There was an American media art collective in the 1960s and 1970s called USCO (The “Company” of “Us”) that went around the world producing multimedia art installations and performance art using stroboscopes, projectors, and audiotapes. One of their installations is included in Sevilla’s Center for Contemporary Art’s current exhibition “Abstraction and Motion,” which I got to see Sunday with Adela, her friend Rocío, and Adela’s brother Alberto.
|DUELING ADELAS. (THAT’S ME IN THE WHITE SHORTS, AND ME, AND ME, AND ME.)|
|ROCÍO FLANKED BY HERSELF AND OUR MANY OTHERS.|
Walking into the display “Teatro Magico,” you become an integral part of the art creation. You enter through vertical strips of silver mylar that form a curtain. The walls are covered in irregularly draped sheets of mylar and the floor is made up of tie-die-patterned tiles. Music plays. Stroboscopes flash. It’s clearly what tripping on LSD would feel like — to some small extent. (But I can only go by hearsay.)
|A DARK MOMENT AND A REVOLVING ROCÍO.|
Originally called simply “Strobe Room,” the name “Magic Theatre” comes from the book “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse. In that book, the magic theatre is where the main character, Harry, goes to “interact with the ethereal and phantasmal” and “experience the fantasies that exist in his mind.” All I can think of when I look back at my experience of the Teatro Magico/Strobe Room is the group Steppenwolf’s song, “Magic Carpet Ride.”
We could have spent the afternoon inside, but we tore ourselves away after about 20 minutes. If we had stayed any longer I don’t think we would have been able to walk. As it was, it took a while to “come down” and the other exhibit spaces looked a bit off-kilter for a while. It was a great trip, man…
|I WOULD HAVE SWORN THIS WAS PERFECTLY VERTICAL…
…BEFORE WE VISITED THE TEATRO MAGICO.