True North

2 Channel Video Projection and sound

Collaborative piece for a theatrical performance conceived and directed by Andrea Crnkovic
The Dreyer MFA Group Theater – Center for the Arts – Towson University, MD

November 2011

     True North is a theatrical piece conceived and directed by director and performer Andrea Crnkovic, shown at The Dreyer MFA Group Theater – Center for the Arts, Towson University (MD) on November 2011. True North aims to address psychological states involved in travelling, when one’s physical and sensorial activity is subservient to his own imagination and thoughts and a subtle alienation emerges due to a fast, constant, paced moving that makes surrounding spaces intangible; with the only exception of a means of transportation space itself. It is also a representation of three stories involving as much female travelers who are “trapped” in interstices within the surrounding anonymous space of their journey. As a metaphor of existence, True North regards experience as a fragmentary, accidental, incomprehensible occurrence inside an overall plan, which appears unitary and meaningful only in function of its constant proceeding; since moving implies eventually the idea (illusory or real?) of pursuing a determined direction, of having a precise orientation, a True North (called also “Geographic” or “Polar” North) to follow.

     For this piece I was responsible of designing a series of projections, accompanied by relative soundtracks, and offering an artistic supervision according to director’s overall plan and decisions.

     The projections I designed functioned as a series of transitions between the moments of the performance. They represented moving landscapes, crossing spaces, inter-places or non-places, i.e. physical structures where the space/time dimension has a different structure and meaning than in common places, seen over two pairs of train windows (addressing ideally the stereoscopic peculiarity of vision). Since the projections were set on the lateral sides of the stage, the unusual disposition united with an engaging sound created a very effective illusion of travelling (according to audience’s feedbacks), even if more evocative and empathic than realistic.

     In few cases however projections were used to create immersive environmental settings supportive of performance’s actions. In these exceptions they represented abstract, ethereal, uncharacterized, claustrophobic realities according to the idea of trapping spaces above mentioned.

     In this work my concern was, other than intertwine a piece of visual art (a 2 channel video installation) with a stage performance aiming to achieve an unitary trans-media piece (which was the main directing goal), that of offering through light, sound and motion pictures the spatial experience of moving, in such a space as the theatre, typically privileging static, passive, fictional visual representations to comprehensive environmental experiences. Also my aim was to create a site specific piece strictly related spatially and ideally to the performance itself, either intended as a piece of art or a determined situation, i.e. a set of occurring circumstances.

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