Saturday, September 17, 2011

FEATURE 92 - Wim Mertens - Whisper Me

In the 1980's I saw at the ICA, and later at the Albert Hall, a performance piece by Jan Fabre. It was very controversial, but groundbreaking at the time. As it was the first time a performance work began to become noticed as part of mainstream culture. The piece by Fabre was called The Power of Theatrical Madness. The final part consisted of a man standing upstage and a woman lying downstage. The man rushes downstage and picks the women up and places her upstage by him. She then gets up and trips lightly, dancing downstage back exactly to where she was before. This goes on for twenty minutes or more, the man getting ever more tired sometimes the woman slipping from his grasp because of his exhaustion.

This music - Whisper Me by Wim Mertens accompanied this strongly poignant expression of the unresolvable nature of human relations. How the two desires of male and female struggle to meet on equal terms, but fall into roles that keep them stuck using differing means to exert their independence and power. It had, and still does exert, a great influence on my imagination. As soon as I hear this music I see the show vividly in my minds eye.

No comments: