Friday, March 26, 2010

Crowd psychology


What recent pro-status quo, fear-mongering campaign does this poster remind you of?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

univocal interpretations


let's talk about the erasure of difference that threatens the univocal interpretations imposed on bodily experience, the body that writes out of its marginalized, repressed location, challenging meaning, whether through mime, poetry, parody, or myth, to understand sex, gender, and power. why not write from the assumption of a polymorphous, bisexual sensuality, adding complexity and in doing so refusing to stay within the bounds of dominant patriarchal discursive forms?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Can a repeated performance be an original?

Above, Tehching Hsieh during his year-in-a-cage performance in 1978 and ’79.

This NYTimes article by Carol Kino analyzes performance art form in the context of an art talk sponsored by MoMA.

Can performance be re-made?


The piece above is after Marina Abramovic and Ulay's Relation in Time, (1977). Below is the original:


So the answer is yes, sort of. Instead of re-performance, I prefer to talk about "versions" of the original.

Let's see: Relation in time (1977) is the original, which also works as a "version" of itself. Why? Even if Abramovic and Ulay were to perform it again, it would only be a version.*  Performance is an act of unfolding a per-for-ma-tive action.

Performance is something in-the-process of becoming-something-else, yet, in the end it's that which already passed. To top it off, there is the problem of context: Each performance, -being a whole that includes the performer and the public- is one and the same. The process cannot be duplicated because it's lost in time/space.

Interestingly, a version is also an original of itself. For the sake of argument, one can speak of a future version of Relation in time (let's say, Relation in time red, 2012) that stands out as so unique that from this point on, Relation in time red will be considered a high point to be followed. The original would still be Abramovic & Ulay's, 1977 performance, from this point on a sort of performance-score over which newer versions keep accumulating.

Cool, isn't it?    
_____
*I don't think one "makes" a performance like one makes a chocolate cake. Since there is no performance without performer, the latter is a necessary condition for the former. Every performer that "performs" (pardon my reiteration) is part of her performance.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pedro Costa's Ne Change Rien



french prose, packed as solid as the bricks of which it was said that augustus left them marble, greek of the sixteenth century, all curlicues and crosses and dots, the commentary as deep as mud, greek of the seventeenth century, still ligatured but running like a ribbon of lace that is crocheted with the delicacy of the particles, the inspissated hem of commentary a little interpenetrated with light,
greek and latin on opposite pages
of a villoisin daphnis and chloe, the greek
now in lovely little scrolls, the latin vowels flying
accents, the old text of learning touched now with the charm
of the flowery meads it revives; greek of modern english editions, restored
to its original severity, gracious and spare and clear,
and printed on india paper, russian with
its greek of the barbarian
reaches,
with the rectangles of plain pale type all wall-eyed on the facing french prose, packed as solid as the bricks of which it was said that augustus left them marble, greek of the sixteenth century, all curlicues and crosses and dots, the commentary as deep as mud, greek of the seventeenth century...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Josh Rouse: Quiet Town



All around physical life reconvenes.
The molecules of our bodies must love
to exist: they whirl in circles
and seem to begrudge us nothing.
Heat, Horatio, heat makes them
put this antic disposition on!

This year's brown spider
sways over the door as I come
and go. A single poppy shouts
from the far field, and the crow,
beyond alarm, goes right on
pulling up the corn.-- Jane Kenyon (1986)