rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance
3. Potentials of Performance

30 May 2012

Impossible Dialogues: a solo


   This project does not explore –through a dialogue– the question of the potential of performance. Rather it explores together the themes of potential, performance and dialogue, tracing its own process through their relationship, without yet trying to define or structure this relationship.

   Technically (and somewhat paradoxically) this project is in fact a monologue. But nonetheless it is still a dialogue, or rather the quest for a dialogue, in that it always directs itself to an outside. Moreover, it actually stages (found) monologues in terms of a dialogue, or else composes a dialogue through the staging of monologues.

   The project is comprised of three elements. First, a blog: This constitutes, and documents, the process through which the project unfolds: here I will be posting every week one more component of this impossible dialogue, making use exclusively of found texts.

   Second, three entries on the Performance Matters website (this one is obviously the first one of those), where I will be speaking in my own voice, that, as I expect, will create three folds to the process of the research.

   Third, the live element of the process: a presentation or/and performance that will constitute the last stage of this research project and will stem from the material through which the process unfolded in ways yet to be discovered.


Beginning: the question or the aim is to get out

   So we have been asked a question: the question of the potential of performance. In order to create a project we must ask the question again, or ask the question back, or repose the question – and thus find our way through and out of the question.

   The aim, Deleuze writes on the first page of the book Dialogues II (co-authored by Claire Parnet and originally commissioned as a conventional interview project)is not to answer the questions: the aim is always to get out of the question – the art of constructing a problem is very important. This passage is the first entry on my blog, thus it is where the passage of this project itself starts to unfold: a passage out of the question of performance potential and towards a potential performance.

   Thus the project starts, as we start thinking of performance potential – and of potential dialogues on performance potential – as a problem. Asking the question again: when or how does the potential of performance, or its question, become problematic? How or why is a dialogue on the potential of performance problematic or perhaps impossible? And if the questions are too general, can we make them more general instead of making them more specific? Is there any potentiality in the performance of those, with whom no one is willing to dialogue? Is there any potentiality in the performance of a solo dialogue?

   My monologue promises to become a dialogue, as it addresses itself to members of the public, silent majorities, obscured minorities, unemployed performers and terrorized civilians. My dialogue promises to become a performance by unfolding through the potential of having nothing to say, no one to speak to and no potential whatsoever.





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