Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Clark and I and Me...

These are more or less the thoughts that I took down in class on Monday, but I'd like to share them anyways, and this will probably develop into my critical review (though I was toying with the idea of writing the review from the point of view of the Bunny Man, hmmm)

A story about stories (about stories...), and it begins with a story. Just a half-prepared stage and the voice of a stranger. The response to this story varies: 'awwww', 'hahahaha', 'oh that's horrible'. Then the rabbit appears, a behind-the-scenes moment where we see him set the stage up, meticulous and fumbling at the same time, this rabbit won't quit until the set-up is PERFECT. This is important. We might be confused, curious, annoyed, or bored, but this rabbit sure cares about this performance. We are thrown into a clever family-tree biography in which actions, feelings, and colors are used to replace the names of a family we don't know, a family we can only care about if the rabbit cares. The next hour and half is a story told from many angles and through many types of technology, but all of the effects aside, this is just a story about a lonely, obsessive artist who finds beauty and interest in what others have considered garbage, and I relate to him.

The dog story. 'Weeeeeeeeeeee'. Although this story didn't need to be included in the performance (in that it had sufficient narrative backbone without the sick little shepherd), I found that this anecdote was the main aspect of Clark and I... that's stayed with me in the week following. In the spirit of the performance, I retold the story, to the best of my recollection, to my roomate, with no introduction or context. I explained it to him afterwards and encouraged him to find someone to tell it to, to the best of his recollection. The idea of a story being told, then retold from memory, then retold again and again, really intrigued me and the poor pup with the green stuff coming out of his butt was the key image I took away from the Bunny Man's performance.

As a whole, despite the show's interactive nature and 'live-ness', I felt like I was watching an independant-film-style documentary, or even reading a personal narrative novel. I was following along in my head the way I would while reading, imagining the characters and events being shared by the Bunny Man. My favorite image (in my head) came near the end, when he spoke of his lawyer floating in and collapsing, then described eating his anus. 'I cooked it a little first, for fear of food poisoning, and because it was a butt.' Great line. What made this performance for me was the inclusion of all the various storytelling techniques: photography, anecdotes, staged/scripted scenes, videos, all helped build this story of a dangerously curious man. If he had simply stood there, telling his story with no aides at all, the words might have still be interesting but the audience would have likely been bored out of their skulls.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of you repeating the dog story, Shawn, and then encouraging your addressees to do the same. I look forward to the review that emerges from this.