Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Some Developments of my Research

Dreaming (an early reply before I forget)
Yesterday, I dreamt of being invited at a friend's place. The house of Konstantinos Gerardos, a choreographer and amazing person from Greece for whom I was working like year. I could stay at his place for some nights. I was given a room.
I wake up in my sleep and start wandering in the house. The house seems very big and sunny. A large corridor and on its side there are windows looking at a large balcony.
Outside the window I can see for a flame coming from a tube. As if the gas pipe has taken fire. Black smoke, red fire. I can't hear anything, the windows are sealed. The house will be burnt if it goes on. I run in the house to find an extinguisher. The house is empty. Noone is there. I am all alone. I thought of saving his kids but they are not here. I find the extinguisher. I go to the fire. It's still there. Can I put out the fire? what happens if I go too close to it and it enters the extinguisher. Will it blast?
I woke up. I don't know what I did. Probably nothing

To all you that read my emails

Today I begin with something very important. I could never believe how many are actually reading my emails. It's amazing. Some people tell me how much they enjoy them and others give me feedback ideas. Guyz, I reallllly appreciate all your support. I am so happy when I read your emails. I dont have a problem if you are bitching me either. It means that you are taking care of me. Thanks :)

An amazing email
Anita, a fellow student in the MA choreography, sent me this email yesterday. I am sure she doesn't mind me publishing it although it gets personal by the end.

Doing nothing is an importanmt part of the process.
Being away from this biulding is even more important.
How much of what you are doing right now is defined by where you are?
Why is Seminar Room C "nice?". Do you want to be in a nice space? Why?
Are you dreaming about the piece yet?
I had a dream the other night:
I had parked my car and lost it. Then I found it again and realised something was missing. What was missing was a baby who WAS in the back seat, but all was left was an image on my phone of the baby in a paper bag left under a tree.


I found it very inspiring and encouraging. Thanks Anita

Questioning Space and Me (by Anita)
Well, about your question for the space.
Here is what I think.
- First of all it's a Lecture Room. In that sense, I respect the identity of the space and do not produce something irrelevant. I was looking for a space where Lecturing is a part of its smell.
- I am not using the space as Laban would do, like finding the lines, the restrictions, the material etc.
- I am not intervening in the space, meaning changing it's looks.
- The two beamers are projecting on a space designated by the architecture of the space
That's my evaluation.
I think it's not enough now that I am thinking of it.
Do I want it to be enough ?
Well, if I want to make a piece that is easy to tour and transfer it elsewhere, I should keep my relation to the space to the minimum. So that this piece could be performed in another space too.
On the other hand, it's always great when we feel that this piece is connected to the earth, it has an insurmountable relation to its surroundings. And I could always rework the space if I am invited to perform the piece elsewhere.
In any case... the piece is for now, here and now. Let's make something and when the "there and future" come, I can think of it again.
So, I think that all my work now should be focused on questioning how much I am influenced by my surrounding space and its architecture. My new task with the playmobils will certainly work on that.

Working towards a presentation for feedback
I hope that until tomorrow I will have a substantial amount of work to show to my fellow mates and teachers. The more I show of my ideas the more feedback I will get to correct.
The thing is that usually I know where a piece is standing. With this one I have no clue. How will it be perceived? What kind of suggestions do they have? What did I forget to think ? Which reality have I forgotten to take in mind? Will I ever be able to take the whole of reality in mind before presenting it to other people?

Some questions

Below you can see a footage of the rehearsal. It takes me 26 minutes to set up the space. Initially I had thought to have the audience in the space and watch me setting up the space. But it's really boring. REALLY boring. And it doesn't fit the topic of the lecture. So I think I'll take it out and ask the audience to enter once I am ready. The two reasons why I wanted audience to enter while I am setting up the space were the following: (a) based on my methodological concept that I am working on my own, I should show to the audience my loneliness even in the process of setting up the performance for them, and (b) Miguel Gutierrez is a great influence to me on that, because he puts the music loud and enters the space bringing one by one and very fast his objects inside the space. I don't know what I should do... Probably I'll take the setting up out.
Another question that I have is: should I first show the reenactment of the picture of Virginia Woolf? or should I first introduce myself as a lecturer, welcome the audience explain them what happens etc? Then take off my clothes and represent Woolf's photo? What do you think ?

Why Naked?

I was wondering these days why nobody has asked me why do I give the lecture naked. Well apart from my research on nudity and nakedness. Here is what I have for you:

Naked Action Lecture (1968)
[In] Naked Action Lecture... I lecture on my visual works and their relations to antecedents in painting while both dressed and undressed, dressing and undressing.
Naked Action Lecture asked the questions: can an artist be an art historian? Can an art historian be a naked woman? Does a woman have intellectual authority? Can she have public authority while naked and speaking? Was the content of the lecture less appreciable when she was naked? What multiple levels of uneasiness, pleasure, curiosity, erotic fascination, acceptance or rejection were activated in an audience?
... In the course of the thirty-minute lecture I undressed and dressed and walked back and forth with a pointer, discussing aspects of perception and spatial organization.

Carolee Schneemann, 'Naked Action Lecture' (1968), More than Meat Joy: Complete Performance Works and Selected Writings, ed. Bruce McPherson (New Platz, New York: Documentext, 1979) 180.

Performance Lecture research

Unlike common beliefs, performance lecture is not a new trend nor an invention of Xavier Le Roy whom most people aknowledge as the first performance lecturer.
Yvonne Rainer already in 1968 wrote :

"Between 1968 and 1970 my work moved along in overlapping stages. I devised a format variously called Performance Demonstration, or Performance Fractions, or Composite, which would include fragments from old work plus slides, sound and whatever new work I was engaged in. On Sept. 16, 1968, I presented my first Performance Demonstration at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center."Yvonne Rainer, "Performance Demonstration"
in Dies. "Work 1961-73"New York 1974 S. 109-115

Later on, in 1986, Marianne Goldberg gave a performance lecture on "Ballerinas and Ball passing" at the Women in the Arts Symposium.
But it is only Since Product of Circumstances (1999) by Xavier Le Roy that there has been a boom of lecture-performances in the dance world. Just to name a few I recall works like Self-Interview (2000) by Xavier Le Roy, Distanzlos (1999) and Stationen (2003) by Thomas Lehmen, Tino Sehgal’s Untitled 1997-2003 (2003), Mårten Spångberg’s Extra Clear Power (2003), The Last Performance (A Lecture) (2004), Jochen Roller’s Perform Performing 1-3 (2002-2004), Edit Kaldor’s Or Press Escape (2002), Directory (2003) by deufert+plischke and finally, Juan Dominguez’ All good spies are my age (2002) and How heavy are my
thoughts (2003) by Ivana Muller.
Pirkko Husemann said in his own performance lecture:

"This almost inflationary accumulation of lecture-performances coincides with a growing tendency to selfreflexivity in performing arts. Inspired and activated by a scepticism of themarket’s dominating commercially- oriented production and presentation forms, more and more performing artists have set themselves in search of other ways of working, striving the way to (re)discover new or forgotten concepts of staging and perception, and aiming to use these forms as part of a critical practice. This self-reflective form of artistic practice questions the doings of one’s own and the conditions of these doings, conditions in this case meaning the predominant ways of producing and receiving. This critical practice is formulated as a resistance against taken-for-granted practices, expectations, opinions and institutions, in order to bring to light the potential of one’s own field of work and influence, a potential yet unknown or forgotten. The goal of this critical plan of action is to change, from the inside out, dance and theatre’s dispositif of representation by using this field’s already inherent possibilities, in other words, to change the function through use." Pirkko Husemann, "The Absent Presence of Artistic Working Processes, The Lecture as Format of Performance.“ Lecture Performance, Frankfurt, 5. 8. 2004

As lecturer in different schools giving a lecture in the form of a performance is like a comment on our society of knowledge. The performance lecture features a kind of not knowing, which belongs to an order that has nothing to do with the order of knowledge. A not knowing, which does not represent a lack, which is not obscure, ignorant, or non-scientific but which produces an event beyond knowledge (ideas from Derrida).

How do I find the energy?

I felt like having done quite a lot of work or at least important work today. When I came back home I was full of energy even after 10 hours of rehearsals (plus extra time writing my blog, replying to emails etc) . I think there are many factors why I worked harder today than other days. And it's good if I can identify them so that I know how to be effective with my work.
(a) Weather
First of all it's the weather. Yes, it was a bit worse today so there was no desire for me to get out and lay in the grass. Although that doesn't hold true for the whole day. At a point of time some students and teachers (including Martin) they were suntanning in the Laban gardens.
(b) No Park
Another reason might be because I didnt go for a long walk in the park. I didnt get tired by staying in the park.
(c) Supernap
I took a supernap. Do you know what a supernap is ? Well that's my word. It's when you just lie on the bed for 10 mins. Close your eyes. You are in a situation semi asleep non asleep. You are aware of the things around you but youjust sleep for a small time. AMAZING... It's the most relaxing thing ever. After this I am ready to go wild :) whereas if i had taken a a real sleep i wouldnt be able to wake up.
(d) Not working from scratch
Working from scratch is the most painful and tiring thing ever. So today I had to work with things I had already done and just rework on them according to my notes. It's easier before you know exactly what you need to do. You direct your thought easier. That's maybe what I suggest to my students when I say : "Take a fast decision and then go for it..."

For tomorrow:

1) These are things I need to do for tomorrow. I need to finalize script of chapter 4 and learn script of chapters 3 and 4 by heart or almost by heart.
2) reconstruct the photos with the playmobil, put them in space, connect them with a silly story line (just like i did with Ilona), engage camera and take good attention to the angle of the camera's perspective, try to find a way to project on the other beamer the real photos. Do you show the real photos during the story or do you show them after the story ???? THINK OF SPACE ....
3) correspond each photo with a sound
4) prepare the tags for every picture. Put the pictures in the correct order, take out the pictures that you don't need.

Chris Crocker

sometimes I feel that this work of this blog is like being Chris Crocker. Like I need to maintain it interesting, I need to spit out things from my heart. Chris is a great idol in internet for me. I love watching for his videos and wait for some of his new additions. I find him great... Don't you know him? Enjoy him.

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