I is another (Arthur Rimbaud)
Modern literature was quick to recognize the difficulty – the impossibility even – of constructing a narrative with the “I” or the “ego” as its unifying element, whether this was the author’s own “ego” or that of a fictional character.
Starting from a famous quote from the poet Arthur Rimbaud, – “I is another” – the actors explore and comment on a series of different types and prototypes-, returning again and again to the question of what constitutes personal identity and actively encouraging the audience to reflect on this question from different angles.
The “play” is not so much about the way professional actors recreate a person’s existential environment (what Bordieu calls the “habitus”) through posture, voice and gestures but rather about how people and bodies are re-modelled to reflect the multitude of types available to us in modern society.
Are social classes, status, wealth, poverty, power, helplessness genetically “determined” – or are they the result of ego- modelling? What defines the individual and how? What factors can suddenly change a previously conventional life? What is meant by character, ethos or point of view in a world of stage-managed “I’s”?
“I is another” mirrors on the physical as well as the verbal level (reflected through the words of the text) what is happening everywhere today as people invest in self representation and social role-playing!
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