Is it straight?, 2018 Experimental performance
Currently, we are living in the “authenticity searching” era where people seek out authenticity in the digital world and at the same time claim that they are the authentic ones. But how does one know what or the better question who is truly authentic?
This experimental performance project is created to portray that there is no such a thing as everyone’s truth. My truth might not be your truth and yours might not be mine, no matter how hard we try to convince everyone else to believe in what we believe is true. That is because the criteria that we use to measure the authenticity are our past experiences, our perspectives, our environments, and ourselves.
Thus, do you believe what we have written above is true?
My inspiration of this project is from the movie Rashomon(1950), a Japanese film from a Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. I remember being surprised by how mysterious I got from this movie. After watching this movie since I was 20, I still find Rashomon to be a beautiful and interesting movie. The director used the quality of the cinema to examine the nature of truth and the darker side of human nature. Rashomon is a story of telling a story of a crime which happened in a small village in Japan. The crime was a death of a samurai and in this movie, you will see 4 characters, a bandit, samurai’s wife, samurai ghost and a woodcutter, telling 4 different stories of the same event. The admitted that she was the one who killed the samurai while someone blamed others. Who would you believe? And who do you think was guilty and deserve to be executed?
For my very first time watching this movie, I was only focusing on finding a killer. I tried to guess and argue with my friends a lot of weather who killed the samurai. Five years later, I watched it again and now I saw something else. I saw that the intention of the writer and the director were not to let their audiences investigate weather who was the killer but they really want to show the darker side of human as well as to examine the nature of truth.
Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing (Akira Kurosawa, 1950) This statement from the director was very strong yet have been encouraging me to research more about truth. Up until now, my searching is still continuing. I have found some but I do not know if it is a true definition of truth or just opinions from their perspectives.
Not only Rashomon inspired me to do this experimental project but its influence can also be seen in media nowadays as you can see in a lot of movies or cartoon or even TV series where the shows character flashbacked and tell you different options of the same event. For example, GONE GIRL (2014), HOODWINKED! (2005), PREDESTINATION (2014), COURAGE UNDER FIRE (1996) etc. These contemporary examples have contradictory versions of the same event through multiple viewpoints shows the versatility of truth and the power of individual perception.