A unique type of art that touches several disciplines including theory based art, performance art, video, and scriptwriting can be seen at the Windsor Art Center.
Edmond Chibeau, professor of Communications at Eastern Connecticut State University (E.C.S.U.) in Willimantic, CT, was asked about two and a half years ago by the Windsor Art Center to showcase his work which includes 52 different performance scripts throughout the exhibit.
The show is entitled “Performance Scripts: The Babbletive and Scribbletive Arts by Edmond Chibeau.”
He said that he has a “postmodern, poststructuralist, interdisciplinary approach to writing for performance. The story line is not the main point.”He also explained that he was “fascinated by the problems of interpretation and the problems that arise when a performer-interpreter is placed between the creative artist and the audience. In a novel or short story there is no one between the writer and the reader, in a performance script the author must depend on the skill and sensitivity of the performer.”
For this show, Chibeau said that “graphic performance scripts are displayed on a media including paper, glass, mirror, video or granite, before they are performed.”
There are three galleries of the exhibit with sets of ” wordworks ” in each room. In a written framed statement in the exhibit, he stated that “wordworks are performance scores, everything matters.”
While there are many components to the exhibit, this reporter wanted to explain the parts that he found to be the most intriguing.
On a wall of six televisions, a 10-minute video shows viewers pictures of the words of the scripts with Edmond Chibeau speaking the lines.
Some of those words include “voluntary writing”, “it ends with a vision”, “theory of history how things happen” .
Chibeau explained that, “it’s my voice four times plus eight layers of video edited together to make an integrated artistic whole.”
The exhibit includes several pictures of words on the walls throughout the center which depict a variety of emotions including solitude, ecstasy, and compassion.
On Saturday, May 10 at 2 a.m., he performed a script called “Vernissage” where audience members were not allowed to take photos or videos but three signed a witness affidavit with a notary public that the performance actually happened.
In the performance, Edmond Chibeau read a script, turned over and broke an old tube television, ripped a green scarf, and scattered pages of his script on the floor.
His body laid to rest on the carpet and an outline was drawn in pink chalk before yellow police caution tape was setup around the perimeter along with road cones to prevent bystanders or visitors from disturbing the exhibit.
The performance documentation is posted on the wall near the yellow police tape.
In a corner of the main room stands two mannequins, one with a black dress and straw hat, the other with a navy blue suit with bright blue shirt and straw hat.
An audio recording has them read lines which are on a sign to the wall about how words speak to them.
On the opposite side of the main room, a computer chip with Chibeau’s writing is affixed to the wall with the description, “Cyber Palimpsest, eternally imbedded, always available, never recovered”.
He explained that a palimpsest is something that has been erased and written over. The word is often used to refer to parchment made from animal skin. A sharp object was used to erase the writing and write over it again.
In a small room off the exhibit space stands an old bureau from the 1880’s filled with rocks and pieces of paper with Edmond Chibeau’s writing on them regarding the Civil War.
“It’s a conceptual art work that is a companion piece to a play I wrote about Civil War soldiers who were buried in the cemetery in Norwich, CT,” he said. The play “The Norwich 9” was performed at E.C.S.U., Norwich Free Academy, and Windham Technical High School.
Additionally, there are other parts of the exhibit that were equally as fascinating. This reporter would recommend someone take an hour to take their time going through the exhibit to fully understand the various components.
Those who are interested in attending one of the performances, lectures, and live music events, all part of Chibeau ‘ s exhibit, should visit their website www.windsorartcenter.org . These all add another component to his showcase.
The exhibit is open Thursdays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will run through June 21.
The Windsor Art Center is located at 40 Mechanic Street in Windsor, CT. They can be reached at 860-688-2528.
Before or after visiting the exhibit, this reporter suggests going to ” Get Baked ” , right across the railroad tracks from the Windsor Art Center, for delicious baked goods and coffee. It is located at 25 Central Street in Windsor. For hours and more information visit their website www.getbakedct.com or call 860-688-0420.