"Breakfast", 2001. Photo: Monali Meher/ Publicity

* For Marco Paulo Rolla

Nthe search to recognize feelings that emerged during the days when we were in seclusion, I recognize that one of them is to have in the body the memory of performative time, the self submission to restrictions to create situations where the public and the artist experience changes of state in the present tense, in solid matter and in the synesthetic space.

The performer will submit to all restrictions consistent with the proposal of the work and I am aware that, in the case of Covid-19, it is not a choice and we are forced to live this present time, to face loneliness, the self-perception of thoughts , good feelings of independence obtained in this solitude and ambiguous feelings, this to name some of the possible feelings in the deprivation of free will to come and go.

Time seems to run fast because we are in it at our own pace, the movement often slows down during the day, but with the passing of the hours much faster for the perception of those who live it in the daily life in which we were immersed in the past.

The clock moves away and time is a constant experience. The concept of Art and Life gains strength and is a mirror to help accept life as it is! In the present more than “perfect”.

At the beginning of the 50th century, artists understood the notion of Art and Life. The rich exchange of knowledge and realities that this friction can generate allowed, since then, the use of everyday objects, history, anthropology, attitudes and an infinity of materials, which allowed the recognition of the body as a work. This concept was more and more incorporated to bring a direct relationship between life and art. Experiments with performance around the world, from Dadaist actions to the great performance movement that invaded the arts in the 60s, 70s, XNUMXs and today, make this relationship explicit.

But what interests me the most here is the link we can make with what people are living with the situation of confinement and the rules of social movement. These are developing in us a sense of changes in the “body state” that we are experiencing and perceiving. Often, we don't want to feel, we're not prepared, but we miss the opportunity to calm down and breathe unhurried time. The performance artist uses time as a constructor of the image/landscape/event under the anxious gaze of the technological and industrial human being; imprints on the mind the experience of the body in motion over this time or, conversely, of the time in motion over the paralyzed body.

There is some similarity in the time that the pandemic has placed us with the time provoked by a long-term performance, considering that in performance, another time is constructed for a new perception to emerge. This is happening to everyone in their intimate space, in the present time and on the edge of the house/body. Within this limit, there is “risk”, which is another fundamental data of performance and is also around us now. The limit, in fact, is what gives us the freedom to expand because we know where to go and not let this contour go beyond without awareness and presence.

We have the opportunity to reconnect with our own sense of time in every action performed in this new system in which we are learning to be in the now.

As in a performance, we will place ourselves at the center of it, being the experiential body. Thus, many sensations of the anxious spectator will be diluted when experiencing the new space in which we live in the now, imponderable, as it is the situation in which we find ourselves.

The performer, in addition to moving through time, places himself in rituals that aim at these limits that are often misunderstood by those outside the observation and, by the irony of fate, very similar to what we are experiencing. The pandemic has put us in a new time in which it would be totally possible on a Monday to stop and breathe calmly, something unimaginable to experience before. We can relativize the impositions of the industry as the times of feeding, waking up, sleeping and many other aspects of our life today have been taken to a total derangement giving us a random reality like a material to be remodeled in time, which is so dilated it seems small.

Now, each of us can feel in himself how the performer uses his body, creating energy acquired in the restriction, reinventing the moment lived in the present! It is often uncomfortable, but by going through that moment, having submitted to all kinds of desired situations and possible accidents, he finds relief through another state that is reached when we focus on our perception. We will realize that, with the passage of time of confinement, we will start to gain new energy, adapting the psychological and the feeling of time.

Art teaches us that we can free ourselves from the logic in everyday life that we have been conditioned to and that we call reality in the imposed social ethics, in this way we can transmute the moment into bodily, aesthetic actions and actions on the time lived as in long-term performances.

We can quote here the Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh in his performance: ONE YEAR PERFORMANCE 1980–1981 (see here). He confined himself to a room for a year and every hour he recorded his presence on photo and film, day and night, for 24 hours, so a year resulted in 6 minutes of film. Again the perception of time on the body. In the words of the artist: “this performance can be seen as a continuous repetition, but in my perception, each hour lived intensely was not repeated, it was new, because we are in a process. The hardest thing was sleeping and waking up every hour, but in life it's the same, we're always waiting for the next hour, and we have to keep calm. A year is the time it takes the Earth to circle the Sun. Life is the condition of Life. Life is the passing of Time. Life is free thought.”

Submission to the lived moment is the fundamental basis of a performative action. But in Brazil, we have a lot of resistance to submitting to something, because we have a distorted, militarized and torturous notion of discipline, resulting from our experience in the military regime. Discipline and submission are very important to achieve evolutions in our being. The subject wants freedom, but there is no freedom without limits, because without knowing our contours, we lose shape in space.

Today, nature is giving us this outline, creating a virus that, in a very lively way, with very creative energy, returns to man the violence deposited in this nature of which we are a part.

In order to create a long-term performance, it is necessary to create strategies to recognize this contour, repetitions that are renewed at each moment, as in an improvisation game. Many may think that improvising is done without knowing it, but on the contrary, improvisation requires, a priori, the knowledge of a basis of form, and so we can expand and take risks because we know where to return safely, as well as to return home. in our daily life. The regular event creates the recognizable form, a basis, for the unconscious and chance to occur without getting lost in the delusion and the emotional.

Body improvisations demand attention in time, space and with the other. Since I understood that movement and the body were an important material in my language, I submit this body to different trainings such as: swimming, yoga, dance, meditation, etc… psychically and bodily, a new state. Improviso, trained in music and dance, gave me the ability to deal with unexpected events as an integral and desired part of the work.

Who knows, maybe this notion lived by us can bring an understanding and approximation of people on the premises created in a long-term performance, to express life with the bodily experience lived in time?

The opportunity here is to create awareness of your own limits and expand, honing the spirit and functioning of the entire etheric, energetic and kinesthetic body. Time is suspended like a performance, but how many times can we stand to be the spectator of a performance for 2 hours? Today we can locate ourselves within this timeless space and stop being the one who watches to assume their presence in life, stopping feeling trapped and dependent on flat screens, cold lit, so as not to feel isolated. These screens are very important instruments at this moment where we cannot materially connect to the other. It is the only safe system of dialogue and contact with the material and needs of Life. But, we can now that the capital functions that make us live in the rush have slowed down, rest our eyes and look inside, accepting the time of reflection, introspection and experience of the self. As lonely as this experience may seem, it is being lived by all humans on Earth. Whoever does not submit to it will disintegrate!

Leave a comment

Please write a comment
Please write your name