Beckett in the BAM

január 28, 2008


I arrived a half an hour earlier, but the theater’s café had no more places to sit. I was waiting with a magazine in my hands, leaning against a coloumn in that particularly renovated interior space, jewel of the Brooklyn Academy of Music Harvey Theater.
About a year ago, I participated at a discussion in the Center for Contemporary Architecture in Budapest. We were talking about ruins, and their perception. I happened to say something of ruins as design elements in galleries and other spaces of art. Someone objected and told me: ‘it is not because we want our spaces to be run down – not at all. We have no money to renovate them.’
BAM has money, with over a dozenh of members contributing with more than 5 million dollars, but still, its walls are uncovered, the bare bricks and other wall structures are illuminated to emphasizer the alternative character of the place. The premier cultural venue of Brooklyn, the BAM is probably seen as alternative from Manhattan. I heard people asking: ‘But what does this wonderful institution do in Brooklyn?’. Others replied: ‘Brooklyn is the new Manhattan.’
It’s Beckett in the BAM, Happy Days, Fiona Shaw plays it all, with a male actor suffering under and around her, but never joining the conversation. She is in the middle of the scene, covered by sand, apparently the debris of a building after the explosion. After some explosion, of which we will never get to know anything more. Just like the whole piece: thrown into the middle of nowhere, a couple continues its one-sided conversations until the female part is totally covered in the ground.
I could take one photo before the security staff started approaching me.


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