[-empyre-] Documenting & Dancing Repair

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Nov 26 03:08:58 EST 2013

dear all

Patrick's comments on "repair" were fascinating, and would surely deserve more response and discussion as I think they touch upon
a different kind of activism that, one could argue, is environmental & ecological and thus ties with a number of projects I can remember
that were not directed at, nor coming from, art/world/artistic and academic fields and contexts  (and I am aware that it is tempting and also
often misleading to juxtapose or divide artistic actionism from community activism or those who would consider themselves working primarily
within locales, barrios, neighborhoods and communities) but strove towards varous kinds of recuperation, healing and repairing, not just of objects
but also of polluted land and disaggregated and divided communities, groups, families, and also recovery from trauma, loss. 

[Patrick schreibt]
Steve's installation of broken objects (above), and its subsequent documentation, or the installation of broken items as a form of documentation, got me thinking about how the art of repair makes small but meaningful interventions into issues of industrial waste, alienation from the built environment, new forms of knowledge in an industrialized age, and recycling and reuse.

I'm sure many here can think of other examples, and of how documentation or dissemination of the ethics/politics involved in repair plays into the action and is
& becomes a necessary part of oral and not-oral histories.

As an afterthought, to my post yesterday regarding the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, I forgot to expand on the dancer who brought the Sufi/whirling dance into
the demonstrations and extended it/expanded it over a period of time, as far as  I could tell from the film document; I mean I was trying to understand what the performer
(wearing make up and non traditional costume, quite eccentrically) was doing, what he was adapting, and and how the ritual dance (from the Sufi tradition) might or would
function politically and culturally in that specific context of popular resistance/uprising. 

Hayriye Koç Başara suggested that she was particularly, and emphatically impressed with the way in which this dance seemed to cut across/bind and co-align different groups (secular, religious, Muslim, Christian, orthodox) within the Turkish crowd at the Park. Here it might be important to reflect perhaps on Zach's proposition of the mask  (opacity), and contrast that strategy of making someone/something illegible with the
strategy of "recuperation" of, say, an ancient (sacred) tradition for political ends. That tradition would have to ring, reverberate, and be recognized in the dancer (interestingly
the dancer wore full face make up, green and black if I remember.....) and in that secular moment of repairing the people's free expression on the park.

Johannes Birringer

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