Anne-Marie Creamer: A Diagram of Waiting
7 September – 15 December 2017
Anne-Marie Creamer’s installation takes as its subject the linear progression, and dramatic staging, of the transition of an actor into a fictional character, including the initial stages of the script, diagrams of the gestures and movements of the actor, props and lighting, the actor endlessly rehearsing a single scene, and finally silhouettes and props of the stage – shown from the perspective of looking in from the wings of the theatre; A back-stage viewing, A Diagram of Waiting.
Anne-Marie Creamer’s exhibition A Diagram of Waiting in the Perimeter Space at Griffin Gallery, takes as its subject the linear progression, and dramatic staging, of the transition of an actor into a fictional character, including the initial stages of the script, diagrams of the gestures and movements of the actor, props and lighting, the actor endlessly rehearsing a single scene, and finally silhouettes and props of the actors and stage.
Creamer has a long-time interest in theatricality and the complicated ambiguities of presence, disappearance, and representation that can emerge as the consequence of certain processes. In this the theatre stage retains a complex position in her work, often proposed as a space of latent becoming; into fiction, into time, into differing identities and imaginary locations, and as such it is a constant reference in A Diagram of Waiting. This exhibition explores some of the paradoxes of an actor’s verisimilitudinous affectation of emotion and the process of embodiment, and how this can be translated into different mediums and formats, using image, shape, text and lighting as a series of related ‘presence effects’.
The exhibition has been developed from two interconnected elements, two related moments of waiting. One a drawing, the qualities and tensions of which obliquely inform much of the exhibition, of a fragmented body waiting to be seen on a theatre stage. The second takes a scenario of an actor as they try to inhabit a fictional character. This is based on a series of stills taken from a moment of a rehearsal with an actress and lighting technician at Teatro Valle in Rome in 2012, elements of which featured in Anne-Marie's film,'Treatment for Six Characters'. Moments from this rehearsal have been refracted throughout the exhibition; turned into the basis for a short play, a diagram of notations of the gestures and movements of the actor during rehearsal, stills from rehearsal itself, and finally a series of cut out silhouetted figures taken from ‘Treatment...’, now reversed and turned into a tableau made of silhouetted figures set against geometric spotlit painted shapes, shown from the perspective of looking in from the wings of the theatre. A back-stage viewing; ‘A Diagram for Waiting’.
Karen David, 2017
Take 4 please!
She is relentless. Push my hands down again on the floor. Lift my torso and face into the space in front of the camera. Walk six paces. Pause. Speak. Stop, in the middle of this stage. Exposed.
Take 5! You are the Mother, Elisa! When you walk across the stage you are not just walking. You have a purpose. Not just for them.
(pointing out to the empty theatre seats).
She doesn’t explain more. I wait, nervously.
Nose against the dirt again. Stand up. Walk 6 steps. Stare into the lens. Say the line, quietly. Sadly. Faithfully copying myself. Feel the final line begin to rise. But this time I feel the light from the theatre holding me up. I become a strange mirror...there she is now. Just there, under my skin. At the end of the scene I feel the desire walk backwards into the darkness, staring at the camera. I see myself as a fierce bereft departing phantom. At each step my eyes well with tears while I feel the weight of my body shift as I disappear, slowly, into the darkness.
All the time, the director is standing, smiling at me. Her eyes shining, her cheeks flushed. I stand on the opposite side of the stage in darkness clutching part of the theatre curtain, feeling faintly absurd.