THE BEAUTY OF DECAY, an installation
ONCE A PLAY:
A puppet comes to life when it is manipulated by the puppeteer.
After the show it is only alive in the memory of the audiences. It can be displayed in a museum where people can look at it and maybe this will sparkle the memory of people who have seen the show once or it can trigger the imagination of the person who is looking at the puppet on display.
The puppets of the Starmaker (The Star Maker) came alive on stage. A show for adults and teenagers with more than 20 puppets and three actors inspired by the beautiful Italian movie "L'Uomo delle Stelle" and Giuseppe Tornatore.
The story was about a man traveling in Sicily (Italy) with a camera. persuading people from the villages to do a screen test with the hollow promise of becoming famous and rich in the future.
The one is a fraud with no film in his camera and only one aim: to take advantage of the poor villagers, who are willing to believe in this dream.
Beside the actors all the other characters in the play were puppets: the Sicilian villagers, the police and a mob boss.
The puppets were made by Onny Huisink from simple, natural materials, like roughly woven potato bags and old clothes. In the play they hung on thick ropes with sand sacks and could be pulled up and down to make a scene, an intimate one with only two puppets or a whole square full of people. When Speeltheater Holland decided to stop as a traveling company in 2012, all the puppets of their other shows were brought to museums on different continents to be displayed or conserved: Several museums in the Netherlands: Edam, Amsterdam, Vorchten, The Stadt Museum in Munich, Germany, The Puppet Museum, Atlanta, GA, United StatesThe Puppetry Museum and in TOPIC in Tolosa, Spain.
With the puppets of The Starmaker another plan was born:
The Beauty of Decay
The puppets will be displayed in an installation, you could say 'Their last scene', in museums, galleries, theaters and other places around the world, not to conserve them, but exactly the opposite: to let them decay under different circumstances, unprotected by the elements, that vary from an extreme cold, wet, or hot and freezing climate.
There is a starting scene that can evoke emotions but it is free to be interpreted by people who watch it. So there will be no signs or explanation about the scene.The wind, the rain and snow, the birds, insects or maybe even people can have a free game with them. Nature takes over till the puppets are gone or faded away.
This process, in different climates and circumstances, will be registered in different forms.
It can be filmed or photographed, or maybe notated by writing and drawings or saved by selfies. The aim is to follow the process of decay, that's interesting but usefull see the beauty of it. For schools and visitors the installation can be a way to interact or study.
The last scene we have placed was in the Goldwell Open Air Museum (www.goldwellmuseum.org) in the Death Valley Desert near the ghost town Rhyolite.
Visitors are asked to send a photo, so we can follow the process through the years.
In Seattle the puppets were placed outside a typical American private house with a porch and small garden.
The actor/writer who lives there is working on a documentation of the proces called:
'The Harlot and the Policemen'
In Spain the puppets were installed in the open air space between two walls of the museum, devided from the public by a glass window. No green, only pigeons and gravel (Although a small tree started to grow there the 2nd year!). Every week a 'still' wa made, to follow the process of change.
In the Netherlands the puppets were displayed in the 'polders' near the IJsselmeer (lake), where the strong winds and rain have a lot of influence on the environment. The process will be filmed.at load (or maybe in the desert still in pretty good shape?).
Then are removed, but in another way they will live forever by documenting this process.
See here an example of the documentation that is already finished: Silent Secrets
In London they were placed on the roof of the Unicorn Theatre with a view on The Shard. There was a connection with a screen in the theatre.
During and after the process the remains and the documentation will be collected and at the end all comes together in an installation.
How long the process takes, depends on the place of exhibit, but of course we aim to have it documented as long as possible. In most places it will stay for at least three years.