Introducing: The Solarplex Theatre
Featuring "The Sunset"
The Solarplex Theatre is as a temporary installation that playfully presents the sunset as a feature film presentation.
Erected as an outdoor theatre with all the trappings of a commercial movie theatre, complete with tiered seating, a popcorn stand, and a featured "star" (but no movie screen or film projector), the Solarplex Theatre is designed for the sole purpose of "screening" the sunset.
Upon entering the theatre and taking their seats, audience members face a closed stage curtain. A voice instructs the audience to kindly observe silence during the entire presentation. A slide projector briefly projects the words "The Sunset" onto the curtain, announcing the beginning of the feature. The curtain then opens, revealing a framed, unobstructed view of the horizon onto which the sun is about to set. The audience watches the entire sunset until darkness has descended, upon which the curtain closes again and the words "The End" are projected onto it.
Using elements of artifice and humor, the Solarplex Theatre deconstructs the romanticized cliché of the sunset by dramatizing its daily occurrence to the point of absurdity. It offers its audience a truly unmediated, unscripted and fun spectacle that, technological achievements notwithstanding, still puts man-made spectacles to shame.
A first version of the Solarplex Theatre was realized in the summer of 2008 at Hearth, an emerging artist commune in Upstate New York. It had its inaugural screening on Labor Day weekend 2008.
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