Czech premiere 4.27.2012, Prague Chamber Theatre at Divadlo Komedie, Prague
Renewed premiere 10.22.2012, Studio Hrdinů Prague
SAM is an artist exploring the limits of his capabilities. A unique – living – exhibit showpiece. He voluntarily imprisons himself in a self-made cage to spend an entire year in complete isolation. He is prohibited from speaking, writing or following any media for the duration of this experiment. Every day he receives identical food and at a precisely set time he is paid a visit by a single person who takes a photo of him. No “work of art” is being created, the visitors to the studio where his cage is constructed are the only witnesses to the process. Time, minimum, limitation. After the conclusion of the self-imposed year-long captivity, SAM is no longer able to break the rules he set for himself by leaving the cage. SAM’s internal limitations are stronger than the bars of his voluntary prison and he shares this experience through a monologue delivered to his audience, the studio visitors.
“Nothing can besaid about the isolation of man without other people ,“ as Katharina Schmitt says in her play. She ponders the meaning and purpose of art in today’s world and points to the existence of rules we often unknowingly obey in the long term, in order to make our lives at least seemingly more meaningful and asserting some control over the fleeting time setting the boundaries to our existence.
The director Kamila Polívková examines together with Karl Roden – the actor embodying the performer SAM – the irresistible attraction of fame, liable of awakening voyeuristic tendencies in others and embellishing the most banal things, acts and pronouncements of a famous person – the artist – with an aura of singularity and higher values. She examines from various angles the norms related to creative work, art and productivity, and deconstructs the relationship between the viewer and the subject of his interest. The personality of the actor Karel Roden, a big-name film star in the Czech Republic, is a crucial component of the interpretation of the text, which is inspired by the actually realized year-long project by the New York-based Taiwan artist Tehching Hsieh.