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Transcript of Modernism
THE MODERNIST TEMPERAMENT
Characterized by a rejection of the belief that art should seek to objectively represent human behavior and the physical world
Artists sought to create with imaginative perception and innovation rather accurate depiction
This release from representational precepts brought about an array of artistic movements (usually involving some degree of abstraction and distortion) providing different views of human experience
The first artistic movement to reject representationalism
Founded in 1885.
believed that truth is:
beyond objective examination
cannot be discovered through the 5 senses
can only be intuited
can only be hinted at through a network of symbols
Theatre Conventions of
Subjects were taken from the past, the realm of fancy or the mysterious present
The drama tended to be vague and mysterious
Mood and atmosphere were the most important aspect of production, colors were chosen for mood
Minimal scenery lacking in detail
Gauze curtains (scrim) were sometimes hung between the audience and stage
Text was often chanted
Actors incorporated unnatural gestures
Productions often baffled audiences
Symbolist theatre was over by 1900
Pelleas and Melisande
by Maurice Maeterlinck
Art for Art's Sake
English aestheticism: the only functions of art to intensify experience and to provide sensuous pleasure
Art has an independent life and its imaginative power must remain free from the concerns of its time
Realism = Art imitates life
Art for Art's Sake = Life imitates art
replaced flat, painted scenery with 3-dimensional scenic structures
used steps, platforms, and ramps to bridge the horizontal and vertical planes
viewed lighting as the most flexible of the theatrical elements:
could change moment to moment, reflect shifts in mood and emotion, unified all other elements through intensity, color and movement.
Innovations in lighting greatly enhanced Appia's design theories.
glorified the speed and energy of the machine age
sought to replace old art forms with new forms: collage, kinetic sculpture, bruitisme (noise music)
proposed variety theatre, because of audience involvement and dynamic energy
proposed synthetic drama which compressed the essence of a full-length play into 1 or 2 moments
experimented with simultaneity and multiple focus in drama
was rejected during WWI since the movement praised war at the ultimate expression of the aggressive life it championed
grounded in the rejection of the values t
hat had provoked
sought to replace logic, reason and unity
in art with chance
created chance poems and sound poems
seemed aimed a provocation and pranks
Contended that materialism and industrialism perverted the human spirit by turning humans into machines
Sought to achieve a "regeneration of man"
There was an emphasis on text, focusing on the how the human spirit had been distorted by false values.
The protagonist was on a quest for identity, fulfillment, or a means to change the world.
Scenery presented a distorted world, walls lean threateningly, colors reflect emotions.
developed by Bertolt Brecht in Germany during the 1920s
this movement sought to make audiences evaluate the socioeconomic implications of what they say in theatre
Brecht wanted the audience to watch theatre
Brecht wanted to achieve
; the distancing of the spectators from the stage events so that they could view them critically
emphasized the importance of the unconscious
believed that significant truths are buried deep within the human psyche
believed the conscious mind must be subverted in order to reach truths
promoted dreams, automatic writing, and stream of consciousness
Emerged in France in the 1950's
Absurdists accepted the views of Sartre and Camus about the human condition.
denied the existence of God; denied the validity of fixed standards of conduct; denied the possibility of verifiable moral codes; believed that humans are "condemned to be free"
Albert Camus believed that the human condition is absurd; believed the universe to be irrational
truth = chaos; lack of order, logic, and certainty
Plays were illogical, abandoning cause-and-effect relationships and instead followed associational patterns reflecting chance.
The Theatre of Cruelty
Artaud believed that theatre could free people from destructive impulses
"The theatre has been created to drain abscesses collectively"
He developed the Theatre of Cruelty because it forced the audience, against its wishes, to confront itself. The ultimate purpose was a type of psychic shock therapy.
He proposed a "new language of theatre."
The proscenium arch was avoided in favor or found theatre spaces such as factories and airplane hangers.
The audience was often placed in the center of the action.
This form wanted to eliminate scenery entirely.
The human voice was used for text and non-textual emotional and atmospheric effects.