The black box is the zero degree of staging—tréteau nu—an empty space that craves performance—the meeting of various kinds of stage texts: images, sounds, performances, narratives. According to the concept of Displacement, it becomes an ideal physical site of cooperation, a medium whereby geographically remote materials and artists may meet by way of Internet streaming, a place to study the formal relations between stage texts that define, rearticulate, and confront each other.
The black box of theatre also represents traditional theatre as that safe place where one may observe the unfolding of other people’s destinies as if through a keyhole—without interaction. The place where ignorant people are invited to see suffering people (Plato). But what happens when one disturbs that safe place? What happens when that place is staged, bugged, performed? What happens if the gaze is offered panic and paranoia, instead of the safe excitement of voyeurism? If the spectator’s ear is served wired thoughts that cause fear? The boxed figure elopes and evades our gaze, hides in the multitude, in the public, collective, and anonymous body. The everyday street social choreography—of walking, waiting, sitting, protesting—morphs into drama, hides an intruder, stranger, terrorist, danger.
To pinpoint the intruder in the image. In the image of the public or in the public as an image.
In this case, the black stage box is also a form of public space that stages public space. Using the pedestrian, untrained bodies of actors to perform everyday social choreography in unspectacular situations becomes an object of fear when it is re-signified with a series of five short monologues—typical products of the early-twenty-first-century society of fear and surveillance. What is actually performed is the contingency that every encounter with public space causes fear. The fear of a potential disaster or hardship serves to veil the state of permanent disaster or hardship. An ongoing explosion.
Black box also designates the device used to establish the causes of plane crashes. It contains all that occurred prior to the explosion.
This project is part of the outlines, proposals, and other artistic materials produced over the years to deconstruct A Letter to Heiner M, a performance text by Goran Ferčec. The preceding drafts include the theoretical text The Weak History of (the Body of) a Superhero (2008), the storyboard score A Letter to Heiner M. Draft 2 (2009), and the audio guide The Passage (2011). For this draft, Ferčec wrote Additional Scenes to the ‘Train Carriage’ Situation. The following draft is a staging of the text produced at the Zagreb Youth Theatre in October of 2011.
B.Đ. and S. I.