The Project

Imagine a white room with 3 sides; with the 4th side closed off by an elaborate red velvet theatre curtain. Walking into the gallery, all you see is the curtain. Slowly and gracefully, the curtain raises to reveal a complex machine of moving weights and pulleys: the audience moves behind the curtain and it is apparent that this machine is driving the movement of the curtain. The curtain lowers, holding a number of people behind it who are now curious about how this machine is being powered.

Meanwhile, new visitors arrive and the curtain raises once again, but now there is a new question: are these people behind the curtain also part of the work? Are they performers themselves? This process repeats.

For those who have been behind the curtain, there emerges a curiosity about where the ‘engine’ is. Audiences follow the line of pulleys out into the corridor toward the back of the gallery and into the laneway. There, one sees a simple donkey being led up and down the laneway, lumbering to produce the graceful effect of the curtain as a symbol of effort and determination.


4 Responses to The Project

  1. msjesalice says:

    Something to think about:
    In all probability we will only have the donkey on opening night [if we are able to get it at all] due to logistics and cost.
    How will this idea work without the donkey?
    We discussed a director in the donkey harness pulling the curtain up and down. What about volunteers minding the gallery? Audience Members? Ron & George??
    Another option is to have a machine powered version running with a little motor…

    it is intrigueing
    will take a while to wrap my head around it.
    i think i get the idea
    donkey as metaphor for ari workers and the raising curtain -the continual shows.
    idea good look forward to discussing logistics.
    lack of doneky for duration of show is a worry
    vollie involvement to man harness other times sounds problematic.
    ps i am no good with machines. but donkeys seem to like me.
    i am sure someone i was talking to recently has a donkey but i think it was in brisbane.
    cheers crew. Lion

  3. grace says

    I think for aesthetic consistency post show we operate the curtain using a machine and if possible what the curtain reveals is video footage of the donkey.

    But my next thought is that it could be fun to transfer the work of the donkey onto a human – it just could look a little sloppy and does it change the meaning of the work?

    Have any of you contacted this place? shall i give it a go

    • I think that the Donkey on opening night and a motor or something for the rest of the show is not a deal breaker – it is a conceptual conceit, not just looking at the work of ari directors putting on shows but reflecting on ideas of ‘process’ and ‘product’ – creating a self revelatory machine where the outcome is the process is the outcome forever and ever. I don’t think the work falls apart without the Donkey, i think its a great poetic with it though.

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