BLI ARNE NÆSS
A performance about our visit to Tvergastein, MA production at the National Academy of the Arts, Oslo, NO
Director Ludvig Uhlbors
Actors Arturo Tovar, Kjersti Aas Stenby
Set design & costume Hanna Sjöstrand
Light design Ludvig Uhlbors & Hanna Sjöstrand
Background Hanna Sjöstrand
Arne Næss staged himself as the archetypical old wise philosopher, living on top of a mountain. He took it upon himself to wear this metaphore throughout his life as a sort of persona or a social mask. Maybe he choose to do this because he saw that it could be used to transmit his teachings of Deep ecology but he probably also felt that it provided him with a framing which enrichened his life. It brought additional value to his philosophical project.
During our stay at Tvergastein we internalized this metaphore. When we descended from the mountain we brought it with us to our audience in Oslo. Now they, too, could choose to merge with it, as one will when one puts on a mask, and present it to others.
Arnes mask manifests itself through a specific set of facial expressions and body postures, shaped and disciplined by the mountain. Whilst these expressions are material in nature they also serve to transfrom the mind of the wearer and to put him or her in tune with Hallingskarvet. The mask reveals and transforms our insides through the effect that it has on our outsides.
The performance Bli Arne Næss used the personal stories of the team members, material from Arne and water from Hallingskarvet as means to communicate documentary material, fictionalized narratives, philosophical perspectives and essence. This was expressed in a transformative, metaphysical performance which explored unknown dramaturgies for a possible posthumanist initiation rite in this so called era of the anthropocene.
"How much Arne am I now after having lived 13 years of my life up here on top of Hallingskarvet, how much Arne and how much Hallingskarvet am I now?"
Water from the mountain was served to the audience at the end of the performance.