Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Thursday, 01 September 2011 00:00

Léo or the Letter and the Spirit

This story plays on the challenges for young children when they go to school for the first time. Mister Laflèche tries to help a pupil enjoy learning how to read and write on his first day. The letters are anthropomorphised, so as to exorcise the fear of the child. Each letter represents something meaningful for everybody, even if they are not involved directly in the western biblical culture. We have to go beyond contradictions that separate the living relationship (the spoken language) from the written language. Enjoy together with your mother, father, son or daughter.

Thank you to Nino Rota for the music and to Nick Coulson for the English translation

 

In the sixties, Taiwan’s main ideology was determined by Cold War ideology and the fight against communism. In such a dry and discouraging intellectual atmosphere, the youth aspired to a radical and subversive modernism which would acknowledge their existence. At that time, the only opening for modern art was probably at the United States Information Agency which would provide information on modern art and exhibitions, so most events involving the arts were held there.

It is in that context that Theater Magazine (1965) was created by Huang Hua-cheng, Kang Chien Chiu and Chen Yingzhen. There was no concept of Taiwanese modernism at that time but the Theater Magazine was already offering critiques and reflections on modernism in articles on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Artaud’s Theater of Cruelty and Fellini’s 8 ½. Even today, almost 50 years later, one can say that the content and the lay-out of the magazine are still very subversive and avant-garde.

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