Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Finding reasons for myself

Again I was feelin utterly lazy today. I just did not want to do anything. I was checking and checking over and over again my emails but nothing came every second.
In a few words, I have to be honest, I just felt very lazy to work.
I met Leslie though who had come from France and we had a nice discussion about our works.
Leslie gave me a very concrete question I need to think about.
- How do I define war photography? what makes war photography? why is war photography different from anything else?
After some thought, I am starting to understand that it's better to use the term visual representations (not just photography) of atrocities/sufferings caused in war and/or conflicts, that have been disseminated in media. The visibility and public dissemination of these representation have offered them the power to be consider as historical evidence and thus to (re)write history. It is exactly the functions and methods of this power that my performance is talking about. In the course of the lecture I draw the difference between drawings, videos and photos and my focus goes to the latter as I believe it exercises the above power with a bitter and sharper bite.

It might not sound a big discovery but it worked for me as a chain reaction to start thinking and questioning other things.

-What are the parts of the choreographed performance that are influenced/inspired by the parts of the lecture?

As you all remember, there is a fictitious "choreographed performance" that is supposed to have already happened. And this "choreographed performance" was based on the theories of Susan Sontag. What I am doing with the "performance lecture" is I am trying to explain the rationale behind the "choreography".
That means of course that the "performance leture" is an explanation of the "choreography" and not that the "choreographed performance" is a decorative or complimentary/supplementary element of the "performance lecture". In a sense there is a subordination of the "performance lecture" (=a real event) to the "choreographed performance (= a ficticious event).
But, we all know that the event has never happened and that my research and creative process for the event and the caption was going on simultaneously. Therefore, I felt that I need to work further on this specific relationship between event and caption (the latter between the explication of the former). The following questions and answers are not for the audience. There are destined to be read by me in order to know exactly what I am doing and to help me feel more confident and coherent in my presentation.

To do that, I had to see what are my performance and lecture main contents?
Performance components:
Virginia Woolf's Image
Playmobil's Video of 9/11 photos
Video of Photos with mixed tags
Lecture components:
composition/ censorship
The question now is do all these elements correspond? If they don't work then elements of the lecture should be ommitted and others should be brought in to correspond to the performance components.
  • Well, the singing is pretty easy to say that it works on the idea of memory since it was clearly made on that reason.
But the rest?

  • I mean I liked Virginia's image but is there a direct correspondance to some theory or is it generally linked to the text of Susan Sontag? why then reenact Virginia's image and why not Mininamata ? Tough question... I think what I need to stress out is that the image of Virginia Wolf is connected to this idea of memory, that we only remember through photos and that other means of remembering are forgotten (that means that it is linked with memory). Of course the photo is made as an inspiration to Virginia's conviction that photography makes real what we the merely safe would prefer to ignore, but what I want to say here is that I need to find also a reason why showing this picture and not any other. It is because this photo (or perhaps its caption) holds a certain power to define the history and to tell us exactly how the spanish civil war was waging. The description of the caption is a description of the composition of the photo (we learn approximately the location, the props, the amount of people etc). In a few words the reenactment of the photo of Virginia Woolf can be explained by all 3 components of the lecture.
  • Playmobil's video of 9/11 is inspired by the "Here is New York" exhibition where the photos featured uncaptioned and anonymous because it was thought that everyone knows about the event. The video is a commentary on the threat of abolishing captions. Furthermore, the video is also inspired by the elaborate composition of the pictures and how the subjects are posing or are being posed. Now another thing is that the video for me shows parts that the photos have deliberately left out of the frame. The video thus works like the "uncensored"
  • version of the images. The video of photos with mixed tags is obviously inspired by the idea that the photo by itself does not say anything. It is the captions that give the (mis)understandings and (mis)interpretations of the photos.
Now that I know exactly what I think of the choreography I need to decide WHEN to show the choreographic element in connection to the lecture and also HOW MUCH OF THE ABOVE EXPLANATION do I give?
First of all I think I should try to avoid explaining my work as much as possible because the theory next to the choreography is already enough for people to make their interpretations and links. The above ideas, as I ahve mentioned, are there for me to feel I know the WHY (a quintessential question in theater and acting)
  • Virginia's Image comes as a prelude to the lecture. After showing it I will read Virginia's description. No more comment on the photo at this point
  • Video of photos and mixed captions. Circulates in Laban Plasma Screens. During the lecture I will refer to it when speaking on Captions
  • Video of Playmobil and 9/11. Will come after mentioning Iwo Jima/ Reichtag Berlin and the Vietnamese Police officer shooting a Vietcong prisoner and right before mentioning censorship. I will not give any reason why showing the video at that moment. So that if they want they link it with composition, or with captions or later on with censorship.
  • Singing. Singing comes at the very end of the lecture. In that sense I explain them the whole idea behind the song, but do not describe them what is going to happen when I start singing.
I think that this is the best way not to give in all my clues about the performance and not to make it easy/boring boring for the audience. I want it to be a process of active DISCOVERY of the links between the choreography and the lecture

List of Props
  1. Lego Turning Head Timer
  2. Laser Pointer
  3. Batteries for Laser Pointer (2 per rehearsal)
  4. Red tags with blue tak
  5. Photos put in the correct order
  6. Papers of the lecture script
  7. Table
  8. Chair
  9. 6-7 Playmobils
  10. White Masking Tape
  11. Pig Mask
  12. Microphone and lead
  13. Looper, lead and power cable
  14. Amplifier and power cable
  15. Alesis Air Fx, power cable and lead from alesis to amplifier
  16. Ipod and lead to stereo input
  17. 2 beamers, 2 VGA cables, 2 power supplies
  18. My laptop and adaptor for VGA cable
  19. Clothes
  20. Pavlos (relaxed, not stressed and warmed up)
Software and Videos to have ready
  1. Isadora with delay on 5 secs
  2. Video with Playmobils
  3. Video with Tags
Technical stuff still need to do:
  1. Iwo Jima Photo to print
  2. DVD burn of the video with mixed tags and hand it over to Karsten Tinnup
  3. Brief of 2 A4 pages
  4. Invitation to guests
What do I do ? I've searched everywhere... I have most probably thrown it in the bin accidentaly so that I free some space in my computer. I have the raw (=unedited) version that I could always re-edit. But am I happy with it? Could I shoot it better? But better would not be better... It would be TOO good... I like that it was soooo bad...
WHAT DO I DO ????????????????????????????????????????????????????
6 days before the performance, that's only something that can happen to me. FCUK

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