Paradise 2 (the incessant sound of a falling tree)

Authors Organisations
Type Performance
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
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Abstract

'Paradise 2' is a thirty minutes performance event, reflecting on contrasting themes of tourism and economic migration. The work initiated Brookes' long term artistic collaboration with Spanish artist and performer Rosa Casado. The performance was one of nine Spanish performance works selected for a special commendation award and international promotion by the Cervantes Institute in 2006. Subsequently performed and presented in Spain, Wales, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Singapore, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Argentina, and Switzerland.

The central motif of the performance is a model island, covered with palm trees, the model made entirely from chocolate, set on a wooden table, beneath a single domestic light bulb. The audience is promenade. Formally and structurally the work is defined by the layering and completion of three main actions: [1] to define concepts relating to trade and human displacement; [2] to draw the solar system in order to contextualise the journeys and locations described; [3] to eat all the trees on the island.

While delivering a specially written text in the form of a lecture/monologue, the solo performer illustrates it by drawing diagrams on the floor, beginning with a large image of the earth, which she repeatedly returns to, marking places, routes, borders, etc. as she refers to them. By the end she completes a simple representation of the solar system, which fills the floor, and which includes the bulb above the island as the sun of that system. Periodically, she breaks off a chocolate palm tree and eats it, the sound of each break being sampled and looped back in to the room to form an accumulating and increasingly present rhythmical sound ambient. By the end she has eaten all the trees.

Research questions include:
In what ways can scenic design constitute political metaphor?
How might the performer engage in task-based activities in the creation of elements of scenic design within performance?
How might sonic elements from the performance be recorded, sampled and played back into the performance in the creation of an accumulative soundtrack?