Thursday, 10 November 2011

Schrödinger, Reckless Sleepers - Axis Art Centre Crewe

Schrödinger has a cat in a box; well it's an imaginary cat in an imaginary box. Within in that box the cat exists in a state of being and un-being, that is until you look into the box and fix its fate. Schrödinger's thought experiment is the inspiration for the Reckless Sleepers they even created a box, a theatre within a theatre, in which to undertake their experiments. Within this I wonder about my role I'm I audience or observer, as an observer my presence would have an effect on what is happening whereas audience I don't.

I'm audience. So I watch as the players enter the space and begin to prep the space, doors appear the soildish mass of the box, things are happening at the same time, marks are made. Lines are drawn and broken as the players are constantly walking through, on and falling through the black box. These moments have the appearance of magic tricks and are well used throughout as at points players appear and drag other players through one of the many hatches suggesting that the players are at the mercy of an unknown director. They also make the rest of the audience laugh, and I have to admit there is a joy in seeing people appearing as if from nowhere.

Or maybe they are acting out predetermined paths and roles reflecting some understanding of the world at the quantum level. There is a point in the performance when one of the players gives a little speech saying how everything we are seeing has been planned and played out before; they have been doing this for over ten years. This makes me think about how experiments are repeated altering each time and I wonder how much this has been altered over the years or is it as unchanging as the orbit of electrons?

I know I've referenced physics in this but it isn't simply about physics (if at all). There are moments within the piece which explore the effect we have on each other, there's a sequence which references Magritee's The Lovers where two lovers, head covered approach each other but there tender intentions are disturbed by the forces of others. Another sequence has a number of the players acting out movements set up by coded numbers.

As a pair of the players try to pin each other down to mark their positions, one of the themes becomes apparent that is the inability to measure or to understand the actions of others. As the piece heads towards a sodden climax the players franticly draw, redraw, wash and scrabble around the box eventually stepping back to look at their handiwork. As this is art there is no conculsion, there is no need for one.

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