Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft
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Light as compositional and choreographic element


BA 06,09,10,11
MA 02,04
CuP 03,05

--> Erste Veranstaltung Freitag 17.10.2015 (!) 12.00-16.00 (!) Städelschule

Kooperationsprojekt mit der Architekturklasse der Städelschule Frankfurt
(Prof. Johan Bettum / Prof. Daniel Birnbaum)

Beyond natural light’s diurnal, life-giving function, light is an inherent compositional and choreographic element in all creative work. Whether directly or indirectly addressed, light render the world tangible and legible. While its physics, a duality of waves and particles, is understood as packages of energy, its metaphysics has always been employed and interpreted as a gateway to the divine and the mystical. When light is considered as the intangible and immaterial, it is nevertheless intimately and directly tied to everything material. Materials and light - if not lights, since the spectrum of light is as open-ended as the universe of energy, have a deep intercourse through reflection, refraction, diffusion, absorption, variable light transmission ...

From theatre and opera (Adolphe Appia, Robert Wilson, Jean Kalman) to film (Eisenstein, Lang, Murnau), from painting (Rubens, Vermeer, Turner, Richter) to video art (Viola, Gordon), from sculpture (Merz, Flavin, Holzer, Kapoor) and choreography (Fuller, Forsythe) to architecture (Le Corbusier, Kahn, Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron) and light art as such (Turell, Eliasson, Kuball), light(s) dramatises the narrative, the underlying structure and produces the immediate effects. If ‘seeing the light’ bespeaks revelation and understanding, it also casts the obvious and visible back into wonder. In all of this, it is light(s) unspeakable counterpoint to darkness that is at stake, a duality that is not given by a dialectic but where one is hidden inside the other and infinite spectra of energy and colour lie latent within. The presence or absence of all kinds of shadows act as the go-between.

From the minuscule structure of fibrous materiality to the expanse of the shifting depth and geometry of oceans, light(s) plays with the composition of the world and renders it colourful, silent, loud, bleak, stark, flickering, explosive ...

But what if light(s) is/are spatialised and temporalised, if only in the process of creation, so that it could be drawn, modelled and moulded, distributed and charged according to a plan of immediacy and not as an ad-hoc effect? What if light(s) refuses any representation and description of reality and yet embodies it, becomes the thing itself?, and what if light(s) and its other, the materiality with which it will play, were seen as one?

Students of the Institute for Applied Theater Studies at Justus-Liebig University (Gießen) and the Städelschule Architecture Class (SAC) will pose such questions and will be introduced to various artistic and technical approaches to the role of light(s) in creating and choreographing space. They will work in joint groups and experiment through various media in order to address the creative potential of working directly with light(s).

The research and experiments undertaken by each group will eventually lead to the staging of the results in a performance / performative space in early February.

The work will be accompanied by a series of readings, seminars and workshops

The project will be held in English, takes place in Gießen and Frankfurt

The participation at this project is limited to ten students of the Städelschule and ten Students of the Institute for Applied Theatre studies (ATW/CuP).

Please apply via email to Prof. Heiner Goebbels with a short description of your interest and already released artistic projects during your studies until Oct. 4th.