#FE365 Diana Damian Martin

POSTED 15.08.2014

This performance, it begins with an act of removal; then speculation sinks in. It demands an odd mode of listening, of being with; my attention is present, mirrored. Meaning drifts in and out. This performance is a process – a regime of identification, held together by narrative splinters and formal scaffolding. Language is material; it’s hanging loose, dropping to the floor. There are shards and splinters everywhere.  This performance, it’s one of frontiers: the social and theatrical, imagined and real, public and private; it doesn’t pronounce the death of each, but navigates straight through.

Something about the work of Forced Entertainment manages to diagnose the present, change the symptoms in the past and construct a piercing future speculation. It is medicinal for theatre, this attitude to structuring and presenting thought and action as interlinked, conflicted, poetic, never representational. A work that demands seclusion; meaning discloses itself in a complex net of speculation and structure.

It’s 1984, Thatcher has been in power for five years and Indira Gandhi has just been assassinated. It’s 2014 and the Conservatives are in power and education is on splints and there are skeletons everywhere. What happens in this extension of thirty years? The stage keeps redrawing itself. It’s beaten and shaped then thrown back in, and we’re surprised when our political imagination is so full of Forced Entertainment fragments.

I breathe out these words through bloated sentences. History isn’t made like this, I think. It’s found in vestiges actualised in a public aesthetic; in durational quizzes, in meditations on death and the stage, in storms that refuse to arrive, in voids that suck us in, futures that recur; it’s all a bloody mess, I think.

This examination of the history of stories, of the relativity of questions and meaning, punctures my memories with fierce dynamism. The bare stage is filled with the graphic, colored marks of words and actions, and I can’t tell the different between the enacted and the occurred.

The blank pages of those who seek to make tangible that which the company have made a craft to obscure, they dissolve, and I take so much pleasure from that disappearance.

There is something irrevocably nostalgic about all this.

Diana Damian Martin
Writer and Lecturer