Some refections on this past performance.
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Reflections on Performance Art as Self-Transformation
I want to keep this thought brief because of other deadlines and because any further thought will require the need for isms and ists, which I at times don’t have the stomach for. Yes these things are required to be properly descriptive, but like I hope to express, sometimes definitions restrict thought, which restricts understanding and action.
I do hope to be clear as much as I hope to release these thoughts that I have been experiencing at this moment.
If I would allow my definition of what I do be said with my own thoughts I would say I don’t consider myself a Performer or a Dancer. I may perform and I may dance but titles such as these, in my minds eye, present a certain definition and restrict understanding. We all dance and to some extent we all perform, this I do believe.
My approach to my performance work is much like the approach one might take with a ritual to cause change, i.e. an Initiation Ritual, or moving slightly away from the sacred, a traumatic episode in ones life that enables a change of course. I see now that this is one of the reasons I try to stay away from a fully choreographed movement piece. Within every performance work I have done there have always been variables that are known and variables that will be known once the work has been completed. These problems could only be solved within the piece. These variables are technical variables and also personal restructuring variables. I have been criticized before for not having all my answers ready at will, but this is my art, myself, my growth. That is not to say I am not structured in my approach. If the viewer sees the beauty in the answers I am delight. My hope is that they find beauty in my voyage. I mustn’t ask for much from my viewer though. We all have our bias and our limits. I say this in human terms not in fabricated IQ terms. You cant see what I am thinking just as I cant feel what you are feeling, but that is where the delight lies, in the quest to understand.
Some of these concepts I am speaking of ironically are hard to speak of. I feel that there are something’s in this world that are unspeakable. Just like we can try to describe a flavor but the only real way to know is to taste it. This I think occurs with understanding and creating. At times I feel things can only occur with in a piece with the right variables that can not be explain, but do have a profound effect on me and my understanding.
This last performance piece, “a Sentient Approach, a Cybernetic Reproach” I do feel changed me profoundly. It is strange to see a concept develop a tangent to reemerge years later thinking it had long been forgotten seeing that it was still developing subdermally. This is one of those things I have trouble explaining. I think the human mind has the capacity to process information in ways that are not as linear as we wish it would be, that’s not to say it can’t be as helpful in the same regards.
There seems to be a checklist somewhere stored in my mind. Periodically I realize something that I have just accomplished has been on that checklist and has now been fulfilled. Sometimes without knowing I had put it there long ago. This is how I feel about this piece.
One thing I would like to note. For a few years now I have started to factor in a variable in the performances that would physically linger after. I have chosen henna. I enjoy the aesthetical addition to the bodywork and the lasting reminder of the transformation, be it permanently or a temporary transformation. It is for me only but depending on where it is located it becomes something I have to deal with outside of myself, which further propels the transformation.
There is one more thing I would like to divulge; the performance high I get after the piece is completed and the coming down I have after. The high is very interesting, I feel more present but at the same time apart. The following day I feel very irritable and moody. It’s a strange occurrence that I know I have to be ready for. Especially now that the work becomes more charged emotionally and conceptually.
Well I should leave it at that.
We all use belief to stand on, be careful what you might be standing on.