EIZO-Theater presents “theater” by means of actual-size images of actors projected onto screens etc. and the audience’s powers of imagination. Works in the EIZO-Theater series were initially performed/displayed in art museums and exhibition space, but moved into a theatre for the first time with the showing of KAISOU: Layer, Class or Hierarchy at the Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT in March 2022. This performance/display made use of the theatre structure consisting of the basement and audience seating. For NEW-ILLUSION, EIZO-Theater will be presented in the theatre space and follow the conventional style of stage and audience seating. Images of a man and a woman projected on a screen on the stage begin talking about a play that was performed in that theatre up until the preceding day and was set in the room where they had lived together.
However, is what the two are talking about a play = fiction or their actual life = reality? Meanwhile, the fictional space projected onto the screen and the real space of the theatre encroach on each other. And for an instant, the audience senses the presence of actors that are not supposed to be there… Reality and fiction, present and past, and existence and absence overlap on the stage and change the look of things there, like a trompe l’oeil painting. A new illusion created by EIZO-Theater will undoubtedly come into view through its the gaps between these dichotomies.
On the staging of NEW-ILLUSION - Toshiki Okada
Theater is an art form enabling the existence of things that do not actually exist in the performance space, on the level of the imagination. As such, in theatre, we can create illusions. The illusions in theatre can sometimes have a solidity which would permit us to say that the subject actually exists there. This is because they are experienced in common by all of the people in attendance at the performance.
In recent years, we members of chelfitsch have been working on EIZO-Theater, a distinctive style of theatre. In it, the space of the performance is that where actual-size images of performances by actors are projected. Illusions appear in this performance space, through the projected images.
What appears in the projected images is an illusion, in the sense that it is not really present in the performance space where its image is projected. Nevertheless, this is not the whole story of illusions in EIZO-Theater; the theatrical illusion born of the acting by the actors in the projected images - that is, the illusion generated by an illusion - is an illusion created by EIZO-Theater.
Through my practice of EIZO-Theater thus far, I am now able to say with confidence that I have absolutely no confidence in my ability to accurately distinguish what is reality and what is illusion in this world. Perhaps you, too, will feel this way if you experience NEW-ILLUSION, the latest work of EIZO-Theater at this point in time.
Playwright / Director: Toshiki Okada
Video Director: Shimpei Yamada
Performers:Tomomitsu Adachi, Ayana Shiibashi, Jeong Jung-yeop