[-empyre-] aesthetics / gestalten

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sun Apr 17 06:00:27 AEST 2016

what an evocative reply, thank you Simon!

and it appears you have come back from a very moving experience, teaching a workshop in a marae which I understand the Maori people see as their their place to stand and belong, a place used for meetings, celebrations, funerals, educational workshops and other important tribal events..... and I imagine a performance space (and what I referred you to last week, after my opening of the "metakimosphere" visited by blind & vision impaired people) could be a marae, and would it not be fascinating to think of theatre and movement belonging to somewhere where,
as you imply, presences expand --'wharenui, that place of collapsed time with the ancestors present, watching, traditionally, and actually.'

Your reference to this there, teaching in the dark, also moved me a lot, and I tried to imagine it, and thank you for the link and the reference to the amazing, beautifully carved instruments (taonga puoro)..... which made me again reflect further on what Tommy, Derek, Alessandra, Murat and others here brought to the
discussion around immanence and transcendence (Simon, you speak of your convergence of theatre and metaphysics in the space of black
Maori cultural work -- could you tell us more how they perceive "collapsed time"?)

Derek had described so forcefully the installations of Fred Wilson's "Speak Of Me As I Am", as he remembered them, and as I realized my photo of Kevin Beasley's performance was not so good, I attach a better one, and one of Wilson's "Drip Drop Plop" (representing " liquid black flesh and black tears" I read in an art journal which also mentions that Wilson commented, in 2003, on "geopolitical tension between Venetians and Turks .... and through Othello's internal struggle" ..., and the post 9/11 turbulence).

I attach a photo I found of the putaatara (one of the taonga puoro instruments).† The fourth pic is from our dance installation, showing Ghanaian dancer Elisabeth
Sutherland in the new NailFeathersDress (designed by Michèle Danjoux), its conductive fibres hold eighty or more nails that bounce against sensors which generate the sound of her movement in the dress, amplified by the speaker-camera she holds in front of her chest.

I wonder, in this expanding sense of instruments that communicate beyond racial terms, whether contexts could be shifted more, much
as the sites of mourning and recovery shift and yet connect us all?

Johannes Birringer

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