ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS
ACTIONS FOR THE WORTHLESS BODY
logbuch woche 04.
In this last week we continued our research – exploring and developing in the final days and hours, trying to keep experiments going. We spent time working with the voice and the multitudes of text we had been generating over the residency, trying to find ways to layer these over the physical actions and tasks. Singing. Call and response. Remembering. Describing tasks. Reading lists of tools. Sliding narratives … A lot of things didn’t work. We placed text of the ‘empty body’, as it seemed to allow this layer more easily than the other actions. Here, there is a lot more discovery and research to do – how to bring this world of words and this world of actions (things) together on stage.
Here below are some thoughts, glimmers and questions that arose in the last days:
The perfect activity to project any meaning and imagination onto it.
How active can we be while training inactivity?
What is the best choice of reading into the scene to function as a shift of worlds?
We have been working in darkness. The actual darkness of the room. The metaphorical darkness of the subject matter. The darkness between us as we try to forge ways to work together. It seems inevitable, somehow, that our work will take place half in shadow, under the glare of a lamp. We are deep below the surface.
I like the dark. I like what it doesn’t show. I like the fact that it’s not all clinical and not everything is on display.
There was a moment when the light got involved in itself. It started listening to the stories it was telling itself and it went off on its own trajectory. It increased exponentially rather than linearly as her hands went around her head. When more skin was exposed the reflection grew greater and the light bounced back and forth, feeding itself, taking the electricity from the snaky cables and multiplying it into light.
There is very little dust in the air in here. Even in the beams of light, it doesn’t dance. Maybe our skins have some kind of an intuition that they need to conserve their energy.
What work songs need to be sung?
We are a system that interrelates – three performers and technician. The recorded instructions control what actions we need to perform. Time is needed to allow for the variations and deviations. Who is doing the real work? What choices make the technician’s task easier? And more difficult?
Where is the perceived value in the action?
How are actions passed on?
Multiple bodies trying to be in the ‘empty body’ state at the same time. A longer duration is easier / Less posed forms are easier / Standing is easier. Each larger movement is always a story. Sometimes turning or swaying or leaning isn’t a conscious brain story – at least in comparison to taking a step. It is easier in lower light – combination of darkness and spots of light. What is it like in a very specific brighter stage light? What does the voice do to the people ‘working’ at being empty?
Our bodies are working bodies. They don’t care too much what our minds think, most of the time. They know how to get on with the job.
What if everything in the room was animate? (It is, you know.)
The performer does their job. The chair does its job. The floor does its job. The walls do their jobs. The lights do their jobs. The light does its job. The text does its job. And my shoes and all the five million snaky cables. The cables do their job. As does the square of red velvet that sits on top of the sound desk. And the sound desk. And the desk. And the casters. And the paint between the casters and the wood that’s doing its job.
Taxi drivers, moms, painters, engineers, teachers, directors of agencies, pilots, economists, politicians, models, singers, carpenters, sewing machinists, sex workers, bakers, presidents, even children in the school, my aunt or my best friend…
Any body on this planet has to face a job, task or work in the daily life. Even a person who does not have a job – this situation becomes a worktask: to find a job. Travel can be a work, and isn’t always a pleasure, a body also gets tired during a journey. In this relation, we are always facing differences or meetings. In the end, to find a value in a job is to find a value in your own humanity and then to be open to observe and accept the humanity of others. It is very difficult.
Nothing happens by magic.
Nothing happens organically.
Nothing is as simple as it looks.
Nothing is as easy as it should be.
Nothing is easy.
“I ascribe to a complex view of things.”