JOURNAL is a process diary, monthly digest of choreographic work as well as containing reflections, dialogs, notes and contemplations. It subscribes itself to diverse formats and forms, changing as it goes along, and shaping itself out of the requirements of the moment at hand.
What We Did This Summer

Change

Day 1:

We could say that every ideology in command consists of three elements: the reinforcing one, the opposing one and the one proposing something new (else). Each element taken separately has its own specific problems. The reinforcing element, the one that wishes to keep things as they are established, is mainly concerned with the reinforcement of the current state. Its main argument would be the fact that the current state is the current state and therefore probably the best choice at the moment, probably also with a history of becoming. The opposing element exists as a contrapunctual to the reinforced one. It is usually simply its opposition and exists only in a reactionary state. Its main problem lies in a moment of its realization, that means, when we think this to the end – the final goal of the opposing element is to become the reinforcing one. The third element also functions as a reaction to the first reinforced state but instead of opponent its solution lies in proposing something new, else or different. It is kind of a better software then the opposing one, since it has realized that the closed reinforce-oppose circuit does not really takes things a step further but it only temporary switches the roles. The problem, though, of the third element is that it is never quite possible to remove all aspects of the "old" elements (except we are heading for complete destruction and starting from zero) so they have to be somehow integrated in to the new picture, evolutionized, reorganized. The similar will have to be made for the opposing element since without the state on which it opposes the opposing element loses its main purpose and becomes unnecessary – which it will surely resist.

This mechanism of an ideology occurred to me as a some sort of personal focus during the days, precisely said, as some sort of formula whose elements are laying around and waiting to be, literally, em-bodied.

 

Day 2:

Seemingly simple task of changing the body material in very short minute phases without interruption, where each next phase should differ in a body language, dramatic potentiality, dynamic and/or tempo, energetical state, possible narrative or else brought the essential question: what does really change? does it changes at all in the terms of the body? and: how the change occurs?

After doing the first few rounds of the task we soon realized that the body has by itself its own repertoire, which it can offer in the fast pace of change. It has it also in a slower pace, only that it has more time to transform, but the result is a similar one. The very interesting thing to look closer at was: what is this repertoire about? Looking over the usual which approximately body technique am I relying on realization, the more substantial field that I observed appearing would be: which body, ideology or body-ideology am I, purposely or not, proposing with my dance?

I realized that the usual paradigm of broadening the body vocabulary could be just partially true; if I am then (even just on the level of speculation) everything than I am probably very close to be whatever than to be every ever. The second thought that I had was that the paradigm of readiness to be everything in the terms of the body, supports also a certain ideology in itself – ideology to be at the service all the time all the way. I would say that the very complication to change instantly brought the actual change in body thinking: if I am more my very body as it is possibly possible, than the change, or the potentiality for a variation will occur almost as a reflex to this starting point. If I treat my body as an unnamed, unclassified ideology in itself then all three elements of reinforcing, opposing, proposing something else will be active within. Activating all of those three positions simultaneously will produce a certain system hack, or if we would like to describe it in another way, a certain moment of zen where things are and are not simultaneously, producing the small tunnel for a genuine evolution of the body activation.

Day 6:

Another task which was occupying me close to this issue was the task of starting at the zero. In another words the task was: if there is no theme, no concept, no task of any kind what is the departure point if there is just the body not obliged to do anything. If we are able to put to a side for a moment the self-search-things thing or technique (which is already a task, so this is not it anyhow, but just to be clear) from a chorographical point of view, that is – from the point of view what dance is to be proposed, this was an impacting thought that developed within me conquering this task. Then: if no dance has or could have be proposed what so ever, if no standing point or any point in general has to be claimed, if there is no standing point or point at all, if there is no even "freedom to do what we want" because wanting also does not have to be the trigger, in fact there is no trigger of any kind – then the genuine revolution of the body activation can take place – in this very not taking place place.

 

Source

This was the tricky one. The original idea was to use extern sources that we individually brought, to see what kind of the material could be extracted from it and transformed to the choreographical proposal. It was interesting to observe that the proposals of sources were mostly other pieces of art: books, texts, videos, music, photos, concepts of other artist, architecture, film. The pieces or excerpts that can without problems stand on their own. So even if we digest them mentally and combine them, the actual choreographical activation would be reduced to execution of the proposed, at this point, mostly narrative starting point. I realized that the actual source in itself was not the actual proposed fragment but the idea behind it. Or even already in this point, the next step to express it through a source, is already putting the idea in to the world, using it as a tool or “language” to communicate the very idea that lies behind it. We could also say that in order to communicate an idea on any level, we gather different mediums, excerpts and hints around it to give it a first output, the first existence. Important thing in treatment of a source is a, even in minimal extent, the mutual history of a source genesis. In order to link the ideas behind sources, we need to have some mutual point to be able to propeller them fruitfully.

Further down the line, as we already were about to bring larger chunks of proposed movement material, I was very intrigued in Meg’s concept of endurance. Already a long time ago I dismissed in my own work the idea or dramaturgy of development, because I realized there is no actual exit – at the end – it is just what it is, it is just what is taking place in that frame of moment. In that context, the proposal of endurance enveloped to me as a proposing something else-element. Exploring endurance to its maximum extent will let the idea behind it come through, in a very direct and actual way.

 

Rain

Letting the actual point to reveal through engaging instead of simulating, either through the distancing from it or setting it as a subject of irony, it could be the way for the dance occurrence which is genuine as possible in a, by default, phantasmagoric space of a theatre activation.

When that cardboard scenography in Meg’s evening performance for one dancer titled "Blessed" started to lose its shape and fall down because of the water pouring down the stage ceiling for more than hour, letting the single dancer actually engaging and actually enduring, something of a system hack took place. It made the space where it happened no longer only the presentation theatre space of whichever artistic or conceptual statement but it transformed it to the occurrence space, the taking-not taking place space. Until the moment, in the last part of the piece, when the Vegas-Entertainment-Phantasmagoria-New Economy-girl walks in, at the moment when the endurance is brought to its over-maximum, Victor Pelevin would say that the “transformation of the Latin saying Homo homini lupus est to the wow-factor” took place.

The last thing I would like draw to the light from my notes-with-Meg is the one about the choreographic act being the act of the personal relationship of an author with a factor of time. In an abstract way. But also in a simple how long something has to, can or should last.

And the very last, that says something about just hanging in there, kind of to be in between two intense points. Adorno would say that, when Wittgenstein states that we have to talk only about the things that we are able to state clearly and to be silent about the ones that we are not able to state clearly, that that, true, sounds very heroic, but that this, very well known Wittgenstein’s sentence, is actually vulgar as it can get because it oversees the solely activity that philosophy does: and that is to express using the tools of terms what with the tools of terms can not be expressed, end yet, to express it. And that that is possible through the medium of language, which is capable of keeping the terms and simultaneously changing them, using the temporal value which the very language gives them.

 

Published: 01/10/07

Process themes of the research with choreographer Meg Stuart on the project “Everyday Heroes/Extern Sources” at Impulstanz Festival in Vienna 2007. Written by: Marjana Krajač