LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #13 – Foreground

Live arts have traditionally used the distinctions between background and foreground: harmony/ melody, chorus/protagonist, corps de ballet/soloist to direct the attention of the audience. However, some contemporary approaches prefer to avoid this hierarchy and allow the audience by means of its attention to be the one that composes its own experience out of what is being presented. Gestalt therapy took from Gestalt psychology not only its name, but the notion that a figure and the ground it stands in are just parts of a field. According to this, it is the observer’s/listener’s attention that designates the figure. Sometimes it can seem that the same figure comes to the foreground obsessively in our lives. It might be interesting to ask ourselves what is making our attention pick out the exact same element out of an everchanging field.

María Ferrara

 

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