Saturday, 12 April 2008

THE BIG FREEZE

As a teenager in the 'sixties, I remember the era of 'happenings' and I'm really glad that, forty years on, groups of people are still getting together to stage eccentric events that make people stop, look, smile, laugh, tut, curse and shake their heads...

This particular experiment in mass improvisation is something more: it is a piece of theatre, a momentary work of art, pure poetry in motion --- or, rather, absence of motion...

10 comments:

Andy in Greece said...

How brilliant. I just loved the way that so many people just carried on around them as if nothing unusual was happening.

Suzy said...

Oh, how cool was that.
I wonder if it would work the same in UK.
Brilliant.

Brian Sibley said...

ANDY - Yes, and the guy on the truck is priceless - though I suspect his voice is dubbed!

SUZY - There have been several 'freezes' in London (including Trafalgar Square and Waterloo Station) though none of them have been filmed quite as well as the one in Grand Central Station.

Here's probably the best film of the Waterloo 'freeze' staged in February this year.

Boll Weavil said...

I wonder what would happen if we all stopped at once. Maybe we would have time to appreciate, if only for a minute,the company of the person we were with, the clothes we were wearing or even just the time out.That would be poetry indeed.

Brian Sibley said...

BOLL - How true... Your comment reminded me of W H Davies' well-known poem 'Leisure':

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Eudora said...

Brilliant. I thougth firstable that is a kind of performance, something funny, but with the comment of Boll and th lines of Davies everything could change, I can see more in that freeze....

LisaH said...

Terrific - I wonder what else has been/will be thought up. Would be great if a whole group of people suddenly started acting as if they belonged to the Ministry of Silly Walks, or something similar.

Brian Sibley said...

EUDORA - It is always good, I think, to look at ourselves and each other differently. It is one of the functions of drama...

LISAH - Check out the link in my earlier reply to Suzy and you'll find all kinds of 'happenings', such as 50 red-heads on a subway and 100 guys invading Abercombie & Fitch in NYC (famous for their shirtless models), taking their shirts off and being asked to leave!

Qenny said...

How marvellous! I'd love to have been there. How does one find out about these things in advance and is therefore enabled either to participate or to witness? *sigh*

Brian Sibley said...

QENNY - I wish I knew...