Theater Premiere – ‘The Fountainhead’ at BAM
Koen Tachelet, Ivo van Hove and Toneelgroep present Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead.’
What animates an artistic thinker? What constitutes good art? Is it a sacrificial impulse to help others? A hunger for Insta-fame, fortune, and superficial accolades? The need to prove superiority or social media stardom? Or is it a self-sufficient drive to pursue a creative vision, independent of others’ needs or opinions, with a long-range objective?
Ayn Rand addresses these questions through her volcanic portrayal of Howard Roark, an iconoclastic architect who, as she puts it, “struggles for the integrity of his creative work against every form of social opposition.”
The novel was also a personal landmark for Rand. In Howard Roark, her invincible protagonist, she presented a unique, timeless and romantic hero, whose depiction was the primary goal of her writing: the ideal man, man as “he could be and ought to be.”
Currently at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and part of the ‘Next Wave Festival’ is The Fountainhead (directed by Belgian badass Ivo van Hove with the help of Jan Versweyveld and Koen Tachelet). Put on by the excellent and avant-garde Toneelgroep (from Amsterdam), the play is a sexed-up, teched-out and titillating performance about radical individualism, laissez-faire capitalism, power-lust, productive achievement and good art.
The acting is amazing (watch this) and the audio-visual effects are awe-inspiring. VIVISXN loved the voyeuristic vantage points seen through a webwork of overhead cameras, the stunning scale of the stage/set design, and the thematic emphasis on personal autonomy, creative integrity and impassioned defense of capitalism and freedom. Even though Brooklyn/BAM is way out of the way, this performance is well worth the trek. A must see!
Images via BAM + Toneelgroep
VIVISXN – Art + Culture + Philosophy