I've been working on a lecture presentation with Hugo and Adrian, titled Intangibles and concerning presence and other hard-to-quantify aspects of performance. Seeing as how I'm in Brussels most of the time these days my contribution was a series of video fragments which Hugo and I recorded on various early mornings in Essen, Vienna and London, usually in the space between breakfast and a taxi to an airport. So I was doubly absent I guess. I also wrote a letter to Hugo and Adrian, which they read in Exeter last week, as a part of the presentation. An excerpt:
What you know already (but i hope you dont feel it too much in the moment) is that some of these words [in this letter] which seem to form a flow, a coherence, a more or less solid Tim that is speaking/writing, some of these words, in this flow, were rather written as insertions, not part of any flow at alland in fact not even written in the scene i described – my sat on the bed – but written much later instead perhaps added whilst I was in transit to brussels (airport, plane) or added (still later) in Brussels itself (in the apartment there)insertions – a word here, a sentence there, a paragraph or two in some other place – which are by now indistinguishable from the rest of the fabric of this writing.
There so many insertions and rewritings in fact that its probably wrong to think of what's written here as anything other than a layered accumulation of tracesnot so much a single thing as an unruly concoction, an assemblage of voices, the pressed and gathered sum of many moments, somehow tricked into one place.
I had to that same idea about that watching the dancer Fumiyo Ikeda in rehearsals today
she was dancing something connected to the word 'forgetting' (we're working from words somehow)
and she was doing this thing where (she said afterwards) "all the corners of the room were calling" to her
like she was trying to be (somehow) in relation to all directions
her body contradicting itself, if you can imagine that
limbs stuttering, arms heading one way, head another, legs dipping and turning
not especially forceful or angst ridden this, just a body flickering, layering its own intentionalities, belying its own impulses
even in short bursts all this was exhausting to watch…
a kind of muliplication of presences produced by one body, a strange quantum maths.
I even had a simillar feeling weeks before even when she stopped dancing during one rehearsal
and in silence simply re-walked, re-traced her journey in the room – marking its ups and downs, walking and silently pointing the twists and turns of her progress
before stepping back up and into dance again –
i said afterwards "like there were two Fumiyo's" – once dancing, the other following behind…. some tricky maths again.