Theatre of Cruelty | Option Studio

Option Studio: EPIC ARCHITECTURE - Barcelona and the Theatre of Estrangement
Cristina Goberna Pesudo
Spring 2018


The theater as we know it is inadequate and irrelevant. We must rescue theater from its servitude to the observer, from its subjugation to written text. We must destroy the line between actor and observer. Lighting and sound must facilitate dynamic expression. They must be used for dissociative and vibratory action to shock the senses. We must create a true spectacle. We must create an Impossible Theater of Cruelty, in the name of the lost culture of the city!

An order of operations can be exercised on any unsuspecting interior, to return to the theater its lost language. To forever entertain and estrange. These operations are four theaters to be experienced in sequence, scalable entities to be applied in any configuration. They ease the new actor into a deeper state of exorcism, creating a renewed spectacle. A renovated tableau for organic expression. These four theaters-- the waitress cafe, the cabaret, the bar, and the concert hall-- revive the lost cultural memory of our city. They are an interiorized, architectural violence to move the new actor through the stages of an intoxicated, cathartic release.

The Theater of Cruelty must create temptations for subconscious anarchy. It must seduce the actor, through architecture. But through a sequence of intensified architectural encounters. Imagine: The actor is moved from waitress cafe, to cabaret, to bar, to concert hall. Each space more shocking, more tempting, than the last. The stage in each space seduces the subconscious. It operates as the threshold to move into the next space of immersion. The threshold-stage eases the actor into steeper gradients of performative engagement. It is the rhythm of the Theater of Cruelty, the harmony, that enacts a new language. This succession lulls the intoxicated subject along a punctuated flow of perceptions. One image merges into the next, and dimensions of time and space wax and wane…

This is the Theater of Cruelty, with its phantasmagoric immersions unfolded for full comprehension. Read these as an architectural violence committed in the name of cultural memory. Read these spaces as an instruction set, as a kit of parts, to be enacted on unsuspecting architectures. Read these as a virus that invades the city. Read these as a code for new zoning, for a new urban condition. Read these as an architectural tradition, an unearthed knowledge, to be enacted by you, the actor.

Team Submission: annegraz+mackmuh