[-empyre-] creative powerlessness, expressive violence, performance

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Nov 18 07:27:48 EST 2014

[encryption tests 2]

A question was raised, by Alan Sondheim [Saturday, November 15, 2014]

:: How can art, art performance, performance, heal, help 
one make it through the day, inspire one, against this background of 
continuous performance [of violence], where everything, lives, cultures, languages, are 
at stake? ::

Why not make a concerted effort and look into this question over the next few days. 
Yoko had sent us a link to the description of "OCCUPIED"  [< I attempt to perform “occupation”.>]


and Fereshteh's new play was just premiered last weekend at the Iranian Theatre Festival in Cologne.
I look forward to hearing more about your experience writing and staging this play which is, I surmise, about trauma of exile
or loss of home.

Then I imagined we could have a dialectic also with Hamed Taheri's acclaimed political performance piece "Home is in our Past", which is about 10 years old, 
and hear perhaps further feedback to Pier Marton's ideas on catharsis compared to Reinhold Görling's  provocative commentaries on
the mise en scène of violence in film -- can you elaborate on Joshua Oppenheimer’s film „The Act of Killing“?  I have read powerful reviews but
have not yet seen it and am trying to imagine such a "documentary." A bizarre kind of cinema verité, asking the death squad leaders to re-perform themselves?  as you suggest, "but showing that step by step by re-enacting their crimes at least some of them start to weaken the dissociative dynamics and begin to feel their responsibility"?

Could you address this form for re-performance or enactment?

Olga writes:  <I wish for the theatrical responses that have a power to crystallise the matters, to make things more clear......The subject of war actually renew my interest in realism in performance practice.>   
What is the "wrestling with the hard texts" you spoke of? Islam's hard texts?

Erik comments on re-presentation: "to represent killing by killing is anti-performance."   <...represented by other means in the sense that the floor didn't need to be swept or if it did that wasn't the point - what was being represented was the labor, above the activity, or specifically spectatorship... so the work of sweeping transferred to the work of watching sweeping?>   Could you comment further on the work of transference, or what Taussig calls the "understood" commonplace of taboo, and hence transgression (each mutually implicated)?

Yoko, no snow flakes here as yet, so Yuki-onna cannot yet enjoy her winter life. But I imagined her, 
last weekend on the Holostage, holding our her particled hand. 

Here is one mythic version of Yuki-onna the water beggar (from Tottori prefecture):

The Yuki Onna travels on the wind, and appears on days with a light snowfall. 
She walks through the town swinging a white Gohei wand, and shouting “Please give me water—hot or cold!” to anyone she meets. 
If you give the Yuki Onna cold water, she swells in size. 
If you give her hot water, 
she melts and disappears.

- - - -

Johannes Birringer

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