Seven from Heaven – The Installation – by HP Trauschke

The Tongva people inhabited the Los Angeles area before the arrival of the Spanish and other European people.

They believed in a god that brought peace to the world by setting it upon the shoulders of seven giants.

On first encountering it, it has the quality of a performance to which the viewer brings his or her own interpretation. It is big, monumental — strange and unusual. It is instantly uplifting and joyful because it is strange and surprising and a bit overwhelming, as great mountains first glimpsed by a traveller can be, and it is intriguing in its fanciful juxtaposition of a fairy tale figure that has somehow escaped from a mythical narrative into the real world.

A true piece of art always has an “artistic frame.” Each artistic action must be preceded by a preparatory activity and a sustaining moment. This creates the frame. Neither nature nor man is exempt from this law. Nature does not manifest its power abruptly. The eyes are drawn upward to the sky to a sustaining, invisible point in space above the visible summit.

HP Trauschke – living and working in L.A. & Berlin – is taking the Tongva creation myth as a basis for the questions how order can be obtained today and what this order would look like. In autumn of 2012 he will install seven 120 ft tall angelic beings, filled with helium, soaring above the 21st century metropolis of L.A.

The project is scheduled for 2012.

Below is an excerpt from a letter written by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry…

“HP Trauschke´s Seven from Heaven will be a thrilling installation that will create an instant iconic image of the heart of downtown Los Angeles. It is certain to be seen around the world, focusing attention on our revitalized urban core and creating a symbol for what is truly one of the great capital cities for art and commerce in the 21st Century.

The figures symbolize hope, the deep commonality of our spiritual nature as human beings and the great strengths we derive from our cultural diversity. This is an important project that reaffirms our faith in our city and our humanity. It underscores Los Angeles’ commitment to creativity and the arts.”

LA City Councilwoman, Jan Perry

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Summary

In Kafka’s Monkey – A Report To An Academy, former ape, Red Peter, presents a report to a conference in the Scientific Academy about his experience being captured and caged on a ship traveling through the jungles of West Africa to Europe. To escape captivity, he observes the habits of the crew and begins to adapt their behavior. He does this with great ease, encountering difficulty only when learning to drink alcohol. Although Red Peter does not desire to become human, he must in order to obtain freedom.  He repeatedly states, “There was no attraction for me in imitating human beings; I imitated them because I needed a way out, and for no other reason.” Upon arriving in Europe, he is presented with a choice between living in the Zoo or the Music Hall. Desiring the opportunity to live in the Music Hall, Red Peter fully acclimates himself to human behavior in order to perform on the vaudeville stage. After his transformation is complete, he can no longer remember his previous life as an ape. In this adaptation of The Monkey, Red Peter creates a videotape to send to the Academy.  Through the medium of video, various texts are presented to the audience, highlighting Kafka´s virtuoso prose.

HP Trauschke has been acting, designing sets, and directing Kafka’s Monkey at EXit production for the past 15 years. In 1984, he designed the set for the production, under Master Gunnar Peterson, which won Kafka’s Monkey the award for the best play of the year in Munch. In 2008 the actress Miriam Goldschmidt, commonly featured in Peter Brook productions, directed Kafka’s Monkey with HP Trauschke as Red Peter

Review – LA weekly

KAFKA’S MONKEY — A REPORT TO AN ACADEMY … Red Peter (HP Trauschke in a tour de force performance), recounts the five-year odyssey from his kidnapping in the jungles of Africa to his fame in the music halls of Europe. Aided by English supertitles (in a translation seasoned with heretofore missing, Kafka-esque flavors by Bruce Anderson), and a large video screen, projecting and sometimes abstracting extreme close-ups of the onstage action, HP Trauschke (who is also credited with production design) articulates Red Peter’s determination to escape the fate of life behind the bars of a German zoo by at first aping the loutish behavior of his captors, and later augmenting that with the education and elocution of “the average European.” But by restoring the original, guttural poetry and syntactical music of Kafka’s mother tongue — even as he parses the subtexts with languidly pregnant pauses, mercurial shifts from simian rage and wistful regret to shocked comprehension — Trauschke the actor also eloquently underscores Kafka’s supreme irony: By taking on the attributes of human civilization, Red Peter has merely traded one kind of cage for another. Zoo District at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; coming back in december. (323) 464-3375, exit-production.com. (Bill Raden)

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The Blue Box is a basic cubic structure which invites visitors to enter the structure as a playground and meeting place. It is a geometrical representation of the dimensions of height, breadth and width. In addition to this it is a surface and stage for the projection of movement and thus the subjective experience of time, the 4th dimension. Blue Box is an artificially created world representing portal between the real and virtual realms. The project will travel across the world moving from site to site at 1 to 2 year intervals.

The ground floor, an area of 900 m², does not just present ample space for sound, light and projection equipment. It simultaneously provides a presentation space for its sponsors.

Blue Box presents the digital age with a venue that meets its most innovativedemands. Blue Box is an accessible computer for everyone, a terminal for International Art.

Architectural concept

Demountable – A travelling contruction wandering across the world, relocating every 1-2 years. Easy to transport, easily assembled, for many varying uses, changeable, extendable, adaptable to the most varying of climates, demountable, portable.

Construction – Steel rods are connected using quick-to-fit Sigma joints to form 3x3x3m cubic frames. These cubes represent the basic building blocks of the construction. These building blocks can be used to build a host of larger cubic structures. The cubes are made rigid by the use of diagonal and transverse struts making the spanning of large distances possible.

Partitioning – The floors, ceilings and walls can easily be disassembled into light and transportable 3x3m elements. The partitioning remains visible at the joints. To meet the most varying of demands, the partitioning elements are manufactured and categorised according to function. The outside covering plane fits over the whole construction like a shoe which makes it possible to exchange the covering as well as enabling the replacement of the different functional elements. Special elements are used to define the different entrances, exits, balconies, stage floors, ramps…

Art project

“Landscape” – A Space within a Space.

Using four powerful projectors the outer walls of the Blue Box will be covered with images of our lanscapes via internet and photos of various artists from different countries. The concept Landscape as a concept of space will be confronted with a mirror image of itself as a representation of space. The structure will be presented in the Internet via live webcam transmission. By use of the internet the work of art will be visible and accessible to the public and artists from every corner of the earth and will thus allow an interactive participation of its artists, thus making the project mutable.

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Performance Commedia…
…a once a week workshop and weekend intensive…
COMING SOON!
Teacher: Jon Kellam
Music and percussion: Jef Bek
Locations:
Attwater Village Theatre 3269 Casitas Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90039
Tuition/fee:
The weekend intensive fee – $200
Weekly workshop fee – $75

Contact:

Zoo District 323.464.3375 or cell: 818.692.3377 email: mallek@earthlink.net or zoodistrict@gmail.com

PLEASE SECURE A PLACE IN THE CLASS BY SENDING ME AN EMAIL TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS–AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR ISSUES. I WILL BE SENDING OUT SOME PRELIMINARY INFORMATION A FEW DAYS LEADING UP TO THE FIRST CLASS.

Course overview and description:

Students will learn a specific process of training and application of, the elements of a specific derivative of Commedia dell Arte. We will also learn a theatrical vocabulary. These techniques are characteristic of an existing common theatrical language utilized by the Actors’ Gang theatre company, called ‘The Style’*.

For this course, we will talk about ‘The Style’ as an evolution of technique or committee of techniques related to commedia. Other techniques and pedagogy that have influenced this continuing evolution of ‘The Style’ include techniques of physical theatre such as Clown, Suzuki, Viewpoints and composition work. We will explore and practice exercises derived from all of these disciplines. We call this derivative of ‘The Style’- ‘Performance Commedia’.

Instructional Objectives

Students will learn and practice the terms, techniques and elements of ‘The Style’ including but not limited to the following
- Being ‘stated’, understanding the ‘emotional state’
- The stock characters of the Commedia dell Arte
- ‘The image’ building character through image, mask*, voice and movement
- Developing an acute awareness of the body on stage and in movement
- Understanding and creating a ‘lazzi’
- Participation as a performer AND an audience member

The general focus will be on three areas, 1) to gain a basic comprehension and expertise of the exercises, 2) character study and image and 3) ensemble building. We use recorded and live music and percussion. Playwrights, designers and directors are also encouraged to participate in this course.

Activity and Requirements:

We will work with improvisation, mask and image, composition and a series of exercises designed to allow and inspire the student to be physically, emotionally and mentally ‘open’ and ‘free’. By creating a strong image including white face and costume, we will work to create characters loosely based on the stock characters of Commedia dell Arte and influenced by contemporary evolutions of these characters. The students are encouraged to participate with a high level of commitment and energy.
It is required for the students to attend ALL of the classes and if there are scheduling issues it is best to attend at least the first session as there will be quite a bit of introductory information to comprehend.

Course Duration:

This specific workshop will commence over one weekend and could develop into a weekly class. Each session will last approximately 4 to 5 hours.

Supplies:

Rehearsal clothing, costumes, wigs, make-up–clown white, color wheels, brushes etc., and musical instruments. (Please bring a suitcase of ‘stuff’ you might have laying around, that you are not worried about keeping in tact.)

* ‘The Style’ is a derivative from Arianne Mnouchkine and the Theatre du Soleil. In 1984 the Theatre du Soleil came to L.A. to perform for the ’84 Olympics. At that time members of The Actors’ Gang participated in workshops taught by Theatre du Soleil lead actor George Bigot, who introduced the group to the Theatre du Soleil ‘s version of Commedia dell Arte. The Actors’ Gang then synthesized what they learned into what is now known as ‘The Style’. New Crime Productions based out of Chicago also practiced ‘The Style’. I have been training, teaching and applying this style since 1988 and have termed the continuing evolution, ‘Performance Commedia’.

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