Milanese collective Carnovsky created wallpaper that changes under different lighting conditions. Called RGB, the papers are printed in red, green, blue and yellow to reveal different layers of imagery when viewed with coloured lighting. Big game emerge from the undergrowth in red lighting, monkeys in blue lighting and a jungle of plants in green lighting.
One of the assumptions of “straight” realism, for example, is that there
is no acknowledgement of the audience’s presence because the play is dead serious about being real, and it would hardly have served the interests of a play like Awake and Sing if Morris Carnovsky had played some of his lines to an audience that was not supposed to be there. But a “violation” of this principle, properly prepared, is not incompatible with all forms of realism, as we see in Tom Wingfield’s “This play is memory” speech at the beginning of The Glass Menagerie. The purpose of the collaborative principle here, of course, was to embed the “drama” in the wider frame of Tom’s reflective consciousness, no less realistic for being outside or beyond the action. In other words, when the collaborative mode is invoked for thematic purposes it is no more destructive to the stage illusion, even a highly realistic one, than iambic pentameter or song in opera. It is simply a means of adjusting the audience’s illusionary nearness to the action.