Detailed Project Description
Working in collaboration with US and Danish based artists, Roland will develop two separate narratives which present a female character (in one narrative) and male character (in a separate narrative) traveling through this cubist reality, evoking a universal sensation of the evolution of identity.
Because the performance technology can present multiple projections of the characters and other imagery very realistically, it allows the actors to interact meaningfully with themselves and with many strata of their consciousness from several angles simultaneously. In this way, the piece investigates the mysterious process behind how personality is formed though seemingly random recollections. Accumulated memories are integral to the development of identity. New experiences influence older ones, and influence their relative position in the accumulated layers of memory. When we recall a specific memory or event, all other memories - no matter when they are from - are part of that recollection.
As audience members move through the performance environment, time contracts on itself. Fleeting moments and phrases build on each other - echoes of echoes - each feeding off the last. These flashes shed slivers of light on the characters' larger lives, giving the audience ideas and suspicions about their motivations and memories. Viewers are encouraged to interpret these kaleidoscopic moments in different ways as they walk through the space. Reflective of our issues of identity in the social realm, the audience becomes part of the performance. The dramatic action tracks how the constant folding of memory and identity is the essence of a larger consciousness. Through the characters' experiences, the piece becomes an exploration of how, from a palimpsest of bewildering imagery and shredded experiences, the paradox of self-awareness is violently born only to slip softly and sadly away.
As an internationally known artist and designer, Roland is compelled to evoke moments of clarity and understanding by creating sensory triggers, be they visual, tactile, or acoustic. A recurring theme in his work is that of identity. I am X represents Roland's second multi-media performance piece following the theatrical debut of The Only Tribe, an abstract exploration of group identity, in December 2008.
As an exploration of individual identity, I am X holds a mirror for the audience to recognize themselves in ways they may inherently know, but have not yet realized. The work demonstrates ways to contextualize the ever-changing self-portraiture of evolving identity. Artistry is employed to expose the trans-dimensional experience of self-analysis within the group dynamic.
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© 2013 Roland Gebhardt