“I discovered Antonin Artaud and Theatre of Cruelty when I was doing theatre before I went to university. He influenced my creative process, as he challenged conventional theatrical codes by conveying the answer to the audience. He made me discover how theatre, as any form of art, can be used to confront people about society, rather than just entertain them.”
We caught up with Celia Lopez, our new Account Manager to hear more about her Beautiful Thinker, Antonin Artaud. Artaud was a 19th Century French theatre practitioner who developed the inﬂuential concept of Theatre of Cruelty. He believed that theatre should establish a deep connection between the performers and the audience. Celia explained, “He innovated theatre as an instrument able to bring a fresh theatre language based on all theatrical elements such as gestures, movements and paralinguistic sounds”. She also talked to us about mixing styles and breaking boundaries as a tool to tell stories that leave a more powerful emotional impact. She added “language can sometimes be incapable of communicating complex and thoughtful experiences”.
“One of the reasons I am interested in this form of theatre is because I strongly believe in art as a tool for social change, that is done with a purpose and that brings value to the individual and society as a whole. People might think Theatre of Cruelty is spontaneous, but that’s not true, things are there for a reason and they are trying to make you feel a certain way.”
Celia discussed how Artaud’s risk of mixing diﬀerent forms of theatre to convey sometimes lost in translation emotions motivated her to do the same with her own projects and bring something exciting to Free The Birds: “In a way, it taught me to pay attention to details and elements in briefs. When you’re looking at an idea, you don’t need to limit yourself to speech and copy. There are other aspects like colours and images that can also help tell a story.”
Celia’s work has been inﬂuenced by the innovative and transgressive nature of Artaud’s art: “In new media, people are always combining diﬀerent disciplines to create art in their own way, there aren’t as many rules as before. People now realise that you can combine diﬀerent disciplines and art forms, I see it in museums and art galleries but also in diﬀerent forms of advertising.”
At Free the Birds, Celia can see how this can be useful for storytelling. In a recent project with GDST, ﬁlm, illustration, music speech and photography were all used to create a piece of content that serves to tell a story. By using these multidisciplinary techniques, a brand movie was created to evoke a sense of togetherness and restore belief in the GDST mission. Celia noted, “We can only achieve these powerful emotional eﬀects when all elements are combined together”.