Essays on Irish Theatre, Scholarship and Practice
Part II Theatre, Text and Performance 71
Part II Theatre, Text and Performance Enrica Cerquoni Ways of Seeing and the Womb-Theatre: Theatrical Space and Scenic Presentation in Marina Carr’s Ariel In what way does a work of art […] reach beyond its physical limits?1 In the theatre […] it is at the outer edges of a given space and particularly at the interface between two spaces, at the border zones, that the analysis becomes most interesting.2 In an Athenian krater3 of the second quarter of the fifth century, discov- ered in the Italian city of Orvieto, some human figures stand in a complex spatial arrangement within the imposing edges of the composition’s lower and upper frames. These frames appear to try to freeze the image and the human figures within it. Nonetheless, those figures, in the viewer’s percep- tual experience, seem to exert a tension of visual forces upward and outward, westward and eastward which attempt to break the forceful bounds of the composition. The viewer experiences figures and objects in the pictorial composition as resistant to containment and as striving to skip the spatial limits imposed by the frames. Such a visual paradox reveals the painter’s deliberate ambiguity in relat- ing pictorial space, human figures and the viewer in an attempt to make 1 Rudolph Arnheim, The Power of the Centre (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), 145. 2 Gay McAuley, Space in Performance (Ann Arbour: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 86. 3 A krater is a mixing bowl, a vessel of Greek and Roman antiquity. It...
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