Posts Tagged ‘Fahrenheit 451’

What do you think?

As we are performing in the library and what we are doing is such a spectacle, we decided it was best to not test any more ideas in the actual space so that on the day it becomes a one off vision. However, we did still want to test standing on the chairs for a long period of time and practise sacrificing books.  So, we went to the library and got some unwanted books we could practise with.

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Three Different Ways of Destroying Books. Taken by Kirsty Jakins 26.4.13

We had two audience members come and watch the performance. We wanted some people to see the movements we will be performing, and ensure they understood how we had got to where we have with our performance.  After one hour and forty five minutes, we got down from the chairs and stopped sacrificing the books in our individual ways i.e. scrubbing, pricking and dunking in water.  Visually, our audience seemed to be attracted to the performance as the destroying ways are contrasting when it comes to sound and sight.

Remains of the 'Pricking Method' Taken by Kirsty Jakins 26.4.13

Remains of the ‘Water Method’ Taken by Kirsty Jakins 26.4.13 Remains of the ‘Pricking Method’ Taken by Kirsty Jakins 26.4.13

The novel Fahrenheit 541 was mentioned in post performance discussion, which presents a future American society where all books are outlawed and firemen burn all houses that contain them. It relates back to this idea of book burning throughout history, which we have looked into over our process. Books such as Darwin’s Origin Of Species have been under ridicule due to religion, which is one of the elements we wanted to put across in our performance. Within Bradbury’s novel ‘books are no longer symbols of technological process –of power and knowledge- but rather of wisdom’1. This gap between religion and fact has been occurring for hundreds of years throughout history and by wearing religion and destroying knowledge we arebringing that to attention.

The novel also mentions this ‘pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed’2 to destroy words, to destroy someone else’s ideas gives this weird pleasure, because you know once it’s destroyed it cannot be put back together. The hardest part of the performance will  be destroying and ripping apart Emile Male’s texts, purely because they are a hundred years old and part of our history. They are extremely hard to get hold of now, especially the copies we have. I guess though that will give our performance the shock value, and really get people thinking about why we are wearing the text.

  1. Bradbury, R. (2004) Fahrenheit 451. (eds.) 5th edition Voyager: London. p62 []
  2. Bradbury, R. Bloom, H. (2006) Fahrenheit 451: Bloom’s Guides. Chelsea House: Pennsylvania. p11 []
Posted: April 30th, 2013
Categories: Les dames des livres
Tags: , ,
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