Romanticism & CREATION (re-creation).
Why Romanticism as a topic for not just one but several performance works? What are we aiming to do with these works?
Romanticism and Rationalism form the binary of the modern era. The Romantic ethos emerges from the irrational, passionate interior of the human psyche, rejecting science, reason, and societal norms in favor of faith, imagination, and radical individuality. Formulated by Western culture during the industrial, political, and spiritual revolutions that initiated the current epoch, Romanticism is still a core force defining how we perceive and engage the world.
Control Group's Salon project seeks to explore our irrational instincts, responses, and perspectives – to climb inside them, take them apart; to reach beyond the binary structure toward potentials for synthesis. Our research follows the precepts of Romanticism: headlong, sprawling, passionate and arbitrary in its trajectory, driven by individual experience and belief. It pursues multiple simultaneous perspectives and purposes, delivering a kaleidoscopic experience of human thought, belief, and action.
The first Salon, a narrative dance-theatre performance, flung us into the wilderness, to a crossroads with the supernatural world. The second event, an interactive Salon party, inverted this research into the internal wilderness, conjuring individual insanities into the world around us and inviting guests inside. The third Salon took audiences on an end-of-the-world bus tour through the wastelands of a Western city, witnessing the awesome power of Nature resurgent in a post-apocalyptic world. The fourth Salon sought balance with Nature, embracing Permacultural principles and practices as a means of re-thinking modes of production and consumption. And the fifth Salon arrived at the heart of the Romantic ethos: the "Master Maker" model – the modern conception of the artist as a solitary genius with the unique, nearly god-like ability to manifest brilliant visions directly into reality.
CREATION (re-creation) seeks to move the dialog around the nature of the act of creation beyond the Romanticism/Rationalism binary. It does so through a series of challenges: to begin with replication and arrive at a new creation; to craft a process that integrates concept manifestation and responsive cultivation; to build a coherent structure of meaning and metaphor within organically developed materials. It seeks proposals for momentary synthesis, ephemeral gestures of resolution and conclusion, necessarily incomplete.
challenges the structures of this perspective