Okay, I’m back. Still waiting for the relief to kick in, but let’s just swim ahead and hope we hit shore before we drown.
The thing I’ve latched onto here is the thing I’ve latched onto elsewhere: the movement vocabulary. Or style. Or…something. (Not knowing what the proper terminology is can be fatal, but my arms are still doing the strokes…)
The solo that Mr Medlyn did that I mentioned last post is maybe the best way to get into this. It started from, I think, a baseball pitcher’s conventional rubbing of the ball in the mitt. It went from there into something like a fevered, panicked version of this — still attached to the reality of what we know (even those of us non-fans) but extended to parody or commentary. But then it went hogwild or apeshit…
(Briefly: how many times can we hear fuck and its relatives in an evening — and is that more than comedy?)
…and it, for me, exploded into a kind of movement that nearly approached trance-inducing. The way the movement became disconnected from the body as well as from any motivation, rationalization or impulse and sort of floated there in the light.
And I think to get there you have to get around the huge Wall of Art that goes up whenever there is a presentation of art. I don’t think this is a new thing, but I think that people have to find new ways of climbing, skirting, tunneling under that wall because even to see something twice or to know what you will be seeing is just another brick in the wall. The Wall that kills the life of the work.
It’s death, really. The way it is so inevitable, so unforgiving, so immediate and so final. It erases the life. The movement’s fascinating quality is in its surprise, its mobility of thought, its fragility, its ephemerality, its fleeting delicate presence that is so direct and beautiful (even heavy ugly art can have this fragile beauty).
And so to escape this Wall of Art that is Death someone has to continually reinvent the world (in dance, in movement, in performance…whatever). It is not easy, clearly. It is also not always recognized as a goal of art. But it also has nothing (or very little) to do with whether the work is enjoyable or not. But if it doesn’t escape the best it can be is entertaining or boring.
When I come back as God, I would make feedforward about 38% shorter and work for those moments of escape.
That said (’cause now it’s out of the way and can be seen for the useless, pointless and petty comment that those kinds of comments really are) there is a movement afoot that, in the best cases, skirts this Wall of Angry Implacable Death by skirting Art with pedestrian movement.
But not always that. There’s something more reality-based than that involved. True, sometimes the movement comes from everyday life, but sometimes everyday life itself takes part in the performance — not chance (or not only chance) but a version of reality that is brought into the performance that works sort of like a talisman or even a weapon against the Ancient and Evil Edifice of ArtDeath.
Which is kind of funny — but maybe that inversion of the relationship between art and life is why it has the potential to work.