Window without Romeo or Juliet
Selection of images from video.
Text from Andrea Pagnes,
“Notes on Performance art, the body and the political.”
“Beyond that it might be a socio-artistic constructed and not genuine formation, and because of its dynamic and often unsettling nature that escapes squared and rigid definitions, performance art can be also intended as an effective practice of politicization of social life. It reflects the complexities of human societies and generates understanding for processes and situations that cannot be explained just rationally. It becomes a direct or indirect provocation to the order of social, political and cultural norms that the performance artist rejects, while highlighting in/exclusions of self/others links and processes.”
“When I use the term political related to performance art, I intend to set forth a space of possible, civil negotiation for and among artists and audience to analyse and further debate on how to overcome and transform schemes, rules, conventions and barriers, socially and culturally. And yet what I note about contemporary performances with a too declared political intent is not how they succeed in summing up the present and demonstrate viable alternatives to actual political and social situations, but how they fail continuously. I consider failure – and not only in performance art – a positive quality, as it offers room for new possibilities, being a gravitational phenomenon, a segment of movement that brings you towards the core of the problem and that is part of the human condition.”
“Our treatments and perceptions of other bodies are not only culturally and historically formed, but somatically inflected as well. For instance, the veiled body and the question of the other, as well as the body-in-pain and torture, are in these days undeniable matter of evidence. Corporeality (intended as anything which is related to the body, or a characteristic of it) and affectivity (intended as anything belonging to the cognitive realm therefore affecting feelings and emotions) have always played a determinant role in issues such as the racialised body and increasingly in forms of control of the other, such as systems of bio-surveillance and profiling. Since centuries, in rigidly male-dominated societies, the issue of body politics relied on pain or the fear of it to maintain hierarchical relations of dominance, conditioning wo/men to accept coercion and repression.”
“In the field of performance art practice, decontextualizing and alienating ordinary common bodily gestures serves mainly to signify new possible meanings. The very materiality of the performer’s body becomes the locus of inscription of those meanings, while in turn it reveals the contradictions and incidents that the performer encounters to single them out.
Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty was perhaps the earliest and most explicit attempt to establish an aesthetic of performance based entirely on a new perception of the body. When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom.”
“We perform, and yes, we inevitably produce statements of different kinds that in turn clash against other statements; it’s a never-ending game that we have to play effortlessly. We distress our physicality to stress the illusion of a socially constructed subject encased in a body that has been formed by and conformed to a given cultural norm. Our identities are forged by the confluence of cultural codes that are socially reinforced and continuously manipulated, even though they vary considerably from person to person. We respond with time-based actions, which are essentially formless if not for a development, a progression and a denouement of their own.”