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The Subjectiles at Work: The Secret Art of The 9 Fridas



The 9 Fridas, one of the feature productions of the 2014 Taipei Arts Festival, was produced by Mobius Strip Theatre Company in association with Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and staged at The Wellspring Theater in Taipei on September 5-7. Directed by Phillip Zarrilli and scripted by Kaite O'Reilly, the production of The 9 Fridas attempted to portray Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) from a wide variety of perspectives. What it evoked, for me, went beyond the theme "ways of looking" designated by the festival organizer and directed our attention to what I term "the subjectiles of Kahlo." This paper is concerned with Frida Kahlo, a woman of many faces and layers, and The 9 Fridas, a production which claims to offer an alternative interpretation and a refashioned representation of Frida Kahlo. The notion of subjectile is essential to the overall scheme of the paper. As a critical device, it serves both as a method for thematic study and as a tool for aesthetic exploration, and through it we can closely examine the interpretation and performance of Kahlo's life and art as manifested in the script and the production of The 9 Fridas. In this paper, first of all, I explore the subjectiles of Frida Kahlo in the "Prologue." Its purpose is not just to highlight the layered complexities of Kahlo's life, paintings, and legacy but also to chart some trajectories projected from The 9 Fridas. Next, of all the layers and subjectiles, I intend to tease out three unique aspects of The 9 Fridas for discussion- that is, the play's textiles, actiles, and affectiles-in the hope that we can read both the play and its production as well as Kahlo's life and paintings anew. Finally this paper attempts to assess the production of The 9 Fridas critically.

Parallel abstracts

《九面芙烈達》是2014年台北藝術節的主要劇目之一,於該年九月5-7日在台北水源劇場由莫比斯圓環創作公社協同香港話劇團製作演出。本齣戲劇本係由劇作家凱特‧歐萊莉(Kaite O’Reilly)執筆,並由知名導演菲利普‧薩睿立(Phillip Zarrilli)執導,全劇試圖從多方面的角度來形塑畫家芙烈達‧卡蘿(Frida Kahlo)(1907-1954)的生平與創作。本齣戲所召喚的遠遠超越藝術節藝術總監耿一偉所設定的主題「觀看」,將觀眾的注意力導向筆者所謂的「卡蘿的subjectiles」。本論文所關注的對象芙烈達‧卡蘿是一個有多重面貌與層次的女人,所欲處理的《九面芙烈達》是一個想要提供另類詮釋和芙烈達新面目的文本與演出。「subjectile」這個概念對本論文的整體架構而言是不可或缺的,作為一個重要的批評設計,此概念既是主題研究的方法,也是美學探索的工具,藉由此概念,我們可以仔細的檢視該戲的劇本與演出對芙烈達的生命與藝術所作的詮釋與表演。首先,本論文在「序言」裡將探索芙烈達的subjectiles,其目的不只是強調芙烈達生命、繪畫與遺產的多層次複雜性,也在描繪《九面芙烈達》這個戲所投射出來的拋物線。接著,在所有的層次與subjectiles中,筆者打算找出《九面芙烈達》裡的三個獨特面向來進行討論,亦即這齣戲的文本、表演和情感,其目的不外乎希望我們能在劇本與演出以及芙烈達的生命與繪畫裡讀出新意。最後本論文將試圖評估《九面芙烈達》的製作與表演。


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