Category: Mimi Lien

On the set of Macbeth: MIMI LIEN

Posted October 19, 2010 - 11:48am

Set designer Mimi Lien was asked to share a few thoughts about the development of her scenic ideas and the influence of Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space:  I was struck by Bachelard’s notion that the different physical localities of the house are imbued with particular psychologies/memories/fears/desires...in our first conversations, Blanka mentioned that she was interested in making this a very visceral production of Macbeth – one that makes the text really palpable, and the actors' physicality totally present. I immediately thought of the spatial equivalent, which is when a space actually makes you feel something.  There’s a wonderful quote in the book: "Great images have both a history and a prehistory:  they are always a blend of memory and legend, with the result that we never experience an image directly." There are localities that are more heavily imbued with these feelings than others – hallways, closets, attics, basements.  These spaces are somehow repositories for memories, physical memories, and this makes them particularly potent for a play about fear. There’s another quote about the impact of a poem that’s very appropriate to this play, as well, in terms of the relationship of language to space: "The resonances are dispersed on the different planes of our life in the world, while the repercussions invite us to give greater depth to our own existence.

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