Who is a theater artist?
In the New World, they call him a stage or set
designer. In any case, the word "design" is always present.
The notion "design" specifies anything that can be given a form
and be visualy interpreted. The riddle is interesting and requires professional
skills and a great deal of taste. But does this definition match exactly
the theater artist, who is familiar not only with the literary material
but also with live performance? I should precise that I am not talking
about the artist who strictly illustrates scenic material and considers
that bringing up action is the work of the director and the actors (although
sometimes that is exactly what is required of him).
- That's how the profession of the theatre artist is called in Europe.
Scenograph's task is directing the unanimated objects on the stage. The
world built on stage by an artist has a life of its own which isn't always
clear from the beginning. It opens up gradually along with the developement
of the story. It transforms, step by step, into an obvious mood of the
play, that is, into the " room" of the actors' life. Things
on the stage loose their ordinary meaning and get tied up together in
spite of the common logic. The aura may be created by architectonically
poor means, by the texture of materials with their physical characteristics
(softness- hardness, light- heaviness, etc.), that directly influence
viewers' perception. The complexity of the decoration's structure depends
on the level of the problems which the artist raises before himself. His
personal motif, the way he reads the piece of matter alot. The main virtue
of a scenographer is being able to figure out his relationship with the
material and the way he understands the issues of the piece. It is a must
to highlight the conflict and to get the play's climax through it. As
of the rest - how to put together several places of the action in one
scene or how to combine interior and exterior and such - that is the part
of the job, which could easily be related to the word "design".