Friday, 19 June 2015

Art Basel 2015 | Theater Basel | The Metopes of the Parthenon

The aesthetic always uses a mask that, at one and the same time, affirms and negates. It is only in the intermittence of revelation that we have access to works of art. Theatre and art do not represent a space in which to live: here, the laws and values of this world are not valid. Theatre and art are not intended to solve problems: they must add new ones.
Romeo Castellucci

For a few days during the Art Basel there was a play playing in Hall 3 called the Metopes of the Parthenon by Romeo Castellucci presented by the Theater Basel.
The Metopes of the Parthenon by Romeo Castellucci is a scenic installation about life and death, that shocks, provokes and makes you question your own life and destiny.
There is no preparation for what is to come, a victim that is lying on the ground, wounded and screaming in agony. The viewer is left in his role, watching the drama happening, the helpers failing to save the victim. After each death a riddle comes up, that we were trying to solve, which is much harder after having just seen something so terrible happening.
It raises the question whether the victim could have survived if the riddle had been solved previously, is there even something we can do about destiny, about death?
As the play took place in a hall with no seats, all the visitors were walking around freely and the stage was stage and audience area in one. We think this is very fitting, as for us the different reactions of the viewers were like a side show to the actual show, if not even a part of it.
Watching someone die -even if just in a play- is a disturbing experience; some were moving closer, others further away, some shocked, others ashamed, some taking pictures other just staring petrified.
The actors acting performances were incredibly realistic, which made the whole experience even more real and therefore more horrible.
The play ends as apruptly as it begins, leaving us with even more questions than we had before.
Even though it is the most shocking play we have ever seen it is a unique experience, confronting us with the most fundamental questions in life and forcing us - in a time of non-stop progress - to stop for a moment and think about life, destiny and death.

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