“Those who tell the stories, rule the world. ” Plato
To tell a story in a space is a process of abstraction. Both the story and the space are distilled down to their essence, to their core meaning. On these abstracted level they communicate with the spectator/visitor on the level of subconsciousness. In an abstract way they provide a vessel, an environment, an atmosphere, that whispers to the spectator/visitor the baseline of the content, just like in music the base would. Editing the message into a simple theme and then expanding it into a complete story creates the fullness of the experience. Materiality, structure, form and detail become the vehicles to impart the message.
The detailed content (story line), be it a building, a play or an exhibition, is then ‘placed’ over this whisper. A play: with its words that create monologues, dialogues, silences; an exhibition story line: with its objects, environments, multimedia. Both are not “left hung in the air” as they might be if the ‘whisper’ was there, neither are they “overpowered” or “over-explained” as they might be if the space and the story were not abstracted first. The ability for the observer to learn something beyond the obvious causes them to remain rather than pass by.