2020 The poetics of an empty space

THE POETICS OF AN EMPTY SPACE

sensorial experience

 

 

The question and goal of the project The Poetics of an Empty Space is how and in what way, new empty spaces of the new building of Academy for Theatre in Ljubljana may be charged with old memories. Bringing in a spirit, introducing the area with memory, imagination and other parallel realities that excite us,  opening inner images and memories and a psychological and emotional refuge, was challenging for students. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, summary: “In a ruined hut, the carpenter’s daughter dreams of life in a palace; in the palace, the young prince believes that a woman destined for him lives in a forest hut. Folk tales – with their Gothic illustrations – suffer through the romance of mountain tours, forest interiors, secluded huts, magical borders and secret gates“.  With these words, the philosopher Gaston Bachelard named the poetics of space. His original study of the magical “space” of his childhood home and its imaginary spaces has often become a must-read for architecture students. In the 20th century, rationalist architecture and urbanism brought or even forced the difference between public and private space, which is also discussed by Slovenian set designer Meta Hočevar in another excellent book on the theatrical spaces and architecture of Spaces of My Time. Bachelard, on the other hand, explored a third type of space, the “happy” space at home with the homely layout of tables, chairs, cabinets and stairs. He was fascinated by the living worlds of the attic and basement and their expressive dreams. These objects and spaces embody deep reserves of emotional content. Not only is the little one beautiful, but it also stimulates the imagination more. Architects often argue that designing intimate buildings is much more complicated than erecting monoliths. When setting up rooms, it is necessary to consider the need to create separate psychological thresholds between open and closed, inside and outside, arrival and departure. Bachelard believed that there is a dynamic intertwining between the active mind and the environment. A house can be a theatre, which most people realize when they travel by train through the city at night and observe the illuminated interiors. Even the light of candles in the window is enough to make the street come alive

The most important relationships with buildings’ architecture are established at home, around the fireplace and kitchen table. These seemingly empty spaces are often explored and brooked by the theatre. The first and last days of life, the home spaces take on all the weight of human habitation and turn into a retreat and a space of belonging. At Bachelard, we are most impressed by the clear reflection on the enduring human need to seek psychological refuge in already known places and places where the first poets and storytellers arrived. Bachelard’s Poetics of Space, one of the fundamental parts of sensory theatrical methodology, has become an essential element for our creative understanding and creation of intimate spaces, scenes that open memories and imagination to the visitor.

 

 

THE POETICS OF AN EMPTY SPACE

Produced, conceived and directed by Barbara Pia Jenič

Music and Sound design: Peter Penko

Dramaturgical collaborator: Tomaž Toporišič UL AGRFT

Advisor for movement: Tanja Zgonc UL AGRFT

Set design advisor: Jasna Vastl UL AGRFT

Costume advisor: Tina Kolenik UL AGRFT

Speech advisor: Tomaž Gubenšek UL AGRFT

 

sensorial guides UL AGRFT

Uršula Vratuša Globočnik

Maruša Mali

Lucia Zucchiati

Nika Korenjak

Gal Oblak

Lenča Malec

Kaja Vidanovski

Anja Möderndorfer

Neža Dali Novak

Peter Alojz Marn

Katarina Majcen

 

 

Co-production of Senzorium Institute and AGRFT

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the City of Ljubljana

26th of December 2020 Online premiere

Repetitions 26th, 27th, 28th of December 2020

THE POETICS OF AN EMPTY SPACE ONLINE

At a time of government restrictions and Covid, when we were supposed to have the premiere of the project POETICS OF EMPTY SPACE in the new UL AGRFT venues, we transferred the process of rehearsals and premiere to the online environment. The latter allowed us to shrink from five to two senses of perception and expression – to audiovisual creation. In front of you is the online premiere of memories, images, reflections and snapshots that students will transfer to the new AGRFT empty spaces at its opening at the end of the epidemic. Content will then be transferred to the full sensorial experience; we will be able to experience them in a five-dimensional environment – with all the senses and sensorial theatre language. Until the end of December, we have been creating contents in two dimensions, in our home settings. We discovered the poetics of home corners, drawers, cabinets, windows, doors, views, perspectives. We have found our corners of daydreaming, longing, our safe spaces and refuges. During the ban on socializing, we have translated the poetic of spaces into audiovisual impressions, which are presented as a thoughtfully packed collage of narratives and poetry, filled with memories, emotions and longings.

 

Conceived and directed by Barbara Pia Jenič

Video editing: Peter Penko, Barbara Pia Jenič

Sound design: Peter Penko, Gal Oblak

Dramaturgical collaborator: Tomaž Toporišič

 

Student footage and video material

Uršula Vratuša Globočnik

Maruša Mali

Lucia Zucchiati

Nika Korenjak

Gal Oblak

Lenča Malec

Kaja Vidanovski

Anja Möderndorfer

Neža Dali Novak

Peter Alojz Marn

Katarina Majcen

 

 

Co-production of Senzorium Institute and University of Ljubljana Academy of theatre, radio, film and television

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the City of Ljubljana

26th of December 2020 Online premiere

Repetitions 26th, 27th, 28th of December 2020

VIDEO The poetic of empty space