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Richard Foreman's ZOMBOID! opened last weekend at the Ontological Hysteric Theater at the St. Mark's Church in New York. Foreman's new work pushes the boundaries between play, video installation, performance, and sound art. The big departure for Foreman is the large-screen projections of actors, filmed in Australia, that form the backdrop of the set. At times, the live actors interact with the filmed actors, at other times the two fields are separate. For this work, Foreman has created one of his richest sound overlays and one of his most densely evocative set designs. While moving the Ontological in new directions, ZOMBOID's stripped down aesthetic has elements that connect it to Foreman's earliest performances. This is also Foreman's most meditative piece – the theatrical space has become a kind of holding station for reflection; indeed the whole arena of the stage operates as a virtual transitional object. The screened actors mirror the live actors but soon enough its versa vice. Moreover, the actors on stage form a tableau with those projected. The audience is enabled to become wakeful viewers of something neither here nor there. ZOMBOID! creates that most elusive theatrical space, between illusion and object: a space between.
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[January 21, 2006] * photo credit: Paula Court