Black Box Theater
Black Box Theater, 2016. 3D printed model, hand-cut basswood, ink prints on Bristol Board, 2 x 1 x 1 ft. model, 20 x 20 in. prints.
Black Box Theater was created during the last undergraduate architecture studio that was led by Professor Darell Fields. The main focus of my project was to create a temporary and modular theater, which would serve as an examination of the culture, art and history of San Francisco. Black Box Theater arose from the analysis of relationships between Salvador Dali, John Hejduk’s “Victims”, and Symbolic Theater. It proposes play through its merry-go-round, see-saw, slide and a swing, but there is no safe way to engage in it. That is because the original, fictive site of the project was John Hejduk’s WWII memorial proposal, the aim of which was to commemorate the atrocities of war and the placement of the Berlin Wall. My project, just like its fictive site, puts forth the idea that play, and the act of playing, can bring one closer to understanding the human condition. When one is engaged in child’s play, cultural and other boundaries are erased. The act of play is not part of daily life, it is a disruption and distraction of the mind. The actual theater space, as well as the arrangement of program, yields Symbolic Theater. It should be understood not in its parts, but as a whole, that is neither realistic, naturalistic nor imitative. The whole structure is temporary, to be placed at Sutro Baths in San Francisco.