Based in Oslo and led by Lisbeth J. Bodd and Asle Nilsen, Verdensteatret
has long had strong ties to the European, especially German, theatrical tradition that includes Brecht, Walter Benjamin and Heiner Müller. Following experiments in fields such as visual performance, environmental theater and text-based theater, the group has recently tended toward the ambitiously interdisciplinary. Today, Verdensteatret consists of video artists, computer animators, sound engineers, musicians, artists and a painter, among others. They collaborate in what they call a “flat structure” where “everyone has a hand in with everything.”
A telling orchestra is rigged on a rusty wire and a tidal wave of pictures and sounds is thrown at us by a machine so fragile that it is in constant danger of short-circuiting. Among a pile of megaphones that hurl sound in all directions, and a knot of wires so stretched that they may break at any moment, we glimpse people. People who are trying to interact with this landscape, tugging at strings that are everywhere in the room. The strings hanging from the ceiling form the stage for a mass of figures. A mechanical puppet play takes place here - over the heads of the human figures. louder is a storytelling orchestra that hangs by a rusty wire and narrates a multitude of tales through sound and images. Tales from a distant past, tales from our time, about wars, river, the theatre, the nation, music, nature, technology, the journey and about exile. In the midst of this throng, we find a heart of darkness - a long, black barge on the open sea, radiating coldness and stories.
"FORTELLERORKESTERET" ("The Telling Orchestra") is a "live" room-installation that can be described in many ways: An audio-visual composition where rusty mechanics meets new technology on the backside of a "video-shadow-theatre" on Greenland. A machine, a polyphonic instrument, or a whole orchestra with many voices and tunes,mutating shapes and interwoven stories. An electro-mechanical construction that functions as an audio-visual "animation-machine"or a mechanical figure-theatre machinery, where images, sculptures, sound and video is deeply integrated into each other to form an audio-visual-spatial composition.
By use of computer controlled motors and robotics the primitive wooden construction of old weather-beaten planks has become
an automatized sculpture-machine with the ability to in a second, totally transform the space in radical ways.
CONCERT FOR GREENLAND (2003/05)
"CONCERT FOR GREENLAND" is an audio-visual composition where rusty mechanics meet new technology on the backside of a "video-shadow-theatre" on Greenland. A performance/installation where visual art, sound, video, installation, text and theatre try to unite into one composition.
The background for "Concert for Greenland" is a journey Verdensteatret made to Greenland and other north-Atlantic islands in 2003.
Greenland as the focus point of this work is, as often before, a result of an intuitive attitude towards use of artistic material and the fact that research on travels has worked very well for us on several occasions earlier. The material is based on travels and research around the Northwest-Atlantic countries from august till November –03. -Greenland, Iceland, Faeroe Islands -and Norway.
In the further working process in Oslo all the material collected on these trips went into a deeper artistic process that in the end "sweat out" a poetic concentrate. The longest stay was in Greenland and has obviously made a deep impression on us since so much of the material we ended up using comes from our travels there. The ambivalent impressions we often felt during our stay in Greenland has changed into deep fascination. "Concert for Greenland" reflects this journey on several levels simultaneously.
On the first level it mirrors the actual trips (specially Greenland). But the structure and artistic expression of the performance is more like images and sounds from the subconscious experience of these Nordic journeys, rebuilt through our dreams or our unreliable memory. On still another level its an expedition through a sound-scape, through language and visual transformations.
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