sábado, maio 24, 2008

london diaries.


Paula Roush set up a new exhibition at the [SPACE]. This time for her project, she took on the role of a producer bringing together with co-curator Tiago Neves a selection of Portuguese performance artists to articulate ideas of transcription at the stage, which works as a platform for representation of scripted reality. The [SPACE] is re-constructed to form corridors leading to stages enclosed and enveloped for the act of deconstructing, reconstructing and constructing scripts that alarm us of the coming events. Yet this activity is found not in scripts and scenarios alone, but in post-scripts, supplements, which proliferate the hidden moments in the performance, hidden because of the secretivity of the performer, the carrier of knowledge, who knows the best how to lead the audience. Instead, these hidden moments in between lines are made prominent to provoke the audience to become part of the secretive metamorphosis alluding to the playful. In this reconstruction, space becomes multiplied in the form of a reception leading to the corridor, corridor leading to the stage, actors linked with the audience, mirrors reflecting actors, and performer going to peoples’ houses to link the public space with private homes. The long corridor through which an actress ("a bureaucratic secretary") leads you to the end of the L-shaped space and places you in front of computer, asking you to go through the application form to realize the Moment of Being. The performance based on Noël Coward's play starting with the bidding to choose which actor-actress should play whom. The distracted vision represented in mirrors and pulp fiction in the performance Obscurity. And instead of performing at the stage, coming to people's homes to perform for them in their kitchen, sitting room, or sometimes in their bedroom... These are the main features of this discursive project of deconstructive performance. An interesting moment is the choice to reconstruct not only the space but also the classical view of the performance, playing and being perceived as a player as it is today part of our days of global transformation. In Moments of Being by Beatriz Cantinho and Valério Romão, because of the proliferation of means and ideas, performativity itself became a provocative activity for one to realize as a strategy, and the confusion for another: "Why do you think I am a unique person. I am not really! I have to pay my mortgage and to go to work every day. Virginia Woolf of course is unique, since she was a creative individual”. Bringing peoples’ non-confidence into the stage displayed in a white cube at the end of the corridor and trying to link them to the self-productivity, it is supposed to release the pressure of this social disfunctioning, this silent performance literally clinical and critical at the same time. It carries a diagnosis like the medicine: you are unique and the symptom -you are unique- because you are not someone who is trapped in paying mortgages, but someone who can go beyond the conventions of this pressure, is imposed by the society of puritan conformability. The same message is read in the work of Rogério Nuno Costa, Going To Your Place. He is visiting people’s homes in order to perform for them. He appears on people’s doorsteps to ask not for the unpaid water bill, but politely articulating his own desire: I would like to perform for you! And you can get free access to my next performance! Again, his performance specifies elements of space articulated according to a private address, the telephone number, the doorbell, the number of the house, that become the index to his performance. The performance based on Noël Coward’s play Private Lives is astonishing for it's becoming a postscript to the contemporary holidaymaking some 50 years later of the original date of this play. Performed by the Teatro Praga it consists of six actors, but also involves the audience choosing the actors and actresses. The play starts with the bidding for an actor: like gamblers the audience throw the dice and the winning actors and actresses will go on to play the roles, while the losers stay on the side, reading the lines which are normally hidden away from the public. This kind of reading reveals what is missing from an experience of performing, namely the position of an author, the technical moments becoming inseparable part of the work. Obscurity holds our attention as a philosophical postscript to the encoding of popular vision: mirrors in the stage show something which you cannot follow: everything is distracted, although references made to very well known artistic, cinematic, musical, artistic and theatrical pieces joins us to suggest something which is known to us, yet posing the question: do we really know all this? This project continues an original relationship Paula Roush has been exercising in her previous exhibitions. Always engaging an audience without putting any pressure on them, Roush manages to visualize an attitude crucial to the understanding of contemporary art: that in a way or another audience provides enormous support, which by itself can be described as a postscript. It is during the live performance that the audience enters into the dialogue. It does not necessarily happen in the critical moment during the break or after the performance. It is expressed during the performance, when they laugh or cry, getting excited or simply falling asleep. This project is of course about the scripting of reality in its literal sense. Our daily reality is nothing else than performance, based upon the knowledge gathered by centuries of struggle to make these knowledge structures to work for us. In this sense this project can be described in terms of the Derridean statement representing any action as a text: there is nothing outside the text. Words referring to the web of texts and the world as wall-to-wall text made for being readable, performable and visible only because it coincides with our knowledge of culture, yet seen as postscript it creates the chance to elaborate missing dimensions of this knowledge.