The Crossing of the Visible

Center For Performance Research
New York, 2014

A hooded figure fails to communicate. Eventually, he conjures a series of scenes. A young girl recites her bedtime prayers. A woman begins her day. Figures traverse a void. The fragmented narrative collapses into itself, until all that remains is light, the spectator’s gaze, and a presence in between.

The Crossing of the Visible is the title of a book by French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion. Marion explores presence from an optical perspective, particularly in painting. He uses the French term un vide, which can mean both “space” and “void.” Marion interrogates the space wherein an image is experienced. The spectator sees the object and the object gazes back. What occurs in this crossing?

This performance was further shaped by a personal reading of Francisco Goya’s etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, a work that depicts a different kind of crossing.

Concept, Director, Sound: Jonathan Vandenberg
Performers: Charles Baran, Amalie Ceen, James Ciccarelle, Daniel Levitt, Tazca Levitt Yaksetig
Costumes: Nicole Wee
Lighting: Joe Novak
Dramaturg: Erik Grathwohl
Artistic Associate: Virginia Vasquez

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