Lena Müller explains her project Languages of Film and Theatre in the following way:
For the graduation show, I have made a short film-document illustrating how my engagement with the medium of film has influenced my work as a theatre designer. During my studies at the Piet Zwart Institute, I have completed three theatrical designs. Each project is a reflection on the nature of the frame and the cinema screen, merging their properties within the perspectives of the theatrical space. Each of these projects has approached the presence of the screen in a different manner.
The first, a production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party (directed by Susanne Kennedy), creates the illusion of a television screen, by putting the actors inside a framed rectangular box within a greater, darkened space. The second project was Dea Loher’s Land Without Words (directed by Jaap Spijkers). This time, an actor moves before and behind an actual semi-transparent screen, similar to a canvas for painting. By placing the screen diagonally, and making it larger than any audience member can take in at one glance, the design creates an experience of depth. The last project, Susanne Kennedy’s version of Henrik Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, is the only one in which images are projected into the design. This design fuses elements from the previous two projects. A gauze screen separates the actors from the audience; sometimes this screen forms a barrier upon which text is projected; sometimes, when the space in which the actors are performing is illuminated, it offers a window into their claustrophobic world. In the back of the space there is a second screen where blown-up images from medical films (microbes and x-rays) alternate with images of clouds, presenting the elemental aspects of the characters’ experience.
Though I have previously used elements from film and video, these three works together form a triptych or trilogy, a way of taking the ideas and practices explored during the Masters programme at the Piet Zwart Institute and making them my own.