Theater Design

   ‘ART’ – or THEATER DESIGN 

Yeni Tzami Costume Exhibition, 2002

   

As an undergraduate student in the school of fine arts, I was advised to concentrate on painting and not to get side-tracked in the future by my interest in theater. Then, when I did my final presentation for the postgraduate degree in theater design, my tutors criticized some drawings of costumes for being too like… paintings, and later a theater director asked me suspiciously whether I am an… ‘artist’! The only people who think of me as a theater designer seem to be artists, who say that my painting exhibitions are theater installations.     

All this confusion (which I never really understood) culminated in the label I was finally given by the Greek Artist’s Association.     

I acquired an identity card with the title ‘visual artist’ .     

This  avoided the usual labels of ‘painter’, ‘sculptor’, ‘designer’ – and it led to the name of this site.     

I don’t know whether the distinction – artist OR theater designer – that some people make lies in the final product, or in the process one employs when designing a play. Instead of thinking about separate scenes and their specific requirements, I often start by doing spontaneous paintings or sculptures based on my associations after reading a play, which do not contain any direct and actual design. These help me to understand the general feel of the text, its colours, climate, emotions, materials, etc.     

 

Concerning costumes, I started constructing many of them myself, because the idea for a costume evolves for me in exactly the same way a sculpture or a painting does – by letting my hands think while my eyes see it materializing. Constructing is a process of discovery and the involvement with the materials is as important as the idea or concept. In the beginning I might use clay or leather to explore costume ideas, which might be quite indirectly related to the specific character and play. 
 

Later I started making some actual costumes. The theatrical costume, no matter how one proceeds for its conception and construction has to lead to a final result which is that it has to be worn, and does not only have to belong to a body, it also has to belong to a role, a set, a landscape, a play. Costumes created like this fascinated me and absorbed my interest. I realized that such a costume is able to accommodate and to carry a presence not only when it is worn, but even when the body ceases to wear it, even after the performance, by evoking the presence of the body via its absence. They become sculptural objects with archetypal associations, and was happy to discover that whenever I exhibited them as sculptural objects they do communicate strongly to the viewer all my intentions.
 
A SELECTION OF IMAGES FROM VARIOUS PLAYS/PERFORMANCES I’VE DESIGNED (click on image to expand):
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THE APOCALYPSE, PATMOS

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THE INVESTIGATION, LONDON

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BECKETT’S ‘DRAMATICULES’, ATHENS, BEIRUT

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THE WHITE PRINCESS, PATMOS

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PHILOKTETES, LONDON

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CHILDREN OF OEDIPUS, ATHENS, BEIRUT

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HORRIFIC CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, ATHENS

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KLYTEMNESTRA, ATHENS

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 IMPROVISATIONS WITH ACTORS AND MATERIALS, FOR FALLING ANGELS, NOTTINGHAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINALLY, SOME MASKS  

 

  

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Comments
One Response to “Theater Design”
  1. Mary Z says:

    Beautiful costumes, bravo!

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