Total Theatre is the name of a multi-purpose transformational theatre that was designed by 1927 by Walter Gropius, the then director of Bauhaus, upon request of theatre director Erwin Piscator. At that time, many theatrical stage plays were produced around Europe, but as film screening gained popularity, establishment of a multi-purpose theatre that could put on plays and films was being attempted. Technology that creates space by integrating technology and all fields of visual art, such as architecture, painting, sculpture, design, etc., in order to study stages and produce theatrical spaces, is an expression of civilization and culture, and it is also in concert with the expression of thought.
Total Theatre: Interspace Dialogue, an architecture exhibition and film festival, borrows Gropius and Piscator’s concept of a new kind of theatre to realize a cinema inside of the white cube of a museum. Especially, by renting mass-produced industrial materials or receiving defective products, which were sorted out and discarded during the production process, from sponsors, attempts were made to adopt recycling or upcycling, a term that became a social issue of our time, to building structures. Added to that, by using different material properties taken from ordinary industrial products from our everyday lives such as forklift pallets, plastic chairs that are used in events, felts that are used as dust covers at construction sites and bicycle tires, viewers’ tactile experience of stage devices, rather than simple visual experiences, were induced.
Off and Free International Expanded Cinema and Art Festival, program partner of Total Theatre, will be showing artistic and experimental pieces, with a selection of 64 films under the title, Interspace Dialogue. Off and Free International Expanded Cinema and Art Festival, turning 5th this year, means to get off existing commercial film system, and become free from box office profit. It is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to extend the field of film as a total concept that meets changing times, to discover non-commercial film that are original and of high quality, and gain transparency in running a film festival.
As a pre-biennale to the biannual Seoul International Media Art Biennale Mediacity Seoul, the largest event held by Seoul Museum of Art, Total Theatre: Interspace Dialogue, through a combination of experimental films and buildings that were designed under the concept of ‘flexible buildings and theatres that are capable of transforming and refreshes the mind by its spatial impact’, is a challenge for a new form of exhibition, and also an exhibition that actively reflects the post-museum vision of Seoul Museum of Art.
■ Bilateral Theatre by KOOK Hyoung-gul
Bilateral Theater is a space that is opened to both sides. Audiences, who are spread around the bilateral projection screen, sit to gaze at each other. They watch films, and they watch whoever's there on the other side. Under such arrangement, free and without any sense of direction, the audience may take whatever position that's most comfortable for them.
Kook is an American registered architect and assistant professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and works as an architect. As an architectural designer at Weiss/Manfredi in New York, Kook has earned a wide range of experience, including structure installation to urban and landscaping project.
■ Plushscape by Max Kuo
Plushscape is an immersive installation which seeks to agitate and amplify the somatic conditions of the viewers’ bodies providing more spatial possibilities in their haptic response to the screening films. The installation design consists of nodal points created from bolts of bujikpo that are woven into soft seating pouches and then attached to a rigid frame. These spongy nests allow for group lounging in a variety of positions and also serve as vertically peaked features within the gallery.
Max Kuo is a founding partner in the networked architectural design collaborative ALLTHATISSOLID and His award-winning firm has engaged in built and conceptual proposals throughout the U.S., China, Korea, and Maylasia. Currently living and practicing in Seoul, Kuo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architectural Design at Soongsil University.
■ Society of Architecture by Imponderabilia
Imponderabilia is placed in a crystal room, and bolts are used in a way that more and more emphasizes the narrow and high form of the room. Materials that make up the structural type of the bolt are 350 mass-produced and rentable parasol chairs. By transforming the method of piling, the parasol chairs were born again to an architectural element which has a certain volume.
Founded by Yerin Kand and Chi Hoon Lee in 2010, SOA place their focus on discovering and comprehending various architectural and urban themes and goes on to develop and experiment with spatial systems, materials, methods of construction and building types of many different constructed environments, varying in size from buildings to cities.
■ Interspace by Interface by OH Sang-hoon
Interface has two meanings: the boundary between two kinds of systems or devices that are combined and the space in between interspaces. Interspace by Interface uses space and waste tires to show the phenomenon of a change of relationship that results from the death of an object.
Co-founder of CTR(Cultural Topography Research Ltd.), a research lab focusing on cultural topography and founded in 2005, and currently the head of CTRForm Architects. From humanscale to cityscale, CTR conducts research on explicit and implicit pockets, and goes on to study a series of figurative and spatial, as well as economical, social and cultural forms, thus suggesting structures that are applicable to construction environments.