First evening of performances and lectures: It’s great to see how performers and thinkers deal with the topic of “What can a body do?” coming from different angles. And to see how they deal with what we have been tramping in the workshop days.
For me it is a lot about expectations and relations. In AliciaCarmen the audience passes three performers holding hammers in their hands. It’s almost a threatening gesture. Later apples are added and the whole room becomes the playground. We have been trying that in the workshop with Paz as well – by texture, letting go and surfing, objects and space become something else. Knowing that procedure I can see how the hammer is then, after a few minutes, a heavy thing rotating in the air and smashing on the ground, still a kind of intrusive thing but due to its material qualities and not its symbolic value. The performers change their state of mind, the state of space, but they are still with us, connecting. In this phase when you cannot understand the logic of their movements and when the things are thingies, they start to pass the apples to audience members and take the hands of the latters, as being let by this connection. This step has an amazing affect on me, this breaking out in order to take all the relations in this space into account. (Though I wonder how it felt and looked like if you hadn’t attended the workshop in the beginning of the week…)
What we have learned and what we expect is being shifted. Is that a way to shift body relations, ways of living together, as Sandra Noeth put it later that evening in her lecture? Or what role is performance art able to play?
On that festival night it at least showed me how much more complex relations are, how fast we interpret, how small a gesture has to be in order to nix it all. Watching Aitana Codero being moved by other bodies for more than one hour I had to think about the Rock’n Roll party I have been the night before: The band on stage was playing with all the codes we are used to in that music, creating expectations, delay, and then fantastically satisfying fulfilment. Aitana’s passive body was hardly bearable after half an hour. But, not only for the audience, also for the performers being exhausted and defeated by her demanding an unequal fight, just by doing nothing. Or, suddenly, just a shortly trace of action, that made you wish for more. But that didn’t arrive.
Who was active, who passive? Who was powerful in these Duets?