THE PAPER ARCHITECT
by Dave McGuire, Kristin McGuire, Tom Wainwright.
Corner of Leytonstone Library 6 Church Lane Leytonstone E11 1HG To 21 July 2013.
Wed-Fri 7pm & 9pm; Sat, Sun 1pm, 3pm, 7pm.
Runs: 45min No interval.
Review: Carole Woddis 5 July,
Fine fljghts of fantasy in paper.
Weird and wonderful is Davy & Kristin McGuire’s . Part of the Barbican’s Beyond Barbican Create programme which seeks to penetrate deep into the East End using art as the modus Vivendi, The Paper Architect has turned a grungy basement in Leytonstone Library into a miniature gem of an installation/performance using paper, animation and a human performer.
An old man sits in a chair and reading an eviction notice. You can imagine him as any elderly, isolated old man living a solitary, forgotten life but inside him lie hidden dreams and an extraordinary talent. For this Mr Stamp (John Cording), has re-created his world and dreams (or memories) in paper. A narrative within a narrative, the McGuire’s vision is one of exquisite artistry yet carries disturbing undertones.
An old electric fire burns; Stamp puts on an old record and from underneath a box unearths a female in paper form, a dancer whom he places within a house and as the music sounds, she turns, mesmerizingly, in silhouette.
But then he places her into a pastoral landscape complete with trees, birds and tree house. Like God and the Garden of Eden, he gives her a mate, a young man brought from another paper dwelling who is placed within the idyll. A game of hide and seek follows; a game, orchestrated by the old man, that at times raises questionable feelings.
For example, the young man, catches a bird and puts it in a cage – perhaps to entice his lady love to come closer? The bird sings but is constantly visited by a mate as if distressed by the other’s imprisonment. The caged bird dies. The young man also appears to spy on the young woman as she undresses and goes for a naked midnight dip.
A fantasy of romance, longing and the erotic, presented in terms of the most intricate, delicate animation and trompe d’oeil, it rightly won the McGuires this year’s Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. For behind the beauty, its strange, sad juxtaposition of elements surely asks awkward questions about voyeurism, power and, not least, loneliness.
Old Stamp: John Cording.
Young Stamp: Davy McGuire.
Ling: Kristin McGuire.
Conception/Directors/Paper models/Animations: Davy McGuire, Kristin McGuire.
Co-writer: Tom Wainwright.
Designer/Costume: Corinne Hockley.
Lighting: Chris Swain.
Studio assistant: Rosie Belben.
Design assistant: Anna Michaels.
Mentor: Graham Whybrow.
Funded by the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust and co-produced by the Barbican with Create London.
The Paper Architect is produced in association with the Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol. Create London is supported by Legacy Trust UK.