fairytaleeaters | 2000
"A writer, a composer, a stage designer, a video artist, an actor and a dancer use one and the same subject for a work within their own discipline. They stay next to one another - the odds are absolutely even. Elaborating links and relations of their works and languages with one another, their works start to communicate. The idea is to find the point where the six artistic intentions intersect."
"In this confrontation and coming together we will not [only] discuss but reflect by means of our six different tools. This implies that all . . have to be willing to break the rules of their language or the limits of their art. This process of transformation is public and will be continuously directed by a seventh assistant . . (our outside) eye."
"the lasting question will be:
is this show going to be a concert?
a . . . ?
who is dominating when?
how? totally? or not at all finally?"
". . . there will be new work.
and it is going to be performed.
over and over again. versions on the work produced."
Fairytale Eaters proposed an unhirarchical working structure for 6 artists coming from different backgrounds and disciplines who had not previously worked together. The normal elements of a performance (eg. movement, sound, scenography, etc.) were separated into different functions, each authored by a different contributing artist. Each artist started from a common source, a text by Peter Verhelst (written for this occasion) entitled "Illuminations", elaborating his/her own approach. These approaches or 'materials' would then be brought together in a live performance.
Rather than separate process from product, the project proposed a labratorium structure: The group would work together over 12 days with 4 public showings per day. Each day the group would meet around a table to discuss the days work.
A seventh person in the role of 'director' was appointed to mediate the discussions and to decide what the group should go for.
Between 6 - 9 pm each day the group would present their way of working by moving 4 times between table-discussion and stage-work : try-outs of their different propositions, directly turning their research into a performance. The results of the previous days attempts would influence the course of the next days work and so on and so forth. A total of 48 versions on the same theme were attempted over the course of the 12 days.
The project necessarily put an emphasis on communication and translation between the different members of the group and their different fields/disciplines. The number of people in the group and the different backgrounds of each, often made this process slow and difficult. Appointing someone in the role of director helped to keep the work moving.
The approach generated a huge amount of material and many ideas to sort out and develop further. The work was often more intuitive than conceptual, perhaps due to the short delay between creation and presentation.
Fairytale Eaters was interesting in that rather than resulting in a single work, it created a platform in which to produce multiple attempts in a direct feedback loop with the audience.
This idea of a platform for research and creation was eventually formalized into the structure: FROGS - Open Source, a working platform that would emphasize collaboration and the exchange of knowledge across disciplines.
frogs OS, C&H