Bob (Wilson) doesn't deal in big dimensions and by that I mean huge emotion & self expression that eliminates a lot of what traditional acting technique is about. What people have to find is a way to be people somehow in a very aesthetically defined space while performing very minimalistic kinds of actions. Sheryl Sutton on Robert Wilson, "Robert Wilson and His Collaborators", by Laurence Shyer
...If the technique is to be perfect it must be imperceptible - as is true of all techniques. Jean Renoir, "Making Part of a Whole: My Life and Films"
A shortcut is the first step to it taking twice as long. Easy is a four letter word. To do anything extraordinary takes drive, discipline, talent and luck - in that order.
All techniques of art and craft have to serve what Ted Hughes calls a "negotiation" between our ordinary level and the hidden level of myth. This negotiation takes the form of bringing what is changeless together with the ever-changing everyday world. Peter Brook "The Golden Fish The Open Door
Art is the elimination of the unnecessary. Picasso
You don't need what you don't need. Yet Human nature wants to place value on things in direct proportion to the amount of labor that went into making them. In film editing, this natural inclination is the most dangerous of all attitudes. Akira Kurosawa "Something Like An Autobiography"
Real discernment of the nature of differences between external skill and interior understanding forms the basis of true mastery. Still higher than the level of interest there is a level of skill that will simply make the audience gasp, without reflection, in surprise and pleasure. This level will be termed one of a pure feeling that transcends cognition. The response to such a performance is such that there is no occasion for reflection, no time for a spectator to realize how well the performance is contrived. Zeami "On the Art of Noh Drama"
In all things mysterious never explain. H.P.Lovecraft
I feel that art has something to do with the Achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterises prayer too, and the eye of the storm. I think that Art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction. Saul Bellow, WEB
The Abbot finished and set a folding fan before me. In commemoration of our filming, he had written on the fan three characters forming a Chinese poem: "Benefit all Mankind". Akria Kurosawa, "Something Like An Autobiography"
The pure present is an ungraphable advance of the past, devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory. Henri Bergson from "Murikami Kafka"
There is no theater, there is nothing that one can examine, or discuss, or feel, or think, or argue about except at the moment when the actor and the audience are related. The question of what makes this a satisfactory relationship is the deepest, and perhaps the only, question in the theater of our time. Peter Brook, "Conversations with Peter Brook"
My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph Avedon
Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see each other in life. Tennessee Williams in Elia Kazan's autobiography "A Life"
You see here in my studio, there are these photographs scattered about on the floor, all damaged. I've used them to paint portraits of my friends, and then kept them. It's easier for me to work from these records than from the people themselves; that way I can work alone and feel much freer. ... They were useful to me simply as a tool. Francis Bacon Marcel Finke, Bacon's Material Practice and the Human Body; Francis Bacon - A Terrible Beauty; Steidl
Preparation is that device which permits you to start your scene or play in a condition of emotional aliveness...(but it) lasts only for the first moment of the scene, and then you never know what is going to happen. Sanford Meisner, Sanford Meisner on Acting.
I will go so far as to claim that, due to its association with a "true" and "objective" vision, the camera has been installed ever since the early nineteenth century as the primary trope through which the Western subject apprehends the gaze. Kaja Silverman "The Threshold of the Visible World"
The subject is not the sitter.
A painting is an object masquerading as an event.
The subject consents to be viewed.
"The meaning of a picture is never inscribed on its surface as brush-strokes are; meaning arises in the collaboration between signs (visual or verbal) and interpreters. And 'reading', here, is not something 'extra', an optional supplement to an image that is already complete and self-sufficient. It is as fundamental an element as the paint, and there is no viewer who looks at a painting who is not already engaged in interpreting it, even (especially) the viewer who looks for 'pure form'." Norman Bryson, "Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting"
"Empty the pond to get the fish." Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer. Green Integer 2 pub
"We cannot know, as a matter of principle, the present in all its details." Werner Heisenberg, 1927: from Q is for Quantum; John Gribben
A representation is the occasion when something is represented, when something from the past is shown again-something that once was, now is. For representation it is not an imitation or description of a past event, a representation denies time. It abolishes that difference between yesterday and today. It takes yesterday's action and makes it live again in every one of its aspects - including its immediacy. In other words, a representation is what it claims to be - a making present." Peter Brook (The immediate Theater) "The Empty Space"
"Nobody can commit photography alone." From Marshall McLuhan, "Understanding Media"
For Brecht, a necessary theatre could never for one moment take its sights off the society it was serving. There was no forth wall between actors and audience - the actor's unique aim was to create a precise response in an audience for whom he hd total respect. It was out of respect for the audience that Brecht introduced the idea of alienation, for alientation is a call to halt; alienation is cutting, interrupting, holding something up to the light, making us look again. Alienation is above all an appeal to the spectator to work for himself, so to become more and more responsible for accepting what he sees only if it is convincing to him in an adult way. From Peter Brook "The Empty Space"
There is nothing as mysterious as something clearly seen Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Shakespeare used the same unit that is available today - a few hours of public time. he used this time span to cram together, second for second, a quantity of lively material of incredible richness. This material exists simultaneously on an infinite variety of levels, it plunges deep and reaches high: the technical devices, the use of verse and prose, the many changing scenes, exciting, funny, disturbing, were the ones the author was compelled to develop to satisfy his needs: and the author had a precise, human and social aim which gave him reason for searching for his themes, reason for searching for his means, reason for making theatre. From Peter Brook "The Empty Space"
The very end of the sequence is interesting as well. Shot 9 stays on the screen longer than one might think appropriate. For more than a few seconds after McCarthy has finished his statement, the camera remains on his face. The effect on the viewer is described by the technical term "centripetal decay." Depending on the complexity of an image, it takes a viewer a greater or lesser time to take in the details of the visual information. To leave the image on the screen after that saturation point is reached is to invite the viewer to think more deeply about what is being seen. For example, the image of a person who has just finished speaking, if left on the screen, invites the viewer to imagine which must be going on inside that person's mind at the moment. This is precisely what Murrow and Friendly wanted to happen. In addition to using very pointed (and valid) intellectual arguments to encourage viewers to question what McCarthy was doing, they were also using the technical tools of visual communication to work on people unconsciously. John E. O'Connor "The Moving Image as Historical Document: Analysing Edward R. Murrow's Report on Senator McCarthy"
For Barthes, who distinguished between the photograph’s essential pastness and the film’s essential presentness, the film fused the spatial immediacy of a virtual gaze with the temporal presentness (a "being there"). Anne Friedberg "Window Shopping"
The logic of the gaze is therefore subject to two great laws: the body (of the painter,or the viewer) is reduced to a single point, the macula of the retinal surface. And the moment of the gaze (for the painter, for the viewer) is placed outside duration. Norman Bryson "Vision and Painting"
The super agenda is as always, time and the gaze. Time is cast in the present tense of cinema’s centripital decay rather than the past tense traditionally asssociated with the photographic image. It is a sustained image rather than one sliced from time.
But the theoreticians of suture articulate a more disjunctive and even antipathetic relation between camera and eye. Spectatorial pleasure, they maintain, depends on the occlusion of the enunciatory point of view and the seeming boundlessness of the image. But the enunciatory activities of the cinematic test cannot be entirely concealed. Even so simple a device as the implied frame around a given shot can serve as a reminder of those activities. And at the moment that the frame becomes apparent, the viewer realizes that he or she is only seeing a pregiven spectacle, and the jouissance of the original relation to the image is lost. From "The Threshold of the Visible World" Kaja Silverman
Ultimately, Photography is subversive not when it frightens, repels or even stigmatizes, but when it is pensive, when it thinks. Roland Barthes "Camera Lucida"
Embeddedness Dislocate the narrative/ maximize the opportunity for transference. Subvert the narrative
Time: no before or after.
Shooting. No part of the unexpected which is not secretly expected by you. Be sure of having used to the full all that is communicated by immobility and silence. Robert Besson "Notes on the Cinematographer"
"A town or countryside at a distance is a town, a countryside; but as one approaches, those are houses, trees, tiles, leaves, grasses, anys, ant’s legs, to infinity." Pascal