Saturday, 14 June 2008

(new) Text # 6.943.603

A big failure.
After having made a great script for a lecture, I tried to learn parts of it by heart. I felt quite comfortable with it because there was a logical line and also I felt like I really knew what I was taking about. The script gave me a lot of security.

By the end of the evening, I tried to perform the whole text to see how it goes.

Already in the first 6-10 min, I felt quite tired and bored and I couldn't keep my concentration. I was feeling sooooo bored. Anyway, because the camera was filming I had no chance to get distracted. I could only keep on going.
Somewhere in the middle (page 8 or 9 out of the 16) I felt that this lecture is taking quite long. I also heard someone and I guessed it might be the guard locking the school. I checked out from the window and I didn't see anything, so I kept on working. But hearing more noises, feeling that the time is really passing by, I decided to check out the time. It was already 18.00. I was naked in the room, ready to be discovered by the guard for being late and not having left the building earlier. Oh my god. I panicked.
Look at this :)

I looked back at it, and it was DEADLY BORING. I am not kidding you. If my piece was about boredom, I could have a great performance. Naive boring, but boring. I was really dissapointed. I had arrived on page 8 out of 16 and had spoken for about 40 min. MY GOD. And imagine that in this time I havent shown even half of my photos, nor did I sing or show the playmobils video.
3 days before the performance. And here I am still struggling out with Susan. I hate her to be honest.

What do you do now?
So what I said to myself is that I need to approach the whole performance anew. What do I need? What do I like? What do I not need? Can I arrange differently?
I said to myself that I could suggest completely crazy ideas with the material I already had, so that I can open my mind a bit, and then I could return to the more practical basis of 3 days still.
Here is some ideas from my brainstorming:
- Create a space full of playmobils already "dead' and the video showing, the song playing. The people come in more like visitor to an installation than audience, red tags on the wall, laser pointer playing
- Have two big desks of photos, take any photo, stick it on the wall, while singing
- Show photos say maximum 4 words for each photo, stick a red tag.
- Read captions without stopping, then sing the song, show photos without stopping or pausing, show playmobils video and virginia woolf's image
- Become the pig and start saying the description of virginia's image

(new) Rules to make your text for a performance (draft #1.097)
Well, after having opened a bit my mind about the structure, I decided that the best possibility for me would be to do the following:
- Identify parts of the theory that I have used to create my "choreography".
- Print out thumbnails of the photos and spread them over your bed. Organize them in groups of meaning, time, subject, whatever you might want.
- Pick up those groups that you need to explain the theories above. Take the rest out.
- Put the pictures you have chosen and put them in such an order so that the arguments of the theory can come through.
- Now, try to speak as little as possible per picture. Avoid saying the theory(=give a caption) as much as possible.
- Always give the following information: date, place, photographer. The rest might not be needed. Make sure you can come through your ideas without any sauce or cherry topping.
Click on the image below to see my example:

Green circle is questioning reality of documentation through the idea of composition and (self)censorship
Blue circle is about the power of captions to give the meaning to a photo/document
Yellow circle is about memory and how photo/document works

Well it wasn't a failure after all
Making these coloured circles, I realised that I would never have arrived to them if I hadn't written the script. In a sense, they are almost the same groupings that the text is indicating. I needed to write the text to put my thoughts in an order. But now it is about time to get rid of my text to leave the presentation more free again. This game between attachment and detachment for the text (either that being mine, or Susan Sontag's or mine+ Susan's) is really tiring. But I am happy to have taken this step.

New Try out on New Text

So, now that was a try out of the "new" text. That is approximately 10 mins and is a little bit more than half of the lecture. I am happy as far as timing is concerned.
My worries however now are the following:
  • Is this new mode of delivering the text, allowing space for the text to exist? or is there a lot of movement and a lot of thing happening that people don't really care about what i say ?
  • I should keep two different tones of delivering the text: (a) a sharp and strict one, almost mechanic just giving the very basic of a caption, namely year, place, photographer and (b) a more lose and discursive character when giving comments on the photos. Maybe I could also define spaces for doing each. Meaning on the table I give the year, in the middle of the room (while walking, not stopping) I give the place, on the wall I give the photographer, I turn to the audience and give my comment (if needed). I don't know that's an idea
  • How do I keep my presence strong, without being slow nor very mechanic, boring or alienated from the audience. How much do I speak with the audience?
  • Technically speaking, where do I put the photo to stand? how can it still make noise? What about Susan Sontag totem?
There are only 4 places left to attend my performance on Wednesday. If you are interested in coming, send me an email or phone me. Entrance is for free but audience is restricted. Just as a reminder nudity and images of violence are included. Not recommended for under 18.

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