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Event details

The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj presents: 

Mark Ravenhill

POOL (no water)



POOL (no water) was supposed to be a play, but it ended up playing a part in a much more complex mechanism. A mechanism that actually translates into a convergence of means, techniques and technologies, an overlapping of approaches, people, effects and occurrences. Starting from “a text for performers” by Mark Ravenhill, the ones involved in the production and image construction of this event have achieved the unachievable: the narrative plot turns into a pretext for smart game of video images (that, visually speaking, is, to the same extent, impeccable, poetic and strong), for sophisticated acting (that is believable, authentic and assumed within surprising attitudes and contextualizings) supported by a wonderful and bizarre soundscape (in its turn, sophisticated and surprising). POOL (no water) looks neither like theatre, nor like film, it is neither taped dialogue or monologue, nor some sort of a video. It is something between and above all these. It is rather positioned in the proximity of underground visual (and) multimedia arts, of the so-called post-dramatic postmodernism and festival VJ-ing (please stick to the positive connotations here). Eventually, POOL (no water) is a drama of adequateness and inadequation, a story about the intimate dimension of corporeality, about what can be watched and what has to remain private. Moreover, in its actual form, it is also about the relationship between presence and absence, about domestic claustrophobia and access to the globalized rhizome situated beyond webcam or clickable links. It is a virtual show/space about the ideals of friendship, the beauty of images, fame, empathy and the dynamics of fluids. Or, rather, about the absence thereof.

[Horea Avram, art historian]

After several years the old gang has finally reunited. Back in the day, at the art academy, they were all inseparable. Since then, two of them have died, and one has made it big – her works are coveted by the world's greatest art collectors. She invites the other members of the group (those who have not gotten past the level of improvised exhibitions) to come to her luxury villa. On the very evening of the reunion, the hostess suffers a terrible accident. She spends a few weeks at the hospital, in a coma, surrounded by her friends who begin to gradually photograph her deformed body. Documenting the act of suffering can finally bring them their much coveted success. However, the "artistic object" awakens from her coma and claims her rights to the photographs. Once more, the prospect of failure presents itself for those who have not yet achieved success, therefore, they plan to get their revenge.

The text is a cynical satire on the art world and its (moral) mediocrity. Nonetheless, it is also a play about contemporary society, in which even the rights to one's own body image are negotiable. Ravenhill puts the super-aestheticized approach to the real world and the intentional staging of that which pertains to one’s privacy into the line of fire, for even the human body itself, as a fundamental identity depository, has become a product subjected to the rules of the market.

Runtime: 129’

A project by Radu Nica, Andu Dumitrescu, Vlaicu Golcea


Buzási András, Kali Andrea, Marosán Csaba, Ötvös Kinga, Varga Csilla 

Project assistant: Melinda Kántor

Copyright provided by Judy Daish Associates Ltd. (UK) and Hofra Kft. (www.hofra.hu)

Age restriction: 16+