domingo, outubro 22, 2006

projecto de documentação.



06/09/26 13:16

JX — Hi Rogério. Are you there? I am home and online for this next hour.
RNC — Great. I'm here. Have you received my e-mail?
JX — Got the email and took a peek at the websites. But it would be good for me to hear from you what you are thinking.
RNC — Of course...
JX — Do you know the american performance artist/film director Miranda July? Looking at your websites make me think of some of the things she is doing: here and here and here.
RNC — I'm on the phone... just a minute...
JX — OK. Get back to me when you are done.
RNC — Back.
JX — OK.
RNC — I've heard about this artist. I have to know her work better... Yes, there are some similarities. I would like to try to make a sort of "résumé" of this documentation project, instead of explaining to you the whole project...
JX — She just came to mind. Something like a kindred... spirit. The performance of the mundane. The train ride. The awareness of a moment for what it is. The specialness of the things we don't see. When you say "résumé", what do you mean? And documentation project — what do you want to document
RNC — Well, this project [Vou A Tua Casa] lasted for 3 years, from 2003 until now. It's a trilogy, indeed: the first part happens in people's houses, the second part in public places and the third in my own house.
JX — So, I assume you have lots of material. Stories, experiences, video, audio, etc... Luís told me a bit about his experience of doing this with you. ....what would also be good for me is to hear your first thoughts on how you imagine working with me.
RNC — Yes. I have to document all these materials and experiences...
JX — Do you have an idea about the way/s in which you want to document them?
RNC — ...because during the last years it was always very difficult for me to make it in a more "traditional" way. For instance: it was almost impossible for me to take videocameras into people's houses... But there are plenty of things I can do now, using the spectator's memory and mine as well...
JX — I know you are preparing a book. At least this is what I understood from Luís. When you say "traditional" is it possible to also say "accessible" to larger groups? From the website it seems that the performances are intimate and personal experiences. Is part of the question how to let others know about these experiences?
RNC — Uhmm... not really; when I say traditional, I mean that there is a kind of normal way for documenting a performance: you take pictures, for example. But this project puts me in a very different position, because of that intimacy, exactly...
JX — Are you interested in finding an appropriate traditional way of documentation? Or are you interested in finding another form? In a different position, how?
RNC — I'm interested in finding another form. Take a camera to the performances, for instance; I never did that...
JX — Intimacy seems crucial and antithetical to the documentation in traditional ways, which will inevitably blow apart the intimacy....
RNC — Exactly. That's why I'm making these experiences of contacting the spectators in another time. Last year I made that with a lady from Torres Vedras that had seen my performance at her house in 2004. It's a very interesting piece of film that I would like to show you. I think that it can be a possible solution for this new way of documenting that I want to find.
JX — What do you mean by "in another time"? Can you describe the film to me? Or is there a way to see it? Different question: can you tell me a bit about the residency? What you are expected to do, both from APAP's side and from your own?
RNC — Wow, so many questions... Starting:
JX — Sorry.
RNC — 1. In another time: I made the performance for this lady in 2004 and I came back to her home, in order to film and memorize what happened, in 2005 (more or less one year after)...
JX — Interesting.
RNC — 2. The film is me with the camera talking with the lady and her son (that saw the performance as well), and they are explaining to me what happened in their house, taking me to the places they still remember, showing me pieces of paper and other left-overs I forgot, etc... It's interesting because they remember things that I forgot completely but when they recall them, I immediately remember them; and the opposite as well: I start to remember things when I'm filming... And this is a very "emotional" thing for me, because I'm being confronted all the time with the specialness of the things I made and I said to those people...
JX — It's also interesting because of the word in english "to remember". Re-member or to put together again. It is a second "performance" in and of itself. I imagine it must be very emotional.
RNC — Absolutely! You're right when you say that it's another performance, which is very curious...
JX — Tell me about your residency and the work you have ahead of you for these next few months through APA...
RNC — ...because I never thought that this Documentation Project would be so "performative"... OK, the residency: well, I will direct a workshop about all these questions, with different groups of people...
JX — (It is also an interesting 2nd performance, because the people you did the piece with before find themselves in another role as co-creators. They re-create the event that happened previously along with you. You seem to be put more "equal" ground).
RNC — (You're completely right!...)
JX — OK. Sorry. Your workshop...
RNC — Yes, each workshop/group of work will last for only one day.
JX — And what will you do with them?
RNC — I will try to challenge the 'workshoppers' to make their own Vou A Tua Casa project...
JX — Great.
RNC — I will give them all the theoretical information they need... and... well, their projects don't have to have a "materialisation"; they just have to put their thoughts and ideas on the paper and discuss them. During the residency I will also make an installation, with various materials concerning the Vou A Tua Casa project: photos, videos, objects...
JX — (An element that I find interesting and moving is the empowering nature of this intimate space. Both for the people you have performed with and for, as well as the workshoppers. It sounds like you open up an awareness and the validity of the intimate space as a place for personal actualisation).
RNC — And also the materials that are being used by the collaborators of the book (Luís wants me to invite one collaborator for each day of the installation that could be there and explain why he/she chose those references). (The things you've been putting between () are great! You're really accompanying my thought...)
JX — Good.
RNC — So, there's the workshop and there's the installation... There will also happen a performance, made entirely by a Portuguese choreographer/dancer named Teresa Prima. She's one of the collaborators I invited to participate in the book, but she preferred to make a performance, using my thoughts...
JX — How will they all collaborate? And who are they all?
RNC — People from very different fields: art history, art practitioners, sociology, art critic, photographers, visual artists, etc. Luís is one of them. They will write or produce images inspired by the work. There's a journalist/theatre and dance critic that will make the history of the project as viewed by the media and the critic. And I'm making that same history, but using my own memories.
JX — All sounds really good.
RNC — These people will be present during the residency: that's the fourth and last intervention of this residency: a sort of conference/conversation... The book will be ready only in January, but by the end of october, everything in terms of texts and images will be ready for each collaborator to talk about what they've done. So, the residency has 4 moments, I call them "projects of...":
JX — It sounds like a fascinating way to build a type of community through a common experience, that of your project from the 3 years and what you learned from it and how you then transmit it and watch others jump off from there.
RNC — ...installation project, workshop project, performance project and conference project. (Exactly!)
JX — And at the end is a book...
RNC — That idea of community is very important for me... (Yes, the book and the video-documentary, in January, and you appear to me in this specific moment of the video-documentary...)
JX — Maybe that's why Miranda July came to mind, although your's sounds more personal, more... specific.
RNC — (...that I intend to start by the end of October).
JX — OK. Tell me more.
RNC — It will be really great to have you in Torres Vedras during a part of my interventions, because that substitutes in a way everything I can tell you or send you by e-mail. I think you will be able to get into this project and put together a great amount of information. I want to re-make what I've done last year with the lady of Torres Vedras, but with more spectators...
JX — Do you imagine me filming? Helping you think about how to film? Helping put it together? Brainstorming how to do this?
RNC — That's my problem for the moment...
JX — What is?
RNC — I don't really know exactly the way you will work with me; for the moment, I can imagine everything you said... You filming, you helping me about how to film, you brainstorming with me...
JX — What are the dates you will be there in Torres Vedras doing the interventions?
RNC — From 2nd October til 21st October. Then I will come back in November.
JX — When in November?
RNC — 9th. But from then on I will be working on the documentary only. I think that in terms of process with you, I'd preferred to talk in Torres Vedras, when you get more information about the project. And I think that it will be very important for you to see the little film I made last year.
JX — I arrive to Torres Vedras on the 16th and have to give a workshop myself at the end of the month through the beginning of November.... I think it will be good to talk when we are both there and look at your material together. I will also think about it. We have done similar projects and I will think about how we approached those as well... I have one quick thought. One of the things that is immediately interesting to me is the multiplicity of views in the re-construction of events that took place earlier. That is, the woman and her son had a different view on what you did, different memories. There is a film in the States in which some of the American soldiers in Iraq were given video cameras. They were soldiers and not artists, they shot all the footage and then the directors put it together. What I find interesting about cameras now, is how small they are and how anyone can use them and how people will use them differently than other people, but at the end, you have this material, this way of seeing that can be woven together into a third thing, a film or document of sorts.
RNC — That is really interesting to me.
JX — Let me think a bit more and look around at other models. And then maybe we can e-mail some before I come and talk in depth when I am there.
JX — Sounds very very interesting though.
RNC — In the meantime, I will try to translate a text for you, that I find very important to understand all these things I said to you... In terms of APA, well... It's all very complex for me to decide what to do... I think I will need a conversation with you and Luís at the same time...
JX — Great.
RNC — Anyway: there are a lot of things that I find really interesting in the movies you made for APAP, and that's why me and Luís decided to invite you.
JX — It might be interesting to know what interested you in them, to help focus my thoughts a bit more... Whether now or some other time is fine. We can communicate via e-mail.
JX — But this has been good. It gives me enough to think about and I will also poke around on the websites some more to familiarize myself with the specific work and whatever texts or images you have that are important for you, maybe send me so I can have a clearer idea what is moving and important for you in all of it. And then in Torres Vedras, we can have a longer more specific talk and figure out what are the possibilities and to try some. How does that sound?
RNC — Sounds great!
JX — I am getting a phone call... Back in a few minutes, or else we e-mail later...
JX — Back. Anything else for now? Or shall we leave it at this and e-mail whenever something occurs to us and talk in Torres Vedras?
RNC — Yes, we can do that!
JX — OK. Then enjoy the day. I send from Vienna.
RNC — Fine! Have a nice day!
JX — You too. Hug.


06/09/26 16:02

JX — One quick thought. I just read a book by Paul Auster called "The Brooklyn Follies". I don't know if you can find it in Portuguese. It is his latest book. Like most of his books, they are very easy to read. Quick. Silly and still profound. The final scene is of a man - the storyteller - who thinks he was about to die and finds out he won't. In that moment, he had a thought about creating a company that would write the biographies of people, normal people, workers, managers, etc. The people who would commission him would be the people's loved ones who wanted something to last. But the whole end of the book is a sort of meditation on the mundane, the fleetingness of existence, and a type of intimacy. I just finished the last chapter now and after our Skype conversation, I wanted to share it with you. Somehow there was something in it that linked with your project. Hard to say why exactly. Anyway, if you can find it and have a moment, it is a very quick read. Maybe it isn't really relevant, but I thought I would share it anyway. OK, back to work for me.
RNC — I'll try to find it!