Curtain Wall Part 1
at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace, 120 Maiden Lane, New York, 12th Floor

CURTAIN WALL by Paul David Young

Materials: Found architecture, original text, sound recording, latex paint, ink, books, chair, and takeout paraphernalia. Loop 1: 8 minutes. Loop 2: 15 minutes

CURTAIN WALL chronicles the encounter between people who will never meet but see each other daily for hours at a time. A mock epic of impossible love, the fantasy exists across the impassable architectural abyss, divided by the “curtain wall.”

The term “curtain wall” refers to the nonstructural sheathing of glass and other materials, as on the building seen through the window here, typical of many International Style buildings in the Financial District and Midtown.

The curtain also divides the theater space, separating the performer from the audience, as it marks the “fourth wall.” In this configuration, theater becomes a peephole spectacle, with the audience as voyeur.

These divisions between bodies in space define the relationship of audience to actor and create the conditions for the subjective self in opposition to a perceived “you” in the “I/you” duality. Martin Buber, the early twentieth-century Jewish philosopher and man of letters, based his theology on this elemental understanding of the world, which permits a glimpse of god in the quotidian encounter with the Other.

Trailer video