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  • SOS (2008- Touring)
SOS (2008- Touring)

SOS is an investigation into the nature of sacrifice within a supersaturated, hyper-acquisitive society. Set in a theatrical space that plays with the idea of representation, where the cables and cameras of surveillance appear as a forest of technology, the performance unwinds through overlapping abstract narratives. Animals (played by actors in plushy costumes and body mounted cameras) pushed from their native habitat turn on each other in a hopeless contest for survival. Televised Trans-Variant Revolutionaries from the Realness Liberation Front broadcasting in a skeletal studio implode under the pressure and failure of their own rhetoric. Social networking addicts enmeshed in a self-created universe seek escape from a tightening web of perception. As these scenarios vibrate against one another, the action transforms into a celebration of renewal though chaos.

The People - Polverigi (2007)

The People, an outdoor spectacle that combines live theater with large scale, real time video projection. The narrative, constructed from interviews with members of the local community who voice their thoughts about democracy, war, terrorism and justice as it relates to their personal histories, loosely recreates the story of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. Live theatrical reenactments are intercut with earlier, taped interviews, projected via large scale video onto the side of a building where the live play and video is viewed by the audience at street level. Perceived as a kind of ‘living television,’ The People repurposes commonly used media strategies such as video clips, interviews and re-enactments, to explore the extraordinary forces reshaping contemporary government. It sculpts these developments into a performative action, that takes as its inspiration the foundational idea of community dialogue and the birth of democracy as theatrically embodied in the Oresteia. By inverting the established relationship between ‘mass-media’ and private exchange, it transforms the ‘town square’ into a public performance in which both performers and audience act out crucial roles in the construction of self-government.

The People - Halle (2008)

The People, an outdoor spectacle that combines live theater with large scale, real time video projection. The narrative, constructed from interviews with members of the local community who voice their thoughts about democracy, war, terrorism and justice as it relates to their personal histories, loosely recreates the story of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. Live theatrical reenactments are intercut with earlier, taped interviews, projected via large scale video onto the side of a building where the live play and video is viewed by the audience at street level. Perceived as a kind of ‘living television,’ The People repurposes commonly used media strategies such as video clips, interviews and re-enactments, to explore the extraordinary forces reshaping contemporary government. It sculpts these developments into a performative action, that takes as its inspiration the foundational idea of community dialogue and the birth of democracy as theatrically embodied in the Oresteia. By inverting the established relationship between ‘mass-media’ and private exchange, it transforms the ‘town square’ into a public performance in which both performers and audience act out crucial roles in the construction of self-government.

The Imitation (2008-2009)

The Imitation represents Big Art Group’s second foray into the exploration of the Image-Performance, an experimental form that combines visual arts, sampling, and musicianship, merging contemporary visual language with a literary dramaturgy. Combining elements of rock spectacle with the grotesque and avant-garde films of the 1960s, The Imitation tells a cautionary tale about an ambitious artist who comes to the City to advance her career, and meets a financier who becomes possessed by her images. With a set constructed of garbage collected from the streets of New York, The Imitation subverts the relationships between art, commerce, and spectacle.

The Sleep (2009-2010)

The Sleep mixes early cinema techniques, magic lantern, rock concert and Big Art Group’s Real Time Film technique into a live see-though movie adapted from M. P. Shiel’s 1901 story, “The Purple Cloud,” in which a lone explorer races to the North Pole while a poison purple cloud covers the earth. His subsequent return to the remnants of civilization drives him into a crisis of being, in a classic “last man” adventure that eerily presages catastrophic climate change. Music by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce, and Jemma Nelson.

DEAD SET (2007-Serial Project)

The serial project of Dead Set exists as a sequence of notes : each part consists as an assemblage of modular concepts, that are rearranged for the duration of the individual spectacle. Dead Set #2 and #3 were organized around the topic of the image of trauma. Dead Set#2 was created first in Berlin at the Hebbel Theatre and for Paris at the Festival d’Automne à Paris. Further iterations of the series will involve non-theatrical performances, straight-to-video releases, and commerce.

House of No More (2004-2007)

House of No More is the third and final part of a conceptual trilogy of Real Time Film begun with the works Shelf Life and Flicker. The performance starts with the reenactment of a crime told by a mother who thrusts herself on screen in her quest for her missing child. But simultaneously as this premise unfolds, the performers develop an antithesis– that the story is being faked as it is being created, dispelled at the same moment as it is conjured. As the characters dissolve into this corrupt transmission, becoming ghostly and multiplied across the surface of the “film,” what emerges is not a battle for the ownership of an absolute truth, but a thirst for a satiating lie.

Flicker (2002-2005)

Ficker uses Big Art Group’s Real Time Film technique of live video projection and split second-choreography to examine the image of violence in this second part of the RTF trilogy. In Flicker, two “movies” collide into each other and bleed onto a single screen. In one narrative, voyeurism and softcore sadomasochism spin out of control, while the B-story follows a group of city friends who find themselves lost in a wilderness that turns mythic and murderous. As the two films intersect, a dark tale of disjunction emerges, exploring the need to comprehend the irreality of death and the everyday presence of violence. A comedy.

Shelf Life (2001-2004)

In Shelf Life a live action movie unfurls on stage, a film in which three desperate characters who inhabit a consumer wasteland become obsessed with an alluring icon. Each tries to possess and mold her in the form of their media-induced desires, even as she uses them as a means to her own consumptive ends. Fueled by jealousy, rage, and betrayal, this “love quadrangle” ignites into a bizarre and tragic struggle over the ownership of happiness. Shelf Life uses found images, garbage, sampled sounds, and Real Time Film technique: a conceptual model collapsing performance, television, and movies using live action and video. It examines the use of image in entertainment, the experience of the image versus its manufacture, and the split between surface and interior.

The Balladeer (2000)

Mixing song, text, puppetry, dance and vivid, cinematic direction, The Balladeer tells a freeform story of new love and its defeat. The piece becomes a backdrop for an exploration of identity, anguish, desire; by turns empathetic and vulgar. In an ‘adolescent’ work that led directly to the technique of Real Time Film, Big Art Group mixes filmic and televisual ideas with theatrical form to create a unnerving, bizarre hybrid.

Clearcut, Catastrophe! 1999

The tragic entrapment of nostalgia and the futility of escapist fantasies of the future play out in declining and decaying parallel universes of the Maysles Brothers’ documentary “Grey Gardens” and Chekhov’s masterpiece “Three Sisters.” Through experimental structure and task-based choreography, the performers attempt to embody multiple stories that unravel as quickly as they are constructed. Caden Manson / Big Art Group establishes their nonconformist objectives and transgressive techniques in this debut work.