Hi! I am Rahul. I am a Theatre Artist trying to create a space for practice-based research in Indian academia.
This is my backyard of ideas and experiments
Research Interests: Theatre of the Oppressed; Postdramatic theatre; Ethno-fiction; Posthumanism
The Misguide to look at the Sun (April 2023)
Theatre originates from the Greek word ‘theatron’, which means a place to see. Cathy Turner, along with other artist-scholars, has developed a series of ‘walking theatres’ in United Kindom where the participants move around a particular city following the prompts of the designed ‘mis-guides’. A Mis-guide, in her own words, is a book of curated experiences to see the parts of the city which are hiding in plain sight (Turner 2019). These mis-guides contain images, graphics, texts, and other visual prompts that work as departure points for a spectator to experience the space in a non-obvious, imaginative and, arguably in phenomenological way as well. For instance, Mis-guide To Anywhere asks the viewer to place the map of Moscow on their own city and walk where the Kremlin would be (Turner 2006). In this research, I propose to create a ‘Mis-guide’ to look at the Sun. It is no secret that the literal act of looking directly at the sun would not be a pleasurable sight. Nonetheless, keeping in mind the ethos of misguides and rethinking it with phenomenological ways of perception, this research attempts to develop curated experiences of perceiving the Sun in the manner through which it presents itself. The Sun is not only a celestial body that radiates energy. It is the centre of far-reaching epistemological imaginations (Mathematics, Astronomy etc.), cultural manifestations (religion, literary texts, oral traditions and more), and other practices and philosophies. The scope of this essay aligns with the design of the mis-guides in the sense that the aim is not to provide a comprehensive deconstruction of every thread of notion that traces its genesis to the Sun. But to show an abstract direction and allow the agency of the spectator to carry themself to the interpretative paths they show themselves. Therefore, in conclusion, the research aims to produce two contributions: a creative work in the form of a collection of graphical prompts that juxtaposes the embodied experience of sun and not just through sight, along with the socially constructed ‘image’ of the Sun; a reflective essay that contextualises the act of perception with the intentionality of seeing and discusses the discoveries and directions of the Mis-guide To Look At The Sun.
Tell me your despair and I will tell you mine (Oct 2022)
Theatre, as Ann Ubersfld calls it, is a paradox. At once, it is both a literary work and a physical representation. Theatre as a text is eternal, reproducible, and identical while as a performance, theatre is momentary and never identical to the previous performances. In this dual existence of theatre, who is the author? Is the author the playwright who writes the dramatic text, or the director who orchestrates the performance, or the actor who embodies the text? In this research, I propose to contextualise the duality of theatrewith the authorship discourse through an experimental performance and a consequent reflective essay to ask: what happens to the idea of authorship in theatre if the distinction between the actor and the audience is erased? The audience will be asked to produce a text under an anonymous virtual alias. The text, as it is being produced, will be read and performed by the actor. The audience who are also collectively “authoring” the text, will watch this performance and write further until everyone has contributed with one input each. The cycle of writing, reading, performing, witnessing, and writing will continue until the end. The intention is to create a dynamic system of writing/reading with the embodiment of the text through the actor. The actor is giving up the power to the audience to write the spoken word, stage instruction and direction while still keeping the agency of interpreting that input and performing in the chosen manner. This rapid conversation between the actor and the audience also creates a conversion of authorship.
Orlando: A Posthumanist Performance
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