Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Performing the Unperformable

Reading the first Chapter of Craig Dworkin’s No Medium, about the blank page and how many artists and writers have published and displayed blank pages of varying length, width, dimensions, and what each of them means and now I am wondering if there is a performance piece in here.

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What would a refusal to paint and to write signify in capitalism, in the time of war, in a time of oppression? It doesn’t have to be an apolitical gesture. It could be an extremely political gesture. Which political gesture, though, do I want to make?

I am thinking, as always, about Anne Bogart's statement/assertion that every choice is an act of violence, foreclosing every other choice. Thus, blankness is also a way of avoiding the violence inherent in choices.

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I think about Yoko Ono's all-white chess pieces. They are not blank -- are not a blank page or a blank canvas, and yet they are both white like the blank page and the blank canvas, and they do represent a refusal.

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Again, and always, I come back to this. What would it mean to not write a paper?

The question of "Can the subaltern speak?" Of course they can. But will they be heard? Understood? Outside of their own context? But can any of us speak and be heard outside of our own communities anymore?

How can that be communicated through this performance? How do you perform refusal – particularly in solo performance? And why am I always trying to write the unwriteable, perform the unperformable? Is this also what this performance is about and why these types of works are so interesting to me? How do you perform ambiguity without telling the audience through programs and statements that this is your point?

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This reminds me of the book I was just reading, Love and Math, about very advanced problems in math that are so unsolvable that they are virtually (or actually) theoretical. This performance, these questions, are unperformable, unsolvable, and therefore on the edge of performance theory, technically speaking. Unless someone has already found a way to do this and I am just not aware of it.

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