In 1872, a man photographed a horse in motion.

That man was Eadweard Muybridge and that photo managed to capture the thoroughbred as it came off the ground. The steed was from the stable of Leland Stanford, the founder of Stanford University and one of the most powerful men in California at the time. The relationship with Stanford allowed Muybridge to become one of the most acclaimed scientists (or perhaps artists?) of the day. But Muybridge was above all a man: a betrayed husband, he was tried in court for the murder of his wife’s lover and was finally acquitted on the grounds of justifiable homicide.

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Muybridge represented a bullet shot towards the invention that revolutionised our mode of perceiving time and space: a pioneer of chronophotography who continues to inspire modern artists and cinematographers. His photographic technique broke time up into tiny fractions, in the same way Einstein broke up matter. In the same vein, Einstein explained his theory of relativity with the famous metaphor of a train that travels through the landscape: “The passengers on the train experience time in a different manner to the people in the landscape”.

With his photos, Muybridge was able to span the phenomenon of the birth of cinema and the general alteration of the perception of landscape, time and distance that spread from California to the entire world, thanks to the cinema industry. This historiographic aspect intertwines with the life of the English photographer, becoming theatrical material and reveals a performance characterised by the urgent confrontation between dramaturgy and technique, between the birth of the Californian myth and the unknowable role of a single man.

Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)
The 19th century English photographer became famous for his pioneering work on the representation of motion. His research preceded the evolution of cinema and changed the way in which other artists portrayed motion. Muybridge created images using multiple cameras simultaneously, and in 1872 exhibited the galloping of a horse. From then on, this great achievement was referred to as a technical feat of industrial will. His private life was complex and included a murder trial for which he was shockingly acquitted.



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by OHT | Office for a Human Theatre

> idea and directing Filippo Andreatta
> by and with Patric Schott, Daniela Vitale
> sound Stefano D’Alessio
> video Martina Menegon
> computing Stefano D’Alessio, Martina Menegon
> photographer Fabio Cella
> production OHT | Office for a Human Theatre
> supported by Fondazione Caritro, Regione Trentino Alto-Adige
> in collaboration with Assessorato alla Contemporaneità di Rovereto, Centrale Fies, Inteatro

production history

30.XI.2011 Rovereto, Teatro alla Cartiera
26.X.2012 Lugano, FIT Festival



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