Forty-three years after the first performance of I was sitting on my patio this guy appeared I thought I was hallucinating, Robert Wilson and Lucinda Childs hand over their role to two new performers in this doubled-up solo.
I was sitting on my patio… marks a turning point. Robert Wilson staged it in 1977, barely a year after the haunting energy of Einstein on the Beach. It is a monologue, void of any apparent drama or tragedy of its own, consisting of a random flow of association of ideas that spills out onto the confines of a bare black and white set, accompanied by angular movements which become increasingly feverish. This verbal zapping, first articulated by Robert Wilson himself in a distraught, frantic outpouring was then handed over to Lucinda Childs, who replayed it in identical fashion, imbibing it with an expression deep-seated, inner breakdown. What strikes us about the piece is its clinical minimalism, and the formal austerity at work via the prism of its contradictions. Nothing actually happens – and there is certainly nothing to be seen of this “this guy” made reference to in the title, and in the opening words of the text. Everything happens and then happens again, in the body of a different person. And, rather like a merry-go-round, will go on happening.
All images © Lucie Jansch
I was sitting on my patio this guy appeared I thought I was hallucinating
Théâtre de la Ville – Espace Cardin in occasion of Festival d’Automne à Paris
September 20 to October 23
Text, concept, and directed by, Robert Wilson
Co-directed by, Lucinda Childs
With Christopher Nell and Julie Shanahan
Costumes, Carlos Soto
Associate director, Charles Chemin
Stage design collaborator, Annick Lavallée-Benny
Lighting design collaborator, Marcello Lumaca
Sound design, Nick Sagar
The show is produced by Théâtre de la Ville-Paris and is presented in association with Festival d’Automne à Paris.
A production by Théâtre de la Ville-Paris
In association with Théâtre de la Ville-Paris ; and Festival d’Automne à Paris
In association with EdM Productions – Elisabetta di Mambro
With support from Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels