The self-interview is an attempt to lead you - as a reader as much as a spectator - through my working process, ideas and thoughts in which I intend to unveil a complex relation between the everyday moving body and its outer structures (the self-interview is also being used as a working tool within the process of my recent researches The counterpoint of a movement in excess and AND HEY WHAT YOU LOOKING AT?).
What is, according to your understanding, an everyday moving body? While speaking about the moving body, you also speak about movements and non-movements.
I am thinking a lot about the everyday body and the moving body, two bodies who are inevitable intertwined within each other but in which I perceive also some differences. First of all everyone owns an everyday body, lurking to satisfy our daily basic needs from having a sip of water until the urge of reproduction. Day in, day out, a repetitive performance is already subjected to the idea of movement. We regulate our everyday existence to fulfil our needs and in order for fulfilment we need to activate our body to move. Due to this everyday proces we are being exposed to a numerous in-between-moments in which the body tend to elaborate, to identify itself (as an individual) within a contextual environmental situation.
To come to a closer understanding of a moving body, I rather like to differentiate this everyday life activation into movement and non-movement. Although there is just a very thin line in between these two understandings I would like to explain first what I comprehend as a movement in order to dive in more deeply into the idea of a non-movement. I perceive working, talking, walking, running, sitting, writing (for some writing is being shaped into the form of texting), etc as movements. We are able to define and categorise them into a specific understanding of movement. The combination of moving our tongue and mouth in order to pronounce words, the accumulation of these words can be (mostly) acknowledged as talking. Also, ever since our childhood we are learned to crawl in order to exercise standing, in order to walk and in a (much) further stage to run. We are aware that these kind of movements are being taught to define, to articulate ourselves within a specific everyday context. As I mentioned before there is just a very thin line to differentiate, I open up this wide field of understandings with a question: what do you do when you are sitting in a train? Some are reading. Some (if accompanied) are talking. Some are talking within themselves. Some are texting. Some are playing a game on their smartphones. Some are sleeping. These actions are actually very recognisable, nothing yet pointing into the direction of a non-movement. However you can also perceive them as time killers while waiting to go from point A to B. Exactly, what I am interested in is how people exploits the behavior of waiting.
The Counterpoint of a Movement in Excess is about dismantling the act of waiting. It is a movement which is visible but there is also a wide range of invisibility and imperceptibility present while waiting. A non-movement is a present yet invisible movement. It becomes even more invisible because of the contemporary world we are living in nowadays. In this invisibility I am interested in the quality of how each body somatically and sensorially functions in order to exploits non-movements. Besides the accumulation of anatomical structures, waiting is also being shaped by its mental labor, provoked by socio-political, economical, cultural and/or spiritual contexts.
The invisibility, the imperceptible and the insignificant are developed out of our contemporary context, becoming a zone blanche in our field of perception. Out if this awareness I realised a concern of how many of us become actually collectively unaware or inattentive for these everyday non-movements.
So, which aspects will you be addressing then?
The Counterpoint of a Movement in Excess started out of an observation which I analysed very carefully. In the beginning I was more interested in the physical part of the movement and in order to understand how waiting was being exposed I wrote scripts. The scripts seem nothing more to communicate than random gestures in which each gesture is almost equal to one another. As a reader you will try to differentiate these little actions in order to find an entertaining action. While writing these, non-spectacular, scripts I found a lot of similarities in this act of waiting as a level of everyday life as much as they also became a choreography, almost waiting to become activated again! They inscribe themselves in a moving pattern with an own scripture, rhythm, intensity, form and context. This became for me an entree to understand the body as a form, an object but also as a subject to question how the body becomes a site that is being subjected to social and political struggle? And how formats such as a script and/or a choreography design a certain character from this object- other than society is doing to our bodies - in which it represent mechanisms of power and draws back the act of waiting as one big (everyday) live rehearsal?
Another key topic in your work is the complex role of perception.
How do you perceive perception and according to this understanding how does this resonate into your work or research? How do you feel we treat these non-movements?
I am interested in our collectively unawareness and inattentiveness. How did we become so unaware and inattentive? Why and when did this happen? I comprehend perception as a close reading of someone, something or a situation related to a context. How might this reading evoke a feeling, a sensation or just an understanding towards it?
Unfortunately I observed that these close readings are increasingly accompanied by a numerous amount of lack. As it seems that we are no longer capable to watch, to interpret and/or to understand. It looks like if we tend to distance ourselves from someone, something or a situation, although this might lead to a number of conflicts, cause never before (almost) each contemporary individual is ingrained by so many voyeuristic qualities.
Out of these concerns/notifications I wonder how we might be able to find another way of perceiving. A different way of looking onto something then only by visuals. By installing intensified situations, questions such as “at what am I looking at and how do I experience myself - as a body - while looking at this?” My artistic discourse is also more about answering and questioning, questioning and answering and again answering and questioning in which I play with the distance and proximity of the spectator in order to invite to activate the viewers watching, interpreting and understanding.
However, other then this I tend to formulate that we treat our non-movements as equal... invisible!
So, we may consider ourselves as a voyeur?
Well, if we consider the concept of being a voyeur more into a wide(r) context. The epistemological understanding from being a voyeur is peeping. Peeping onto someone. Being in the position of peeping in our contemporary society resonates a lot of negative connotations but have you noticed that we actually already are involved into peeping? What about social media and how this non-physical creation provokes in each one of us a voyeur, not to mention how socio-political structures are taking advantage of this position too. Coming back to the question of being a voyeur… . I believe, as I mentioned before, that there is a voyeur hidden in each one of us. How are you behaving when watching an exciting crime series on Netflix? It first starts with you want to know more, to you become part of the story until you tend to identify yourself with one of the characters. So, why not becoming more aware and attentive toward someone who is waiting or combing their hair?
Yet, there is something very interesting in the idea of being a voyeur which is the experience of being caught. An Unheimlickeit is then taking over control. A question how to deal with an uncanny feeling towards the audience, towards the performer, towards the artwork itself, is a position I think is really fascinating to research. Is this posed onto or against? Am I allowed to look at it? What am I looking at actually?
I would like to come back on something you mentioned before about how non-movements are interrelated within socio-political structures and contexts?
Not only a socio-political context but also economical, cultural, religious, spiritual, etc. structures become part in the way we behave, move and act. When we have a closer look onto the process of The counterpoint of a movement in excess, I was in the beginning very much interested in how we wait, from a somatic point of view. Which kind of gestures the body undergoes related to the act of waiting, but I can not have a look onto the body without taking the time, the place and the situation (in which this waiting is manifesting itself), in consideration. So, it’s an and-and-and-story. From which position are we experiencing it? Waiting at a busstop to hopefully catch the bus on time or waiting in a refugee camp in which the thin line of being assigned or expelled from a new “home” installs a complete different shape on the act of waiting.
Aren’t there also questions of bodily counter-effects being posed according to these non-movements?
Acknowledging the body as a site for socio-political struggle, physical and emotional consequences arise, due to struggling from a situational context. I am also contemplating and taking these counter-effects in consideration in my artistic discourse. A thought which is vibrant in my thinking and understanding of how to share intimate and personal information with the audience. How to reveal and intensify a counter-effect (caused by a situation) with an audience? In this way I consider my research as a collecting of non-movements and a capturing of counter-effects from a non-movement in order to reveal everyday life as one big live rehearsal.