The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre

By Adolphe Appia; Barnard Hewitt et al. | Go to book overview

6. COLLABORATION

AN ARTIST who has once sensed the spark of aesthetic movement within his own body will feel the urge to preserve that spark, to embody it in lasting works of art, not merely in fragmentary experiments. Thus he will have to face the problem of choice in all its importance. He will fully comprehend that he would lose by trying to transpose subjects suitable only for inanimate art, into living Art; it will be clear that the source of inspiration he longs for does not lie in such a process. He will have the same experience each time he tries to realize--to give life to--any subject that could properly serve for any other art. His subject will be himself. He had understood this; now he will experience it bodily. What work of art will he alone be capable of developing, without the aid of a literary, plastic, sculptural, or pictorial design?

To simplify our explanation, thus far we have always spoken simply of "the body"; we have even set it solitary in space. Obviously it is the Idea of the living body that we have thus considered as an essential element. It is evident that in approaching the practice of living art, one finds himself in the presence of bodies--his own included--and that if the body is the creator of this art, the artist who possesses the Idea of the living body, implicitly possesses all these bodies. The result is that he works, so to speak, with the life that he creates--with the life of living beings without whose collaboration he can create only marionettes. Consequently, the Idea of Collaboration is implicit in the idea of living art. Living art implies a Collaboration.

Living art is social; it is, unconditionally, the social art. Not the fine arts lowered to a plane within the reach of all, but all

-59-

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The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Books of the Theatre Series iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Adolphe Appia and "The Work of Living Art" xi
  • Preface 1
  • 1. the Elements 3
  • 2. Living Time 19
  • 3. Living Space 25
  • 4. Living Color 31
  • 5. Organic Unity 38
  • 6. Collaboration 59
  • 7. the Great Unknown and the Experience of Beauty 68
  • 8. Bearers of the Flame 79
  • Designs 83
  • Adolphe Appia's "Man is the Measure of All Things" (protagoras) 123
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