Created by Robert Motum
Performances: April 4-6, 2013
Location: Grand River Transit (GRT)
“Transience” was a site specific thesis production created by Robert Motum. Audience members became immersed in this inter-media art that was performed on a local GRT bus. The performance examined the fleeting relationships that exist in a transitory space and explored the voyeuristic role of the audience.
"As a theatre artist, I am interested in where the performer and spectator meet. Often this occurs in a theatre space, where there is little interaction between the audience and the actor. In this Aristotelian view of theatre, the audience is usually extremely passive. Through this project, I wanted to take performance out of the conventional purpose-built theatre space, and break the wall between spectators and actors. In Augusto Boal’s theatrical manifesto, “Theatre of the Oppressed”, he examines the idea of the “spect-actor” - an audience member who is somehow physically pulled into the performance to act. Transience goes beyond the Boalian sense of a spect-actor, and discovers where the performer and spectator completely intertwine. I believe that this fusion occurs in any type of social interaction, but exponentially more so when strangers are crammed into a confined space together (ie. a city bus). Leaping off of the research of Erving Goffman (The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life), I believe that while on a bus we assume the role of both spectator and actor. Most of us watch others, and perhaps to a certain extent, judge others. At the same time, we “put up a front” and act so as not to be judged by others. We act because we know we’re being watched; and we know we’re being watched because we too are watching. As the narrator says, “We’re on display for each other”. Through Transience, I explored this dynamic between performer and spectator, and examined the fleeting relationships that occur in transient “non-places”." - Director's Statement, Robert Motum