What is a tableau in Theare?
Tableau is a term that originally refers to the appearance of a living actor's movements in a stopped or rigid state, as in a painting. It is said that the origin of this concept was a play in the Middle Ages. At this time, the tableau is presented in a form that presents an effective ending at the end of a scene, and is therefore often translated as ‘chapter.’ In particular, it is said that the tableau was mainly used in the last scene of the performance for “deification in the sense of praising an individual or hero as a sublime realm”6). Brauneck, Manfred / Schneilin, Gerard, Theaterlexikon. (Begriffe und Epochen, Bühnen und Ensembles. rowohlts enzyklopädie, Reinbeck bei Hamburg, 1992, p 903.)
In particular, it is said that the tableau was mainly used in the last scene of the performance for “deification in the sense of praising an individual or hero as a sublime realm”6.
Tableau is also used to mean “a new scene created by changes in all stage decorations (décor) that occur during an act”7), and is therefore also used as a term to refer to the totality of images on a theater stage. Song Ki-hyeong, Comparative study of Georges Méliès' film <A Trip to the Moon> and Jules Verne's novel "From the Earth to the Moon": Focusing on the controversy over the original, requoted from Korean and French Studies Vol. 55, 2006, page 398.
The concept of tableau is 'tableau vivant', which means 'living picture'. It is in line with a type of 'play' in which people direct scenes from famous plays or paintings into silent, still pictures.
The concept of tableau in theater was developed by D. Diderot, and in his theater theory, tableau is considered an important structural element of performance. Here, the tableau realizes an entirely new task in the way of theatrical expression: performing a dramaturgical function instead of a curtain. For Diderot, a tableau is a “mimed scene,” which refers to a stage scene that can perfectly express a dramatic situation without dialogue. It also refers to “the careful placement of characters and expressive gestures while stopping the play for a moment.” It means “to visually summarize an emotional situation.” “Pictorial drama”13) and the aesthetics of the tableau that completes it express key moments in the dramatic progression simply and clearly and visually form thematic unity. Therefore, unlike the act that is divided according to the plot area, the tableau, which is self-closing and therefore clearly separated from the next scene, plays the role of a positive pause in the dramatic progress. In this way, the pause through ‘freezing’ of the scene diverts the audience’s attention from the temporal continuity of dramatic development and instead diverts it to moments of wonder and sensations of surprise. Diderot argues that conversational theater using the tableau breaks away from the (neo)classical production that relies on the audience's ears through dialogue, and instead appeals to the audience's eyes and doubles the pleasure of watching.
The most decisive thing that replaces language in the pictorial arrangement of the tableau is the actor's gesture. Gestures are not only a means of conveying strong emotions, but are also a natural language and visual symbol that best reveals the state of the soul.
Actors in Tableau express emotional reality outwardly by emphasizing not only the face (= physiognomy) but also the body, that is, body movements, which are a sign of more instinctive and animalistic expression. Therefore, the audience captures the actors' emotions and thoughts through their gestures. The composition of scenes through gestures in Tablo is reminiscent of stop motion in movies, and this is Tablo's method of conveying meaning by stylizing and dramatizing the fullness of the subject.
Tableau of plastic art - tableau sculpture The close relationship with plastic art has already been mentioned in the definition of the concept of tableau as 'a painting given life through embodiment', and tableau is also an art that represents the perfect harmony between life and artificiality. It has been explained that it seems to realize the core thesis of .
‘Tableau sculpture’ refers to “a sculpture that creates an overall scene like stage art.”24) It is a “frozen sculpture” made of water, which is plaster cast directly from a living human body, in a “pictorial” or “theatrical” way. It can be called ‘frozen happening’”.
Art, especially these experiments in which life is drawn into art to pursue reality, or objects of life are incorporated into the realm of art, have resulted in the expansion of the art viewing environment into new areas. In the space where the tableau sculptures are placed, the viewer experiences a theatrical space by moving between the staged lighting and structures. Of course, the tableau sculpture is not a play because it excludes living actors, but it is ‘theatrical’ because the viewer directly enters the stage space and experiences it over time to experience the composition environment of the tableau sculpture. Tableau sculpture guarantees the audience's active experience of space-time structure. In this way, a new attempt in plastic art called tableau sculpture destroys the traditionally static viewing environment and emphasizes participatory aesthetics through the principle of experiential arrangement of spatio-temporal components. Through this, tableau sculpture is pictorial and theatrical at the same time in the dimension of art of new experience, that is, “process art of the viewer's time experience”.
Myungja Anna Koh