Move II - performance

concept drawing 'Move' (II)

There's a certain amount of time, the spectator needs to be engaged in order to comprehend. In this case the movement of an arm; from hanging position to completely upwards within 5 minutes...

'Move II' is an un-staged body performance at 'Kreuzberg Pavillon' during 'Project Space Festival in Berlin', 2016. Concept of the exhibition was a five minutes lasting event: "By reducing the opening hours, both the perception and the anticipation of the space are drastically altered." (Organisation 'Kreuzberg Pavillon'). 

During the happening on August 6 2016, the gallery was completely darkened. It took a while before vistors noticed my 'Move'. For the spectator, the amount of time spent, giving attention to the observed, determines how and what is perceived. With this writing I allow myself to 'regard' the performance and place it within the context of my other work.

The performance relates to time and aspects of comprehension. As the visitor is not actively challenged to notice something happening, the 'move' is only understood as such when the arm reaches a certain unnatural level of hight for a person standing still. So in this case the speed of the movement defines the level of comprehension, within the setting as a whole. The point where something appears to 'happen', the spectator 'witnesses'. And by doing so, (s)he becomes 'involved'.​​​​​​​ 

Certain positions that occur during the action are inevitable experienced as symbolic, defined by individual or collective understanding. That way isolated moments of the performance call upon associations and feelings, causing tension. It offers an experience that generates all kinds of possible meanings which can only afterwards lead to concepts of understanding in regard to the whole. It's inevitable that 'Move II' enters cultural and political realm. Looked upon from a symbolic perspective, the start is solely 'presence'. 
The final moment, when the arm is lifted completely might reflect a human stop sign, marking the end of the happening because it falls together with the exact moment the event is finished. These two moments form the basic lines from which the concept is drawn upon. Its the particular moment in between that causes heavy tension. 

Art space 'Kreuzberg Pavillon', Berlin

The spectator is challenged to work out concepts to deal with the situation. The moment when the arm nearly reaches the end the perspective from which the happening is considered changes. This might cause relief or stress, depending the position the individual chooses to take.

'Move III' contains the exact same action as in the first performance but now takes place in a landscape. Now I am standing on a hill of sand overlooking a small lake or a river. No spectators. When seen on video the same action receives completely different interpretations. Everything is completely understood in relation to its surrounding and context, in this case the landscape and in particular the water. Here the action might suggest a rising of the water level. Watch the video here.

'Move' (III), actual / performance / video, 2016

Development and sequence is a recurring aspect in my work. It results for instance in the creation of moving images (animations) out of a single still image. After the first 'Move' performance I worked out a next for performance festival 'Winterwolven' in Rotterdam (2016). Here I also held an iPad, showing digital object 'Cute Pet'. It's a digital animation showing an intimate relation between two body parts: a vulva and an inflamed eye. I created my 'cute pet' to work as a distraction during the performance and a sort of 'mitigating circumstance' for the crucial point when the arm reaches a critical level.This performance lastet 10 minutes; twice as long as the first. During that time people started to tread me like an object and felt free to interfere, entering the personal space. As my hand is raised to a certain level, the movement is noticed and somebody starts mirroring my action, standing directly in front of me, even touching my hand with the fingertips of his hands. As I go on without reacting to his action, he touches the screen.

'Move - Cute Pet', performance / digital media, 2016

Stills from the video here


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