Monday, May 23, 2011

Simultanous time and sequential time

The activities in Bruegel’s painting Children’s Games exist in simultaneous time, but the viewer’s eyes pass from one game to another, through the perspectival space. This, of course, takes time, so the painting unfolds for the viewer in an indeterminate sequential time - each viewing can follow a different path. The thoughts and associations that generate the work in progress Children’s Games are also in simultaneous time. Rhizomatically linked, they diverge and converge, finding different connecting points, layering accumulatively or thinning into rivulets and cul-de-sacs. The actual performance of Children’s Games will exist in determined (on a macro-scale) sequential time, but should contain the idea of simultaneity. Cataloguing is one way of doing this, and Bruegel’s work is, in a sense, a catalogue. Another type of time that runs through the painting is cyclical – seasons of the year, ages of life, rituals of marking time, rituals of marking the age of childhood. Childhood activities are “timeless”, passing through time, oral tradition, changing but the same.

The story of the Wild Child of Avignon, on the other hand, is firmly rooted in a sequential structure of progression. The child begins as a savage and ends at civilization (or an approximation thereof). The system of training suggests improvement in a unitemporal direction. A telling of the story through words or images consists of a temporal compression – representing key moments in a series of transformations. Didactic sequential time…?

The horror film exists within screenal time – time out, mediated time. Repeatable time, re-screenable time.

The seance attempts to reach across time, magical time, the time of the written word.

This week in rehearsal we spent the time communicating non-verbally.

Photos by Lydia Rosenberg

1 comment:

Archivist/Cultural Liaison said...

The ability to paint so that the eye is guided to move and, even keep moving has long been a goal of many painters in many eras.
I like how you managed to go from children's games to horror films. nice.
Henri Corbin in talking about the cyclical time of the Mazdean religion of Iran, points out that in their cyclical time the result is a great nostalgia for the future. Something that has stuck with me for a long time.