Metaphysical theater

The transformation of the human body, its metamorphosis, is made possible by the costume, the disguise. Costume and mask emphasize the body’s identity or they change it; they express its nature or they are purposely misleading about it; they stress its conformity to organic or mechanical laws or they invalidate this conformity.

The native costume, as produced by the conventions of religion, state, and society, is different from the theatrical stage costume. Yet the two are generally confused. Great as has been the variety of native costumes developed during the course of human history, the number of genuine stage costumes has stayed very small. They are the few standardized costumes of the commedia delle arte: Harlequin, Pierrot, Columbine, etc.; and they have remained basic and authentic to this day.

Schlemmer &cvt=JPEG

The following can be considered fundamentally decisive in the transformation of the human body in terms of this stage costume:

  1. The laws of the surrounding cubical space. Here the cubical forms are transferred to the human shape: head, torso, arms, legs are transformed into spatial-cubical constructions.
    Result: ambulant architecture.
  2. The functional laws of the human body in their relationship to space. These laws bring about a typification of the bodily forms: the egg shape of the head, the vase shape of the torso, the club shape of the arms and legs, the ball shape of the joints.
    Result: the marionette.
  3. The laws of motion of the human body in space. Here we have the various aspects of rotation, direction, and intersection of space: the spinning top, snail, spiral, disk.
    Result: a technical organism.
  4. The metaphysical forms of expression symbolizing various members of the human body: the star shape of the spread hand, the x sign of the folded arms, the cross shape of the backbone and shoulders; the double head, multiple limbs, division and suppression of forms.
    Result: dematerialization.

[Formentanz of Oscar Schlemmer] [Formentanz of Oscar Schlemmer] Rudolph Binnemann, German, about 1927 - 1928 Abbaspour, Mitra, Lee Ann Daffner, and Maria Morris Hambourg. Object-Photo rene (Hecht) Bayer, American (Chicago, Ill., USA 1898 - 1991 Los Angeles, Cal., USA) Title Equilibristic Dance [by Oskar Schlemmer]

Oskar Schlemmer Figurines in Space- Study for the Triadic Ballet (Figurinen im Raum- Mise-en-scène for Das Triadische Ballett) (c. 1924) Oskar Schlemmer Poster for the Great Bridge Revue (Große Brücken Revue) 1926 E. Consemüller, H. Loew, O. Schlemmer, A. Weininger, W. Siedhoff, and Lux Feininger on the studio building, also named the Prellerhaus Herbert Bayer, American, 1928 20231997 [Stabetanz of Oskar Schlemmer] Rudolph Binnemann, German, about 1927 Oskar Schlemmer (1888-1943) Title Sketch for a Figure for Oskar-Schlemmer_Das-Triadische-Ballett_Bauhaus-Barbican oskar_schlemmer_foto_01 Dancer (Turkish)- Partner of Dancer 8 (Tänzer [Türkisch]- Partner der Tänzerin 8) from Notes and Sketches for the Triadic Ballet (Das triadische Ballett) (c. 1938) Oskar Schlemmer Two Gold Ball Dancers (Die zwei Goldkugel-Tänzer) from Notes and Sketches for the Triadic Ballet (Das triadische Ballett) (c. 1938) Oskar Schlemmer Wire Costume (Draht-Kostüm) from Notes and Sketches for the Triadic Ballet (Das triadische Ballett) (c. 1938)Bauhaus Bühne_Stage Set Design by Kurt Schmidt for Oskar Schlemmer Class] Eckner Atelier, German, about 1924 theaterofbauhaus00schl_0080theaterofbauhaus00schl_0082 theaterofbauhaus00schl_0085 theaterofbauhaus00schl_0072 schlemmer_ohne_jahr_foto_klein Stabetanz (Manda v. Kreibig). T. Lux Feininger, American, about 1927

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  1. Pingback: Metaphysical theater | The Charnel-House « Breakfast on Paper

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