[-empyre-] creative powerlessness, expressive violence, performance

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 19 16:23:04 EST 2014


Reading Monikas very powerful and intuitive statements and going back
to what Alan and others wrote, something struck me: we talk a lot
about healing, but suppose we don't need to be healed? I mean the idea
of a healthy society is ludicrous, there is not a healthy society in
the world.
The Nordic countries, seen by many as paradise on earth, are the
countries with the highest amount of suicides in the world (followed
quite near by my own birth country Uruguay) and a kind of chronical
depression.
Is the US healthy? Of course not, a country ravaged by violence,
random killings, with the highest carcelary population in the world
and millions living in poverty, is not a healthy society.
Maybe the ambition should be heal enough to be able to take care of
others, I want live in a society where the poor and the voiceless are
seen as equally worth, a real polyphonic society as Bachtin
formulated, a society where all voices are worth to be heard.
Ana

On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 1:43 AM, Monika Weiss <gniewna at monika-weiss.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Healing, placing shrouds over the wounded body of the world… In my native language “shroud’ relates etymologically to a ‘kiss’ as much as it also is about burial. Washing (lava me). Covering, lying down (keimai), enshrouding, touching, marking, and keeping together, silently (sustenazo).
>
> But I often wonder if we should try to also keep the wound partially open. An open wound ‘kept’ and maintained as a form of re-enactment. This is postmemory but not only in the way Marianne Hirsh defines it as a memory inhabited by next generations (relating to intra-familial historical trauma especially children of Holocaust victims). Not only the generations AFTER. I think of memory as also happening TOWARDS (Adorno’s statement could be translated both ways as ‘away from/after/post-’ but also as ‘towards’). Our memory of things past and of things arriving, barely visible, merging, at the horizon of history, au delà (Derrrida’s ‘la borde’). Across not only generations but also geographies, genders, systems… how to heal but not seal/not to close, not to forget (Renais’ “I am forgetting you already”). There needs to be an opening left, a way for the archive to leak through TOWARDS, for the lament to flow through the archive, for the past to pollute the present, just enough to wake up from our collective amnesia and to counteract the practice of forgetting. We need to hear the voices of those forgotten, tortured, killed, disappeared, raped and abused by various systems of oppression. Over the years I have gradually moved towards working with others, towards creating openings and holes within the work to allow the flow of contingency of others. Squares, cities, volunteers, passersby, participants, inhabiting. The site as the public space or as the space of film and of sound recording . Participants told me how they felt a kind of profound transformation, just being there, inside the space of lamentation. Later, after being recoded, recomposed, voice by voice, presence by presence, it was all becoming a film, a record,  a choral testimony, an image.   After and towards, incantation, the refrain which seem to move both directions at once, towards and away from. Lament as a form of direct dialogue with loss, a choral dialogue, contingent, echoing and return (even if only possible for the brief moment of our ascending/descending). Lament as dangerous because of its transformative and shared membrane. Lament as political, because of its ability to pollute the public space.
>
> Yes, perhaps it is all perlocutionary as Simon writes. But the problem that I am experiencing now is the overwhelming volume of sound of violence that seems to increase every day. I feel flooded, drowning in the deafening sound of violence and terror. The unheard yet equally loud voices of the victims surround me. I think of Wojnarowicz tonight and how he was feeling too much volume as he was trying to wave his silent arms.
> Monika
>
> p.s.
> Reading these days Martin Shuster’s Autonomy After Auschwitz and Concentratory Cinema, edited by Griselda Pollock and Max Silverman
>
> On Nov 18, 2014, at 4:21 AM, Fereshteh Vaziri <fervaziri at yahoo.de> wrote:
>
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I always think about the question raised by Alan, "How can art heal?" I don't know if it can, but it can surely hinder us from going completely down. By expressing our fears and anxiety in our works, by performing them on the stage, by portraying them in our poetry and in our stories, we can reduce our inner pressure. Simultaneously, we can tell other people who suffer from the same fears that they are not alone in the world; there are many people who suffer. I tried to express it in my play, "Homeland was no Portable Violet." The protagonist, who has experienced a trauma in her islamic homeland and doubts the effectivness of pychotherapy in a world full of violence, war and joblessness, tries to heal herself by writing a play. Many of the spectators told me that they could very well identify with the protagonist.
>
> Fereshteh
> Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> schrieb am 21:28 Montag, 17.November 2014:
>
>
>
>
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
>
> [encryption tests 2]
>
>
> A question was raised, by Alan Sondheim [Saturday, November 15, 2014]
>
>
> :: How can art, art performance, performance, heal, help
> one make it through the day, inspire one, against this background of
> continuous performance [of violence], where everything, lives, cultures, languages, are
> at stake? ::
>
>
> Why not make a concerted effort and look into this question over the next few days.
> Yoko had sent us a link to the description of "OCCUPIED"  [< I attempt to perform “occupation”.>]
>
> http://ishiguroyoko.info/iroiro/OCCUPIED.html
>
>
> and Fereshteh's new play was just premiered last weekend at the Iranian Theatre Festival in Cologne.
> I look forward to hearing more about your experience writing and staging this play which is, I surmise, about trauma of exile
> or loss of home.
>
> Then I imagined we could have a dialectic also with Hamed Taheri's acclaimed political performance piece "Home is in our Past", which is about 10 years old,
> and hear perhaps further feedback to Pier Marton's ideas on catharsis compared to Reinhold Görling's  provocative commentaries on
> the mise en scène of violence in film -- can you elaborate on Joshua Oppenheimer’s film „The Act of Killing“?  I have read powerful reviews but
> have not yet seen it and am trying to imagine such a "documentary." A bizarre kind of cinema verité, asking the death squad leaders to re-perform themselves?  as you suggest, "but showing that step by step by re-enacting their crimes at least some of them start to weaken the dissociative dynamics and begin to feel their responsibility"?
>
> Could you address this form for re-performance or enactment?
>
>
> Olga writes:  <I wish for the theatrical responses that have a power to crystallise the matters, to make things more clear......The subject of war actually renew my interest in realism in performance practice.>
> What is the "wrestling with the hard texts" you spoke of? Islam's hard texts?
>
> Erik comments on re-presentation: "to represent killing by killing is anti-performance."  <...represented by other means in the sense that the floor didn't need to be swept or if it did that wasn't the point - what was being represented was the labor, above the activity, or specifically spectatorship... so the work of sweeping transferred to the work of watching sweeping?>  Could you comment further on the work of transference, or what Taussig calls the "understood" commonplace of taboo, and hence transgression (each mutually implicated)?
>
>
> Yoko, no snow flakes here as yet, so Yuki-onna cannot yet enjoy her winter life. But I imagined her,
> last weekend on the Holostage, holding our her particled hand.
>
> Here is one mythic version of Yuki-onna the water beggar (from Tottori prefecture):
>
> The Yuki Onna travels on the wind, and appears on days with a light snowfall.
> She walks through the town swinging a white Gohei wand, and shouting “Please give me water—hot or cold!” to anyone she meets.
> If you give the Yuki Onna cold water, she swells in size.
> If you give her hot water,
> she melts and disappears.
>
>
>
> - - - -
>
> Johannes Birringer
>
>
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