Posts Tagged ‘Bram Vreeswijk’
In that essay Vreeswijk writes:
Lacan “calls ‘identification’ ‘the transformation that takes place in the subject when he assumes an ‘image’. In the mirror stage this is an identification with the image of oneself, but (later) it can also be with the image of another person.” In a footnote, Vreeswijk adds: “I believe that Lacan’s concept also includes the possibility of identification with the image of ‘things’”.
This reminds me of Jacques Rancière’s use in his discussion of cinema, of the object-image precisely because he claims that those best qualified to convey intense feelings are those inanimate objects which feel nothing.” (cited by Louis Armand in Solicitations). Rancière argues that the object-image allows the suspension of representation and aesthetic effect because mute objects
speak better. Signification is better embodied in their reality than in expressive faces, voices and attitudes. They don’t think, they feel nothing, and they are unable to lie. Meanings are written directly on their body. This means that they fulfill the representative function – the matching of demonstration and signification – better than any discourse and gesture… Second, they don’t speak at all; they mean nothing. They are not signs, only things. As a consequence they add to their function as reliable clues a contrary function, that of suspending any kind of decision, action or interpretation. (from “Godard, Hitchcock and the Cinematographic Image”, cited by Armand, 96)
So prior to an affective or representational ‘thing’ there is the “rhythmos or trait of a general perturbation..a crucial ambivalence in the formal status of the perceptory event.” (in Armand’s words, 97), which when translated to dance, I think would be the equivalence of the fragmented body that precedes any individual identity.
Tricky job though, incorporating object-oriented philosophy into performance art, without rendering obsolete the performer..what would an object-oriented performance art look like?
Dutch performance artist Bram Vreeswijk put up a new website. He writes about his own orientation:
“At the moment I am particularly interested in the issue of watching a moving body versus watching an ‘image’ (whatever that may be). A source of inspiration for this research is the work on ‘the split between the eye and the gaze’ of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jacques Lacan. I read their discussion of vision as an extension in the scopic field of Georges Bataille’s fight with language in the ‘Inner Experience’.”
His performances always have something distinctly unheimlich about them. I spoke to one person who was at a complete loss about how digest her experience of attending on of Vreeswijk’s performances. This probably has something to do with the fact that, as far as I understand at any rate, it is Vreeswijk’s intention to incorporate the audience into his performances in a way that causes them to question their identity, and their presence in relation to him as performer (‘The Disappearance’ for example, takes place on all sides of the audience and ‘solicits’ from them, a becoming-other.
There is an essay, available on his site, which I still have to read properly; ‘Towards an understanding of presence (in theatre) as movement within and between bodies‘. Scanning through it now one interesting point is dancer Seon-ja Seo’s technique and use of disjunctive movements to create a becoming-multiple, a fragmented body meant to keep the audience’s attention close to the moment itself.
Striking because of the parallel with Silliman’s New Sentence and other paratactical techniques in poetry also used to actively engage the audience/reader and destabilize supposed ideas of identity. Maybe there are more interesting comparisons to be made (first will read the whole essay..)
Some samples: a recent film I just watched: ‘The Experience’
A one-minute film, ‘The desire to become an Indian’”
One part from the performance piece ‘The Disappearance’: