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The Many Heads of Eric Olson Feb 10, 2014

By Tessa Hulls, Tia Kramer, and "Eric Olson"

Tessa: In the curator’s note for Niwa Gekidan Penino’s The Room Nobody Knows, Lane Czaplinksi writes: “I’m not suggesting any work of art is capable of defying critique but I like it when using words to respond to art is made more difficult, all the same.” 

Yeah.

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A Special Kind of Voyeurism Feb 8, 2014

Watching The Room Nobody Knows was a special kind of voyeurism. Make no mistake - when you watch it, you are watching the product of somebody working their shit out. The kind of shit we are told we should be ashamed to have to be battling in the first place. The kind that everyone keeps locked up inside and most people never acknowledge - perhaps because they don't even know it's there. 

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Riddles After Riddles Feb 8, 2014

I have yet to thoroughly unpack The Room Nobody Knows by Niwa Gekidan in my head. It was as if I took a trip inside someone’s head for an hour, where I was swimming through distorted logic, fantastical habitat, unfiltered thoughts, and riddles after riddles. All strung together with Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Played on four recorders. Shaped like penises. I found myself trying to make sense of it for the first 5 minutes and then I stopped. And when I did, I started to get that this was not a piece to “get.” It is a piece to be experienced.  Like a dream.

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The Room Everybody Knows Feb 7, 2014

Director Kuro Tanino mentioned in an interview that he didn’t view his work as strange, and I agree. Although the obsessions made manifest in the show mostly aren’t my particular obsessions and fantasies (I wonder what it’s like to be a dude?), there was an uncomfortable familiarity there. It’s kind of like taking the lid off your brain – the lid that we have to keep tightly shut in order to keep society functioning somewhat normally – for an hour and then trying to clamp it back on. Ego, desire, emotion, jealousy, crossed wires, sex, power, ambition, fear – and joy and beauty too.

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a young man’s claustrophobic, disappointing reality Feb 7, 2014

In the lobby before the show, a friend suggested that to best understand what we were about to see, I needed to take all of my sexual thoughts, fantasies, and hang-ups, and put them in an imaginary room and close the door.  “Then, after the show, open that door again.  Then you’ll really get it,” she said.  My first thought was, why the hell would I want to open that door again?  If I really could shut away every iota of my sexuality, all of the mistakes, the anxieties, the regrets—oh, the regrets!—and just walk away, I would.

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Put the King’s Head in a Diaper and Swing It Like a Baby Feb 7, 2014

I came from Taiwan. When I watched this show, it was hard for me not to think about the very high unemployment rate among the younger generations in Taiwan and other parts of Asia. Thinking living on the minimum wage is hard? In Taiwan, the legal minimum wage is so low that if a person works 40-hour weeks at a convenience store or at MacDonald’s, they will barely be able to pay their own rent (not talking about utility bills and other expenses)!

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Thoughts still forming about The Room Nobody Knows Feb 7, 2014

As often as I see work at OtB, sometimes performances like Niwa Gekidan Penino's The Room Nobody Knows take me for a HUGE trip where images become extremely hard to articulate and my dreams become a mosaic of colors, questions, images and feelings. Having seen the show twice now, (and looking forward to my third experience tonight) I have finally managed to make sense of a few thoughts around my experience.

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Crotch of Love Feb 7, 2014

Raunch ain't so far from virtue

cause when you love someone purely

you'll give of yourself to the point of exploitation.

Denouncing your needs and putting the beloved ahead of the self, you bring yourself full circle back to purity.

Its jesusness. Its righteous. Its stupid. Its messy. Its human.

 

Older Brother asks “Don't you love me too much?” What a great question.

Maybe older brother is reversely asking

“Do I love you enough?” I sensed his guilt.

 

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The Room Nobody Knows – Curator Note Feb 6, 2014

Purportedly, I said somewhere that The Room Nobody Knows is the strangest show I’ve ever seen, but to be honest, I don’t know if that’s true.

Five years ago in Dubrovnik, I watched the artist Siniša Labrović illustrate the idea of a self-contained ecosystem by repeatedly peeing into his own hand and drinking it. That was pretty strange.

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Peningophilia Feb 5, 2014

Some stuff you'll see on the Niwa Gekidan Penino blog (in Japanese). Sort of NSFW (depending on where you work):

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