Monads - The present cannot exist without the past, and it was Walter Benjamin who described this realisation, the breaking of the past into a moment of total presence: "Thinking suddenly arrives in a constellation saturated with tensions, to which it gives a shock, which crystallises it into a monad." Monads are, as defined by Gottfried Leibniz, the elementary substance of the universe, entities out of which time and space are created "as if designed or purposed". Chronology is thus inherent to a monad, which continually unfolds in its constellation with other monads, embracing past, present and future in once.
In this philosophical context my project Monads seeks to grasp by reflecting on both the status quo and the past in a newly constructed theatre space. It tests the tensions which Walter Benjamin summoned, and relishes in the instance of crystallisation, when the structures split into a timeless, spaceless moment of revelation.
The Other Room is Cardiff's only pub theatre and was built in January 2015, excitingly peculiar in a time where many art institutions face closure or cuts in funding. The theatre is deeply connected to the vibrant Welsh arts scene, and strives to make theatre attractive to a new, young audience with their intense, thrilling performances. To make this possible, a small but dedicated team worked hard and erected the theatre space almost from scratch. It is this achievement that is documented and celebrated in Monads.