Performance Theater, or Just Enjoying the Moment?

All visual arts being performed on a stage are inherently transient. Every gesture, every intonation, the movement of the dancer, the voice of a singer – all long gone before they even sank into the audience’s consciousness. And the next time, during the next performance they will not be the same. They might follow the same storyline, the same general idea but no one can hold on to the brilliant facial expression, the raised eyebrows, the intense glance of the one actor in the second act from two weeks ago. That is a risk every artist in the performing arts has to take, a frustration they have to put up with and a bitter realization that it does not help to utter: “But last Thursday I really pulled off that cockney accent!”

Eirik Fauske, performing at the Black Box Theater in Oslo last week, takes that whole idea even a little bit further. His art ceases in the same moment when it just comes into being. Sitting on a stage, all alone, with only one spotlight, it’s just him and his computer. With the help of a beamer he transmits the image of his desktop on to a large screen on the wall. And then he writes. About himself, about himself sitting on the stage, about the audience in front of him, about his impression of the people, about his personal thoughts. He tells stories, he rhymes, he worries, he entertains. And it seems original, thought provoking, it seems to be himself, there alone on the stage. “It is like planned spontaneity”, Fauske explains. “I prepare part of the things I want to write but then I also try to come up with spontaneous remarks.” And those remarks make every performance of Fauske a unique piece of art. It can be very quiet in the audience, than a burst of laughter if he makes an odd spelling mistake. You follow every sentence he writes, note what he deletes and corrects. “It is very challenging because you have no opportunity to re-do it.”

Right now Eirik Fauske writes the lyrics for an opera called “Lindås” having its premiere next spring at the Teaterhuset Avant Garden in Trondheim. There he can take his time to form sentences, to scrutinize every syllable until it fits perfectly. But when writes on stage the perfection lies in the moment. And when you afterwards leave the theater there is nothing saved, nothing you can buy or take a picture of in order to bring home – only a blank page on his computer that will again be filled during the next performance a couple of days later.

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