I was recently invited to take part in a panel about the challenges of presenting collage at museums, galleries and other arts organizations (more about that in another post to follow). It was a great opportunity to look back over my work both as an arts presenter and creator. One piece I’m responsible for and very proud of is Faust 2013: A Collaborative Arts Interpretation.
The idea behind Faust 2013 was to commission the best artists in their filed to create responses to M.F. Murnau’s 1926 silent film version of the story; to reimagine it in their medium. Collaborators were Dulce Dance Company, the RPM Orchestra who regularly create soundtracks to silent films, and poets Jack Evans and Ernesto Moncada.
For an additional conceptual challenge I did not allowing the different groups of performers to hear or see any of the work their co-creators were preparing until the premier performance. I wanted each to be as purely as possible their own vision. I couldn’t have asked for a more trusting group of artists. Everyone committed enthusiastically to the project, and all questions, concerns, and challenges were handled respectfully and differentially.
The performers, and audience, and myself, were all exposed to the final piece at the same time.
The performers, audience, and myself, were all exposed to the final piece at the same time. I consider this piece a collage. The other half of the project, as I explain at the start of the video below, was to create a new piece of art that would be unique to each viewer because of their shifting attention; a version that could never be recreated or seen by another person. The show was presented at The Phoenix Center for the Arts, a mid-century theater, utilitarian and humble, perfect for the night. I believe it worked out spectacularly.
Special thanks to VidClips who filmed and edited this video. It is the only moving record of our performance. There is no definitive way to experience what we created with Faust 2013, but I am grateful they were there to capture and create their version.