Apprehending “environment” through a new relationship between people and objects
What is the theatre that is not directed to the audience?
Is it possible to create theater not only for the people watching at one moment in time? Can we use theater to present a world in which people and objects are completely equal, rather than trapped in their usual subservient relationship?
Devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture is now undergoing immense reconstruction to elevate the area as a countermeasure against future tsunami waves and restore the lifestyles that the residents lost. However, the use of local rocks to raise the land more than ten meters (33 feet) higher than it was before has led to severe damage on surrounding mountains.
Visiting the area in 2017 and witnessing the landscape that had been so rapidly and artificially changed, Toshiki Okada started to conceive a new work in which he would raise doubts about the so-called criteria or measures that humans use. As his collaborator, Okada welcomes Teppei Kaneuji, the artist who has expanded the possibilities of his practice by voraciously incorporating theatrical perspectives into his main methodology of collage. The resulting work also integrates the "EIZO Theater” that chelfitsch has developed since last year, attempting to take yet another approach to language and the body of the actors. What is the landscape that emerges when we deviate from anthropocentrism?
Eraser Mountain is the very latest in chelfitsch’s ongoing endeavors to update theater.
Theater that is not aimed directly at the human audience. Theater with things. Theater whose yardsticks are not human ones. Theater with interposition of something that is not human and not for human benefit in the relationship with the audience. Theater making it clear that people are not at the center of the depiction or even special entities. Theater for things. Theater of things. Theater whose world may be portrayed by objects that are not human. Theater that extends its tendrils of subject and function far beyond the theater of, by, and for people.
In theater, is it possible to expand the scope of a place that is not here and a time that is not now to a completely unimaginable degree? How can we occupy the same space as objects that we sense are not directed to or for us? Can we half-erase ourselves?
Objects each have their own peculiar times. People must construct a relationship or
connection/non-connection with them, based on concern/unconcern and tolerance/intolerance. I envision a sort of new land art built in the virtual space that is, in a sense, theater. It could also be termed the development of "sculpture theater" as opposed to "EIZO-Theater."
Playwright/Director: Toshiki Okada
Scenography: Teppei Kaneuji