[-empyre-] more and the question about performance

Erik Ehn shadowtackle at sbcglobal.net
Sat Nov 15 22:15:35 EST 2014

a thing, to be art, must represent a thing by other means. so, the life in a flower (a feature of time) is re-presented in arrangement (a feature of space). [barba, dictionary of theatre anthropology]

to represent killing by killing is anti-performance.

st. cecilia was beheaded and her head kept singing.

a reason to cut off the head: it destroys that which begs. that which could persuade. it destroys a key means by which the mortal shape provides context. a beheading is the demonstration of a power's capacity to mute all context but power - vertical power, the power to silence.

performance resists by performing. how we gonna sing king alpha's song? by singing a song called "rivers of babylon."


On Saturday, November 15, 2014 5:07 AM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:

----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

I won't keep sending these out. Last night I couldn't sleep, worked over 
again the times I was beat up or hit or bullied in my life. Then this, I 
keep going over the same ground repeatedly:

ISIS uses beheadings, other violent acts to crush civilians, UN report 
says Newsday - .5 hours ago. UNITED NATIONS -- Beheadings, stonings and 
mutilation are common weapons of terror employed by the Islamic State in 
its campaign to subdue civilian populations that have come under its 
control in Syria, according to a UN monitoring group. Islamic State sets 
sights on Saudi ArabiaBBC News New UN report shows "relentless assault" on 
civilians in ISIL-controlled SyriaXinhua. Hong Kong student leaders 
blocked from taking democracy fight to Beijing Reuters - .1 hour ago. 1 of 
3. Hong Kong Federation of Students leader Alex Chow (C), committee 
members Nathan Law (L) and Eason Chung react after being refused to board 
the plane at the Hong Kong International Airport November 15, 2014. 
Nigeria insurgents retake village of abducted schoolgirlsReuters Africa 
Boko Haram seizes town kidnapped girls are fromSydney Morning Herald

- And this same ground repeats itself, day after day, night after night, 
no longer events or news, so much as a background of horror. Then what? A 
serious question: How can art, art performance, performance, heal, help 
one make it through the day, inspire one, against this background of 
continuous performance, where everything, lives, cultures, languages, are 
at stake? We watch other species world-wide going extinct (the rate is 
something like several an hour), we find ourselves on the verge of a 
planet so violated that the environment (cultural, global) might well 
collapse (yes, into something else) within the century, and we perform? 
Three nights ago, we did just that, perform from our last two cds at a 
place in Brooklyn, and we were brilliant for that moment, then the horrors 
take over again. (Personally I don't think ego plays a role in this, and 
personally as well, Buddhism has failed me, or vice versa.) I won't post 
more headlines like these again, and apologies for doing so; this is the 
raw world, perhaps at its worst.

- Alan
empyre forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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