Big Art Group in TDR: The Drama Review Winter 2010 Issue

“Image Eaters”, a 36 page article by Jacob Gallagher-Ross about the work of Big Art Group, has been published in this quarters edition of TDR: The Drama Review.


Theatre artists keen to investigate the theatrical possibilities of technological image-making must inevitably contend with the wearisome grumbling issuing from critics who see the invasion of screens, electronic sounds, and pop culture materials as heralding theatre’s surrender to predatory corporate interests and banal mass culture — relinquishing its supposedly sacral mission to present breathing bodies to a temporary community of other such bodies. But far from signaling the end of theatre’s vitality, Big Art Group’s innovations are renovating the art form for our media-baffled moment. Their theatrical methods are descended from Brecht: opening the apparatus of modern image-manufacturing to dissecting scrutiny, they take the discrepancies between live bodies onstage and their onscreen doppelgangers as a figure for media culture’s many forms of transubstantiation. Not content with staging simple binaries — live or recorded, image or material presence — Big Art Group graphs a spectrum: bodies that crave the hi-def perfection of the video image; images that long to be ratified by eliciting sensuous responses in the viewer. – Jacob Gallagher-Ross (TDR/The Drama Review Winter 2010, Vol. 54, No. 4 (T208): 54–80.)

TDR: The Drama Review is a quarterly journal focusing on performances in their social, economic, aesthetic, and political contexts. The journal covers dance, theatre, music, performance art, visual art, popular entertainment, media, sports, rituals, and performance in politics and everyday life. TDR is owned by New York University and is published in hard copy and online by the MIT Press.