REDCAT Los Angeles
Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater | 631 W. 2nd Street
CA-90012 Los Angeles
artists & participants
June 17–August 20, 2017
Chalk Circles stages a number of ways in which artists think critically about the traditions of theater and performance. The title of the exhibition refers to the well-known play by Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, written in Los Angeles in 1944. Brecht’s play is a parable about ownership, affection and justice in which two characters must prove who is a better mother by pulling their baby out of a chalk circle. The chalk circle determines the place of the body within impermanent but accurate limits. The classic geometric shape speaks also of the fragility of such limits: to act/to be, inner truth/public mask, actor/character. A chalk circle can also question overlaps and coincidences of the gallery, the theatrical and the civic space.
Artists in this exhibition document, reimagine, and rearticulate acting methodologies to investigate performance as a form of production, not just as an event-based form. Their projects center on mixed traditions of movement, acting and gesture, as well as pedagogic models. The role of the actor, the figure of the performer, and their different perspectives in the construction of a character inform several projects in the exhibition, while others focus on the frictions of a body in a fictive—theatralized—space.
Chalk Circles features works and commissions by local and international artists who engage in theatricality and performativity as a tool to feed the instability of such terms. Artists included in the exhibition: Carola Dertnig, Dora García and Peio Aguirre, Adrià Julià, Joachim Koester, David Levine, Emily Mast, Silke Otto-Knapp, Santiago Roldós and Pilar Aranda (Muégano Teatro), Catherine Sullivan and Kerry Tribe.
Curators: Ruth Estévez and José Luis Blondet.