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

3 October 2012

uneventful approaching...

 

Set in a fantasy and ideal world where the labour of ‘working through’ performance can take time and place, can be housed and offer shelter, can be witness and witnessed, can live and let live, uneventful will take shape as a series of compositional vignettes, technical études, excerpts of imaginings, homages to bigger and greater artists that altogether exist in the space as enduring acts of love and labour, care and dedication.

  Competing forces within the markets of capitalism, love and labour are here worked on and through, side by side, to assist, associate and support dialogues that ‘speak across’ spaces, purposes, matters, bodies, tables and chairs in a frame that provides a creative configuration of public 'care' and attention.

  Not conforming to any dogma, yet we decide to steer away from spectacle, virtuosity, make-believe, involvement
 of the spectator and theatrical wiles. Rather, the idea is that these minimal, inconspicuous dealings may create, in the moments of performance being worked on, something of value without object or objective.

  The labour of attention we offer to the work is a mode of love. On the other hand, the willingness of others to ‘stay with’ the work – or not – is a form of being present in and to it that also demands a certain degree of love, attention, or at least regard. So love somehow endures in the space and time of performance labour as one may be drawn in or out, look in or away, lend an ear or a hand to the potential of the event to seduce with proximity without touch, or the possibility of feeling re/moved from the scene.

  Thus, the work of being present requires and elicits love and care. As performers and spectators, we will be autonomous subjects going about our respective business much like neighbors, in a sphere of non-interaction that does not preclude the possibility of cooperation and mutual aid. This same relationship and ethical dimension participates in Yvonne Rainer’s seminal and minimal work of art, Trio A, as she declares:

  My imaginary contract politely requests that you let me go about my business and I’ll let you go about yours. I shall pretend you’re not looking at me, so then I won’t have to look at you. And you in turn are free to watch me work without feeling you have to. From this perspective I can say, without rancour, that such an arrangement is not necessarily about you. It is about a life on the stage, or lives of performers. You just happen to be there.[1]

  Or, it’s about the love for labour and the labour of love, and we all happen to be there.

  So we will stand side-by-side, autonomous and independent, whilst showing a certain kind of care and regard for each other. Our respective activities and performances will peacefully coexist animated by the desire to ‘assist’ each other’s work and experience.

  We expect nothing of you, we give you the promise to be there, it will be free, we only ask, in return, to be attended, witnessed, if not loved.

Please come stay with us, if only for a day…

With love,

Annalaura & Fabiola

 

 



[1] This citation is taken from a transcript of Rainer’s 2009 performance-lecture Where’s the Passion? Where’s the Politics? Or How I Became Interested in Impersonating, Approximating, and End Running Around My Selves and Others’, and Where Do I Look When You’re Looking At Me?, which can be found here.

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