the fourth wall

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As a child of performing arts, the view of an empty theater from behind the “fourth wall” is wildly nostalgic.

Klaus_Frahm_4th_Wall_itsnicethat_11To me, the rows of vacant seats are not hollow, but filled instead with a warm familiarity.

Klaus_Frahm_4th_Wall_itsnicethat_13They are balanced, orderly, reliable.  Overflowing with the promise of their imminent fullness, but still an expression of beauty as they wait.
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Arriving hours before opening to prepare for performance, I silently converse with the sacred space which lives in the absence of a dark red curtain.  I see the theater in its polished glory.

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I see its restful moments in between shows.

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And so too, its occasional center stage nap.

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Hamburg-born photographer Klaus Frahm created a series of images featuring European theaters captured from behind.  The collection feels oddly personal to me, like a visual documentation of my relationship with performing.  Equally insightful is Frahm’s philosophy regarding the art of photography as “revealing something laying under the surface”, a concept beautifully manifested in his work.

Though as diverse as the countries they inhabit, there’s a strange sense of continuity in a venue specifically intended for the sharing of performance art.  I find looking out at a theater from the perspective of the performer always provides a sense of home, whether that stage be in Rhode Island or Russia.

photos & quote via

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