sound poem.

Undoubtedly, the medium of sound, temporal in its essence, was a proper conduit of the immersion in life forces that Futurists sought. Zang Tumb Tumb is a sound poetry report of a month-long siege of the Turkish city of Adrianople by Bulgarian troops in , a bloody episode of a conflagration between Balkan nations that served as a prelude to the First World War. Marinetti witnessed it as a war correspondent for the French newspaper Gil Blas.

Returning to Milan, he began to put together the poem using free expressive orthography and synoptic free-word tables, iconic displays of the battle details made of printed words dispersed on oversized, foldable pages. The book is printed in a dramatic page layout with letters of different typefaces, some designed by hand, increasing or decreasing in size and boldness and surging unevenly along horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and curved lines.

Recognizing the different attitudes of Marinetti and Picasso toward war s , I dare to compare these two works on formal, innovative, aesthetic grounds alone and not politically. Perhaps breaching the confines of political correctness, my comparison goes to the artistic fields of contemporary sound-text poetry and painting, not to the diametrically opposed ideological content of these two artistic presentations of war theatre. Marinetti here observed the theatre of war as a collision of elementary physical forces rather than as a human affair with which the reader-listener might empathize.

Thus the poetry of cosmic forces supplants the poetry of the human. The inner clash of these two different textures apparently evolves, designed by a dramaturgy of material that builds on tension between the visual features of the printed text and the aural features of its suggested declamation. To substitute for human psychology, now exhausted, the lyric obsession with matter. Sound manifestation of the dynamism of objects 2.

The clash of counterpointed sounds and images makes these conventionally separate sensations vibrate together. Thus the interplay between a scarcity and a redundancy of signs at the interstice of the temporal and spatial axes of the poem dictates the rhythm and sonority of its declamation.

He also scoffed at normal syntax, discarded conventional printing with the horizontal-vertical axis The eye-ear sensation about is only one of his innovations Analogy was pronounced the main device of a new literature that was to be written in chains of unexpected analogies corresponding with each other through the remote associations brought about by the unfettered imagination.

The extensive analogies were to be mostly made of nouns; adjectives and adverbs were supposed to be abolished although they still appeared in the text of Zang Tumb Tumb ; and verbs were to be used sparsely, solely in their infinitive form. In the poetic expression of an intuitively perceived reality driven by physical sensations, there would be no need for a strict substantive or verbal denotation.

That is where onomatopoeia, as another major device of Futurist poetry, comes into play. Futurists believed that onomatopoeia, as a sound-image of physical action, could replace the infinitive verb and thus enliven lyricism with the crude elements of reality. He was convinced that an unmodified noun, with or without a verb in the infinitive, was less restrained. Therefore, he advised Futurists to use chains of bare nouns whose dynamic attributes were to be attained through their aural shape rather than through their semantic denotation.

This instinctive deformation of words corresponds to our natural tendency toward onomatopoeia. It matters little if a deformed word becomes ambiguous. For Marinetti, onomatopoeia stood for a sound mimesis of the world. This idea of onomatopoeia as an aural reference or sound mime of the phenomenal world coincides with later attempts to establish a phenomenology of sound as a philosophical discipline. According to Benjamin, onomatopoeia is a primal source of linguistic meaning that was formed by a human mimetic alignment with the world.

The phenomenon of onomatopoeia has been explored in linguistics from the aspect of the relationship between the sound and the meaning of the linguistic sign. According to Ferdinand de Saussure, the linguistic sign does not link a thing and its sound but rather a concept and an arbitrary acoustic image that is used to denote it. In denotative language the relationship between signifier and signified is always arbitrary. Consequently, Saussure regarded onomatopoeia as a marginal case in language practice. Some words have been formed by an attempt actually to represent the sounds which they describe.

They come nearer than other words to being the thing represented, as well as being a referential signal. Sounds here correspond to meaning by imitation and not because of a common agreement within a speech community that they will so correspond. The onomatopoeia reincarnates something essential in the thing, being, or action it refers to. Intensifying their verbo-vocal practice on these precepts, they eschewed mediation of the Cartesian concepts and arbitrary naming that would stand between the thing and its acoustic image.

Besides the primitivistic rejuvenation of language by onomatopoeia, Futurist dealings with sound bore an optimistic projection of the new expressive means for the new century. Words-in-freedom not only directly mimed natural and mechanical sounds but also created more abstract sonorous sensations. In the context of performance, a poem of the kind was perceived as a sound object or sound event par excellence, and the audience listened to it as they would a musical piece. The concept of onomatopoeia here clearly progresses from its primary role of miming natural or mechanical sound to its detachment from mime and creation of an abstract composition.

Finally, following the same path of abstraction, the concept of the moto-rumorist complex marked the Futurist scenography of the s. The elementarization of stage signs came to abolish all principles of conceptual finality of the play in order to affirm the continual and indiscernible flow of reality. In addition, if the analogy serves as a principle of the collage of theatrical kernels, it is the iconicity, that makes them almost tangible.

The main concern of the artists in both movements was the immediate impact of the artistic material -- that is, sound and colour -- on our senses. By focusing on what we literally hear and see in the work of art, they shifted from figurative and narrative methods to concrete features and forms. The word-as-such, in their view, being liberated from its syntactic and signifying mandates, could provide a literal, concrete, aural link to the essence of things. Sound appeared to be the given medium for that task; their poetry was shaped by play with the verbal textures and phonetic substance of words.

Such a word -- a vocable, a sequence of sounds and letters phonemes , a composite of consonants and vowels, syllables and phonetic roots -- was now recognized and employed as an aural element of language rather than a signifying one. The new play of words-sounds was independent of the habitual linguistic communication and the external, referential meaning of the text.

Khlebnikov and Kruchenykh created an idiom beyond sense by fashioning neologisms from sound clusters, which would survive their intentional decomposition of existing words by a morphological and, more often, phonetic shift sdvig. Petersburg as a pamphlet called The Resurrection of the Word, is today considered a fundamental text of Formalist linguistic, literary, and art theory. Similarly to the poets, Futurist visual artists focused on the materiality of their means and eschewed figural and representational modes in their works. Crucially important to note, however, was that the Futurists started to create a different, sound based poetic idiom that would not communicate by syntactically ordered phrases but rather by phonetically sculpted words.

Similarly, in another of his poems whose verses contained no semantically disengaged words, that is, which were not yet transrational, we can hear the predominance of pure sound patterning. Kogda umirayut koni, dyushat, Kogda umirayut travy, sokhnut, Kogda umirayut solnci, oni gasnut, Kogda umirayut lyudi, poyet pesni When horses die, they sigh, When grasses die, they shrivel When suns die, they flare and expire When people die, they sing songs Here, each of four verses begins with two identical words, the second one umirayut finishing with ut.

A break comes with the fourth verse, in which two words at the same positions lyudi and pesni rhyme in a completely different tune. Rhythm, alliteration, and so forth are only the obvious manifestations of particular instances of basic euphonic laws. Khlebnikov, Kruchenykh, Vasily Kamensky, Elena Guro, Vasilisk Gnedov, and others transgressed the boundaries of versification and rhythm with their aural sculpting. Their genuine form of sound poetry beyond the rational, combined with the interrelated phenomena of avant-garde abstract painting and atonal music, awakened similar tendencies in contemporary theatre, where stage material performs its own story and generates its own sense.

Living speech is always the music of the inexpressible. In poetry the words are grouped in such a fashion that their totality gives the image. The logical significance of this image is entirely indeterminate. There were the pathetic attempts of servile thought to present everyday reality, philosophy and psychology… but the art of the word did not exist. He calls for a rupture with practical language and envisions a new poetic idiom beyond rational concepts, no longer under the yoke of philosophy and psychology. Thus, zaumnyi yazyk beyonsense language became the widely accepted name for this new poetic idiom and poetry-making.

Although the two poets are equally credited for its invention, there was a substantial difference between their approaches to zaum. While Khlebnikov sought a universal language based on phonetic roots beyond the limits of a particular tongue, Kruchenykh fought tirelessly for an innovative sound poetry that often transgressed into proto-Dadaist, alogical, and absurdist word creation.

His counterpart, Khlebnikov, also relied on consonants; the shift sdvig of the initial consonant of the word represented the main source of his new coinages. Our goal is to underscore the great significance for art of all strident elements, discordant sounds dissonances and purely primitive roughness.

Our verbal creativity is generated by a new deepening of the spirit, and it throws new light on everything.

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O, rasmeshishch nadsmeyal nykh smekh usmeynykh smekhachey! O, issmeysya rassmeyalno smekh nadsmeynykh smekhaczey! Oh, laugh on, laugh laughadors! You who laugh in laughs, laugh-laugh, you who laughorize so laughly. Laugh forth, laugh laugh belaughly! Oh, of laughdom overlaughly, laugh of languish laughadors! Oh, forth laugh downright laughly, laugh of super laughadors! Both poets shift sound patterns of words, mischievously flirting on the line between surprise and recognition; they take on the roles of a folk jester or shaman delivering verbal riddles and chanting hypnotic tunes.

It represents a sound poem from the mouth of a person of oral culture whose only means of expression is vocal performance. Futurists tended to vocally assault the audience to motivate its members to participate in the theatrical event. Iz churni vzor charny. Its repetitive mantra of two contrasting, similar-sounding words endows the poem with its particular dramaturgy. Thus the sound structure of My churaemsya i charuemsya, situated halfway between a poem and a score for a theatrical event, reveals its intrinsic performative potential.

It is from this same field that a new prosody or dramaturgy of sound arises in the historical avant-garde. Futurists, Expressionists, Dadaists, and early twentieth-century avant-gardes strove for a ritualistic inclusion of the performer and the audience in the theatrical event that could be achieved by the dramaturgy of sound. It may even be that in general the greater part of the pleasure in poetry is to be found in the articulations in the original dance of the speech organs. To avoid terminological confusion, we should understand that Barthes, unlike Shklovsky and most theoreticians, uses the term pronunciation for the physical act of vocalization as opposed to articulation that strives to appropriate the meaning of speech following its syntactical order.

Regardless of terminology, both Barthes and Shklovsky agree that vocal utterance is an act of performance, not an act of representation. The Futurist idiom of the self-sufficient word, then, recoils from meaning. It is not meant to make a statement; it is meant to perform a vocal gesture. It follows that zaum poetry resides somewhere between the lexical, on one side, and the aural, the musical, and the performative, on the other, heavily leaning toward the latter. It was precisely by escaping the pretense of meaning that Futurist poets were able to liberate words.

We for the first time brought to the fore the role of verbal mass and made it perceivable. Apparently, the manifesto builds on the theoretical scaffolding from the discussions of plastic dynamism and synaesthesia by Wassily Kandinsky, Nikolai Kublin, and the Burliuk brothers. In an essay that appeared in the Blaue Reiter Almanac , Kublin advocated a music liberated from its conventional five-line notation and the prescriptions of tonality and metre, a music as unencumbered as natural sound.

On the synoptic table of these colour-sound correspondences, the phoneme G, for example, matches a Yellow-Black colour and denotes Selfishness, while K matches Black and denotes Hate. Rayonist paintings showed objects reverberating in the environment, emanating and reflecting rays back and forth in a dynamic interplay of light and colour. Rather than representing objects, they presented the play of light, colour, saturation, mass, depth, texture, and so on. In this way, painting becomes as free as music and becomes self-sufficient outside imagery.

Thus, musical and painterly theories reflect the issues of zaum poetry. It appeared after an exciting autumn on the St. Victory over the Sun, in fact, may have been the first example of what we now call Performance Art. It was certainly one of the earliest instances of serious multidisciplinary collaboration.

IN -- brr! This is futurist language. They will understand me. The public also. The work calls for the denial of Apollonian clarity and the practical rationality of the Cartesian world and a return to Dionysian primordial chaos and darkness. Futurists want to break free of this regulated world So then, the sun -- that former value -- cramps their style and they feel like overthrowing it.

It is, in fact, the plot of the opera. The cast of the opera should express this in both language and sound. Even more, it could be described as a staging of the kinetic clash between sculptural and painterly masses, exaggerated light changes, and atonal musical punctuations. These ideas shared in Futurist poetry and painting -- the rejection of the representational mode in favour of immediacy, iconicity, literalness, and abstraction -- determined the theatricality of Victory over the Sun.

The cast was in masks resembling gas masks of the period. The costumes, designed by Malevich again, were cubist in construction: cardboard and wire. This altered the anatomy of a person -- the performers moved as if tied together and controlled by the rhythm of the artist and director. Its cacophonic consonant vocalizations, disruptive and dissonant choruses, and geometrical movements of performers in sculptural costumes on a visually fractured stage explored the possibilities of kinetic sculpture and total theatre.

Matiushin was unyielding about the zaum character of Futurist theatrical presentation in St. They presented a new creation, free of old conventional experiences and complete in itself, using seemingly senseless words -- picture-sounds -- new indications of the future that leads into eternity and gives a joyful feeling of strength to those who will lend an ear and look at it. In that way, a word, alienated from its meaning, gave the impression of great strength. Clearly the performance style of Victory over the Sun was an attempt to enact a goal of Futurist sound poetry, that is, to disintegrate concepts and words and to produce picture-sounds instead.

The zaum concept of picture-sounds was of utmost concern in the anxious correspondence between Matiushin and Malevich about the coming production. Perhaps in a composition of these sound masses former words a new path will be found. In this way, we tear the letter from a line, from a single direction, and give it the possibility of free movement.


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These masses will hang in space and will provide the possibility for our consciousness to move farther and farther away from the earth. But these masses that stand, hang, move, and flow on the stage are not only masses of sound but also of light, kinetic scenery, objects, and performers.

The theatre had been thoroughly renovated with the hope of attracting an audience to American-style entertainment. This was a zaum of painting, one that anticipated the ecstatic non-objectivity of Suprematism. His Rayonist lighting of performers encased in voluminous Cubist costumes aimed at the disintegration of the stage into a kinetic sculpture characterized by the fluidity of light and sound.

The poet, who also directed the piece, required a juxtaposition of sound, colour, and sculptural mass, which, under light shifting from sombre blue to fiery red, and then to green and dark, looked like a montage cut between independent textures of a Cubo-Futurist collage. Intended to elucidate human life and history, the supersaga follows the quasi-scientific calculations of time and space of his large prophetic prose work The Tables of Destiny published in Like Malevich in Victory over the Sun, Tatlin was primarily interested in the sculptural aspect of the staging in Zangezi.

A superstory, or supersaga, is made up of independent sections, each with its own special god, its special faith, and its special rule. Each is free to confess its own particular faith. Thus we discover a new kind of operation in the realm of verbal art. Narrative is architecture composed of words; an architecture composed of narratives is a supersaga.

In this way Khlebnikov juxtaposes various forms of texts, many of them previously written for some other purpose, as building blocks of a new structure. In several of his short stage scripts, Khlebnikov had already attempted a zaum subversion of literary drama. His monodrama Mrs. Laneen, for example, explores the possibility of the application of mathematical division to artistic language. The protagonist, Mrs. Laneen, is literally fragmented into a number of voiced, sensual perceptions. Paradoxically, the cast of characters for the monodrama [sic! Instead of hearing Mrs.

As Olly escapes from his coffin, the timeline of the plot gets reversed so that the man and his wife, Polly, live backwards from the moment of his funeral to their happy days in baby strollers. These two short plays are remarkably similar to Futurist synthetic theatre pieces and index the kinship between Russian and Italian artistic endeavours that has so often been denied. Behind this power was the theory that a phonetic shift not only radically changes the word and its meaning but also alters the world and its structure.