Whistling in the dark

Yaffa Phillips writes sporadically

The Treatment by Eve Ensler and Botero’s Abu Ghraib

The Treatment

The Treatment

Went to see the treatment by Eve Ensler at The Culture Project tonight. Dylan McDermott (Eve Ensler’s adopted stepson) is a soldier with post-traumatic stress over torture he committed in the line of duty. Portia is the psychologist and soldier tasked with the job of getting the goods on his superiors and treating his disorder.

It had some interesting ideas [about psychological trauma, treatment and torture, transferrence, duty and military life] but didn’t go deep enough with these ideas instead just bludgeoned the audience with a simple message in flat-out exposition about the rules having changed, rules are good, we need them blah blah blah. At some point he says something about not wanting to talk about his mother and then spilling out his guts about his mother. Isn’t that a tired trope at this point?

The playwright should be given credit for using her work to protest something she finds unjust. We don’t seem very involved with this war like Vietnam…maybe it’s because we have cable now – it is not the only thing going on in your living room. The cynical part of me sees it also as an attempt to be relevant – The Vagina Monologues came out in 1996.

It’s like Colombian artist Fernando Botero‘s new paintings based on Abu Ghraib now on exhibit at the Marlborough Gallery. He is a talented artist, known for his pleasant figures with exaggerated proportions (ok they’re fat). Someone may want to tell him prisoners don’t usually look like that. On the one hand, good for him for protesting something ugly with his work. On the other hand according to a recent New York Magazine piece: “The buzz, helped Botero pieces break records at auction this year, two selling for over $2 million each.”

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posted by Yaffa in art,New York,theatre and have No Comments