4 extending choice to his audiences. sometimes to the point til~ stopping the play. and asking the audience what steps the protagonist should take next. then iinproyising on their suggestions to see how the piece turns out. Boal sees true democracy as allowing input in his audience. hringing hoth entertainment and instruction hy ayoiding passiy‘ity in the onlooker.
l‘m loathe to mention that. eyen as we speak. his workshop methods are heing employed in the preparation of countless shows around the world. many of which will lind their way to the l-‘ringe yery shortly. t‘or tear ol emharrassing him. Instead. I ask him
Theatre Workshop’s ‘real theatre for real life’ programme, featuring Mat Fraser (above) shares Boal’s democratic spirit
ahout the tendency of recent theatre. even among young companies. to rey‘iy'e classics. rather than creating new work. ‘ln lingland.’ he replies. ‘there are two or three or more companies dedicated only to Shakespeare. It would he nice it' they had three or four companies on the same scale dedicated to new work. It you only have rey'iyals. you‘re going to the museum. Of course. it. you research it. you can do it in a new way. hut still. you could do that research into new work.‘
So is he very down on Hum/('1‘? “No? I’ve been in the profession for 45 years. and I‘ve always wanted to do it. That‘s why my hook mentions it in the title. But it would he different. .\layhe one day I‘ll do it in lidinhurgh.‘
And is the theatre dying'.’ ‘The more y‘ital theatre is. the more it renews. It can always bring new information. new knowledge: it isn‘t going to die. What fades away are the trends and styles. the modernist. the post-modernist. the post-post modernist. But we carry the theatre inside ourselyes: it neyer dies until we die. .-\nd I don't want to die. do you'.’~
Not until he seen that Hunt/ct.
Hamlet And The Baker’s Son (Routledge £15.99) is available in bookshops.
12 THE LIST '9 A..g;
Kuns of glory
He married an Italian porn star, made a £4m sculpture of Michael Jackson and nearly went bankrupt. Now JEFF KOONS is obsessing about sex, childhood and fast food. We meet him in New York.
\«N’ortls: Jackie McGlone
ell Koons is hetw‘cen studios. The tnan who is arguahly the most hankahle artist in the world has jttst moy‘ed out ol' the Soho space on New York’s Broadway that he has occupied for the last decade. This is where he created such
iconoclastic works as the ceramic sculpture ol‘
Michael Jackson and his pet monkey Buhhles which recently sold for a staggering (4111 at auction.
Now. he‘s preparing to moye into a new. purpose-huilt 2(l.()()() square loot studio in hoho north-west (‘helsea
So. here we are in his temporary space. It‘s in the city‘s meat-packing district. There‘s some unintelligihle gralliti sprayed on the shahhy. grey doors. and you lime to know exactly which huz/er to press to gain admittance to the lol‘ty. old warehotIse.
It‘s not the sort of area you want to he peratnhulating on a steamy alternoon in late .lune. when the island ol' Manhattan feels like the men in Hell‘s Kitchen. The stench in l-lth Street is stomach- churningly noxious. Inside. the air conditioning is not as ellicient as it might he. hut that doesn't appear to hother Koons’ army of assistants. who are all husily painting away -— hy numhers.
The studio has the air of a production line in a factory — shades ol’;\ndy Warhol. as more than one art critic has remarked. '\\'ell.’ says Koons. a sell- conl'essed perl'ectionist. whose newest work comes to Scotland later this month. 'this is just a yery. \‘ery el‘ticient way of making my art and it‘s the way I prefer to work
'l‘oday. there are ahout a dozen assistants in the studio. They all look as it they might hay-e just stepped out of a production ol the hip musical. Rem. There are tottering mountains of maga/ines. clippings and hooks tiled ey'eryw'here. There‘s exert a red halloon dog discarded on a shelf. a miniature ol' the latitous I‘M-l stainless steel Balloon Dug sculpture.
Some assistants are mixing colours. a couple are precariously perched on ladders painting the top o1~ a monumental canyas. while yet another painstakingly lills in minute details in the hottom
right-hand corner. They all haye computer~ generated. .’\-4 si/c print-outs ol~ how the linished work should look pinned to their canyascs.
For the controycrsial star ol~ the Stls art scenc. who is slowly emerging li'om the seycn—ycar hell that lel't him nearly hankrupt and di\ot'ced trom llona Staller. the llungarian-horn Italian porn star-cum- politician known as La ('icciolina. and with whom he is still warring oyer the custody oltheir only child. no longer picks up a paint hiush. Koons has helpers to do all that l‘or him and. more importantly. to linish the work he designs hy computer. In the 90s. when his priyate lilc was at its most traumatic. he had a hard time completing works.
Koons says Hi course he could execute these paintings without the technology. hut he would haye to do it all himsell'. ‘l5or me. technology is just a control mechanism in the production ol the work. It means that I don‘t lahoi'iously lime to put down ey'ery mark. I can he yery imolyed and l atn Very much in control; I do a lot ol' tweaking hut the technology helps me to copy and control the process eyen more.’
A control treak then‘.’ ‘Yeah. I guessf he laughs. '1 just enjoy making my artwork. l loy'e working out new ideas and working with other people. particularly painters. to achieye them. Being an artist is a Very lonely joh. you know. and I enjoy people. I loy‘e heing with lots and lots ol' people. My artists and my assistants are my lamily.‘
Today. the Room lamin is engaged on three y'ast new oils (3 x 4.3 metres each) that are part ol his liusyj/im lit/meal series. seyen of which come to lidinhurgh‘s liruitmarket Gallery in an >
Koons’ 40-foot high topiary sculpture of a West Highland terrier was his way of communicating with his son