Lectures 2006
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"The architectural reading on the theatrical drama of Robert Wilson" Liakata Michaela

Robert Wilson is one of the most important reformers of contemporary theater. He has managed to give theater a figurative character, combining equally image, speech, music and lighting.  Moreover he has brought these elements together, with the use of rationalistic, geometrical structures.  

The most interesting aspect of his work is his attitude to view theater from the perspective of architecture rather than adopt the traditional stance that it has to do more with speech and literature. One could assume that the theater of Robert Wilson is created by an “architectural mind”.  

During the last twenty years, architecture has faced the problem of expressing and analyzing the image and space it produces through a linguistic analogy. With his work, Robert Wilson suggests a reverse process.

Architecture has always served as a vehicle to express a certain function and a specific ritual often including the notion of performance. Every building serves as scenery within which the theatre of every day life takes place. Peoples movements in each building could be viewed as a specific ritual, a particular choreography. Whence our argument that eventually architectural design could be paralleled to theatre direction.

In contemporary architecture the latter phenomenon is more evident, because of the evolution of the technology involved, materials and artificial lighting perfection.

In this sense, architectural design and theater arts have a lot in common.

Robert Wilson’s work, which is being expressed mainly through spatial images, geometry and lighting provides ideas that can enhance creativity of contemporary architectural design. In this respect theatre, whose ephemeral character allows experimentation with spatial experience and transformations, can help new ideas to evolve.