Eva Burton M.F.A.

Master-Thesis: "WHEN PLAY MEETS RITUAL"

Supervision: Prof. Ute Eitzenhöfer, Prof. Eva-Maria Kollischan, Prof. Theo Smeets

Slideshow

Summary

Man playsonly when he is in the full sense of the word a man, and he is onlywholly a Man when he is playing.

Friedrich Schiller

 

Play allows us to step out our everyday routine. It present to us like an intermezzo, an interlude that embellishes our existence. Through play a hedged area is delimitated, a temporary world, a sacred spot.

Among this written work, I´ve reflected upon play as a/and ritual. Play is circumbscribed into space, either materially or ideally. The arena, the card-table, the magic circle, the temple, the stage, the screen, are all in form and function play-grounds, which have as well hallowed spots, within their particular rules. These places are all temporary worlds in the limits of the ordinary world. Inside the playground an absolute and peculiar order reigns. Play creates order. Into an imperfect world and the confusion of life man seeks for limited perfection. Play demands order absolute and supreme.

There is always something more profound "at play". While we play, we transcend the immediate needs of life. By the use of the word "transcend", we imply a connection of play with the spiritual: play creates an artificial space beyond that of ordinary life.

Play and ritual are braided together. Play brings order, ritual as well. Rituals build a hierarchy where the Gods are at a higher level and through their propitiation humans reach a balance with the Cosmos.

What happens when play meets ritual? An extraordinary blend comes to light, and the playground that we knew becomes a consecrated spot. A performance full of symbolism is born where the players represent the opposing forces of Nature fighting to reach a balance, stretching their limits, seeking for the stability of the world where they live. This was the case of the Pre-Hispanic sacred ball game. This was my primary source of inspiration to materialise the practical work of my Thesis.