A theatrical work referring to a piece by a plastic artist. Art, turning on itself until it bites its tail. An oak (1973), of Michael Craig-Martin, an allegory of the transubstantiation exhibited for the first time at the Rowan Gallery in London, has inspired a show of the same name in which Tim Crouch, its creator, plays a hypnotist while a different guest interpreter plays the role of a grieving father every night after the fatal abuse suffered by his daughter three months ago. Luis Sorolla, responsible for the Spanish version, plays the hypnotist in the staging premiered at the Pavón Theater in Madrid.
The oak of Craig-Martin, which has been part of the permanent exhibition of the National Gallery of Australia, consists of a glass with water on a shelf attached to a wall more than half a meter above the heads of visitors and an attached sign where it is explained that the glass was transformed into a tree by the artist, without changing its appearance Piece of dishes cut and lironda. Just as the priest during the Eucharist says to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, without the ostia adopting meat texture or red blood cells appear in the Rioja, Craig-Martin assures that the Duralex glass and the water contained therein is wood and wise to the sacred tree of the druids.
Craig-Martin's minimalist and conceptual piece put the question of art as a dogma of faith on the table. The artistic work touches the soul of the spectator or does not touch it: it can not be explained, because to do so would lose its grace, as the jokes lose when they crumble. The public of An oak in the Rowan it was divided between those who gave credit to the reflection that the artist implicitly proposed and the skeptics, distrustful of an art whose understanding requires clarifications, hand programs and interviews with the author.
In search of truth or an artistic truth, Tim Crouch wrote An oak to be staged by himself and by a different actor each night, with which he will not have met until an hour before starting the performance, without knowing anything about it or knowing his text. In its course, Crouch (Luis Sorolla in the Spanish montage) blows his speeches as a pointer, now on stage or by a penanillo, or is given to read, because the work is written from beginning to end and leaves little room for improvisations : any actor improvises better when he knows the text by heart or when he is allowed to invent it on the fly, because to ignore it does not exempt him from having to say it to dictation, the least inducing situation of spontaneity that one can imagine.
In An oak everything is rationalized: the initial detailed description that Crouch makes of the original work of Craig-Martin, the copious instructions that, through the mouth of Sorolla, the author interpreter offers so that the guest comedian knows what to keep in each moment, since you are allowed to act on your own; the metatheatricality of the argument, the elaborate equivalence between what the fictional protagonist lives and what the Irish plastic artist poses ...
During his performance, Luis Sorolla addresses the audience with the naturalness of someone who is like Pedro for his home, but with a slowness and a bit of sufficiency that intellectualizes even more a text that has not just started due to the infinite number of indications given by his character to the guest actor, the repetition of texts in both mouths and open parentheses. How far is this function coated important Orgy me, piece for hotel rooms in which Santi Senso creates truly disturbing moments with the collaboration of one or two different actors each day, knowing their text but not what is going to happen. Certain that An oak it's six years before Orgy, but it comes to us later.
Crouch affirms that the function is improvised even though the text is not, but in truth there is little room left for the arrival of art, with a greater foundation in the shows of Imprebìs, in the open rehearsals of any function and in the numbers of hypnosis, where the narcissistic self and histrion of the spectators who lend themselves to the game without those who remain in their seats become aware of what actually happens.
Nacho Sánchez, guest actor, was really committed to how Sorolla proposed and surprised everyone with his virtuosity to pamper a piano concert. He was so focused on playing his role that he did not realize that sometimes he did not even hear the collar of his shirt. His own responses to the questions that his antagonist asked him in the meta-theatrically better scene seemed to him.
During a conversation that exceeded the function in interest, part of the audience was surprised: it turns out that another good part of the audience was convinced that Nacho Sánchez, seated at the beginning in the audience, was one of them, chosen by Sorolla randomly.
An oak Author: Tim Crouch. Translation: Luis Sorolla. Performers: L. Sorolla and a different guest actor in each show. Direction: Carlos Tuñón. Madrid. Pavón Kamikaze Theater, until December 17.