In (re)search of Six Characters in Search of an Author

Light Show at Hayward Gallery It is day 3 of Athina Kasiou’s research and development residency.

Athina is a theatre maker from Cyprus who specialises in large scale site-specific projects (recently staging Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in an abandoned theme park in Nicosia and an adaptation of Bulgakov’s Diaboliad around the building of the National Theatre’s Experimental Stage). For her project with Theatre of Europe Athina has the idea of staging an immersive, promenade adaptation of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author across the city and so the residency began with a trip along London’s South Bank to reacquaint herself with the London skyline and the old and new that can be found along the river.

Her first stop was to Tate Modern’s A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance exhibition to help us discuss the concept of the artist as a slave and mouthpiece to their characters and the haunting presence of fictional characters on an artist. David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash 1967 was particularly pertinent alongside Jack Hazan’s film about the artist. The film emphasises the stylised theatricality of the paintings’ making and the blurring of fact and fiction.

The following day we went to the Hayward Gallery’s Light Show exhibition to investigate different light forms that might cause one to turn ones head in a busy metropolis. With Six Characters in Search of an Author in mind we found ourselves particularly drawn to the works of Anthony McCall, Bill Culbert, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jim Campbell and Ceal Floyer.

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