an exhibition and a performance
The Royal Museum of fine Arts, Copenhagen
Hotel Pro Forma is a performance theatre intimately connected with the visual arts. architecture and natural science. Performances are presented in spaces of architectural significance not familiar with theatre and in buildings that refer to art and history like museums.
It is rather unusual for The Royal Museum of fine Arts in Copenhagen to give room available for a project combining visual art and theatre.
Fact-Arte-Fact is a performance and an exhibition devised to encompass the following themes: The Dual, Reflections in the mirror, Genetic engineering, Creation, Perspective and optical Illusion. It fuses art, science and technology. A sensuous screening of scientific and natural phenomena, inspired by the ancient Kunstkammer, the original to the museum.
Both the exhibition and the performance exist some place between construction and sensation, between consciousness and intuition. A re-enchantment of the world. It is however also a work of art that in its basic conception of form departs from the facilities of the Royal museum of fine Arts. The monumental building protects six centuries of expression, thinking, sensation and mystery, grasping both tradition and up to date expression. Allowing the audience in only a few moments to move from one century to another and enlive the universe of works of art with numerous productions of familiar and especially enigmatic phenomena, stimulating the imagination and intuition of the audience.
Fact-Arte-Fact also contains these qualities with leaps from one century to another with the melting of ancient thinking and contemporary modems. The West hall of the museum has been altered into a huge pictorial universe, ready to engulf both the visitor of the exhibition and the audience seeing the performance.
The exhibition, available during the opening hours of the museum, consists of paintings, objects, and architectural constructions installed in six rooms. The coordination of art and science in the 17th century form – along with the present day scientific reality – the basis for the sphere of motives in the performance and the instrumentalization of the exhibition. Elements from the modern high-technology of the industry and science world, is places together with natural products and works of art.
The performance runs at night in the museum as a series of tableaux with the pictorial lay out of the exhibition as the stage design. Five pairs of identical twins aging from 7 to 67 years perform in the show. Like doubles they infringe our perception of the individual as a unique sole, and as metaphors they symbolize the contradictory powers of life. In the front room two musicians play on wooden boxes as drums. Two angels stand in the doorway of each room like the guardians of Genesis “fallen from Heaven with the key to the abyss and a large chain in his hand”.
The compound character of the tableaux and the special richness of details demand nearness. The audience moves with the slow pace of the performance from one scenery to the other. Music, song, sounds and text are part of the performance. The wall in the middle is built not to reach the ceiling so everything can be heard from either side but cannot be seen.