Tabernacle by Gravity Feed 1999

01 Dec 1999 : Marrickville Railway Station Rooftop Carpark, Marrickville, Sydney, Australia

A certain longing.

Tabernacle is performed for the intelligent life forms which inhabit the air and the earth. Spirit beings and aliens watch from the clouds looking for a signal, discussing intervention and possible manifestations and landings. Brown suited accountants and master-mathematicians assemble ready to exchange geometrical secrets. On earth the experience of mortal men and women is palpable and real. The signs are not so much seen as felt, a perspective is not so much found as lost. On earth, at the end of a milennium, a certain longing is directed skyward as we await a visitation from heavenly beings. Nine Boxes, Five Boxes, Outer Holy, Holy. – William McClure

Enclosure/Disclosure “Every man is tabernacled in every other and he in exchange and so on in an endless complexity of being and witness to the uttermost edge of the world.” – Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, 1989

The set for Gravity Feed’s Tabernacle is also the performance space, comprising a huge system of shifting fabric panels which enclose, guide, catalogue and divide both performers and audience alike without discretion. In this respect Gravity Feed have perhaps reached a final objective in working with the body mediated by materials (or props) and the set (scenic elements) to the point where the set can envelope the audience and become both the site and venue.
What we have put in place here is a portable set, and of course the site is undeniably the carpark and the sky overhead. Tabernacle follows a lineage of works from In the House of Skin (1996), Stool Pigeons (1997), The Gravity of the Situation (1998) and HOST (1999). In these works geometric forms and their obvious materiality, both the light and the heavy ( timber doors, bedsheets, irregular cardboard monoliths), have partnered the performers and brought to the forefront a notion of architectural performance. Within this design element the themes of enclosure and disclosure, the creation of loaded, ritualised & atmospheric places & sonic spaces, and the movement of objects as an integral part of the performance activity have been developed as Gravity Feed’s particular technique. Tabernacle’s set is beautiful in its presentation of a unified visual field and in its basic functionality as a dynamic installation. The same set is also violent, with regular but unexpected large sweeping movements accompanying each configuration change. This is a maze of simultaneous positive and negative spaces in continuous overlay, a space of transformation which we hope our audience will find irresistible.- Alan Schacher

Project Details
Dates 01 Dec 1999 to 12 Dec 1999
Duration 1 hour
Collaborators Artistic Team/ Devisors: Denis Beaubois, Ari Ehrlich, William McClure, Tim Rushton, Carlos Russell, Alan Schacher, Olivier Sidore, Jeff Stein ; Sound Design & Operatio: Rik Rue; Set Design Concept: Alan Schacher ; Set Design, Engineering & Fabrication: Joey Ruigrokvan der Werven; Artistic Consultant (UTP) John Baylis; Performers (Gravity Feed) Denis Beaubois, Ari Ehrlich, Tim Rushton, Carlos Russell, Alan Schacher, Olivier Sidore, Jeff Stein; Performers (UTP) : Woodhy Chamron, Claudia Chidiac, Khoa Do, Bao Khanh, Ned Matjasevic, Anna Nguyen, Tona Nguyen, Sean O’Brien, Cicily Ponnor, Edwina Smith
Producer Gravity Feed and Urban Theatre Projects
Category ensemble
Credits Cityrail Authority, Urban Theatre Projects, Funded by Australia Council for the Arts & NSW Ministry for the Arts, Lighting Design & Technical Production Manager: Simon Wise ; Production Manager (Stage 1 )Michael Gerard Pearce ; Lighting Operator & Stage Manager : Janine Peacock; Sound Engineer: Ian Bowie; Production Assistant: Naomi Justins ; Publicity & Administration: Harley Stumm; UTP Ensemble Coordination; Lisa Faddoul; Photography: Heidrun Löhr; Video Documentation: Peter Oldham