One Thing At A Time

4 October 2009

My friend Tomoyuki in Tokyo mailed me after he’d been watching the monologue Sight is the Sense… which i made with the American actor Jim Fletcher.

The piece… reminded me of what Imre Kertész said in his Fateless about the linearity of the order of things that happen. He says the fact that things happened one by one during his Auschwitz experience saved him.  He would have been destroyed if all the things happened at once.  What if all the definitions in Sight is the Sense… came to me at once?  Then it would be a very dangerous piece, but doesn’t the linearity of the monologue somehow save me at the same time? 

Tomoyuki underlines the linearity of the piece (the text for which consists of many many many disconnected single sentences one after the other), and to the way that all performance in fact unfolds in this way over and through time, building and accumulating, but at the same time systematically forgetting and undoing itself. The lived event (performance in life) is always slipping away. Its accumulations (such as they might be in short-term memory, or in the build up marks/detritus in a space, or in their impact on a body) are inevitably only partial and incomplete traces of its present moments and their sequential impact. (Strange parallel process of both both building/accumulating and slipping/disappearing).

You can see the work live in Paris later this month, at Theatre de la Bastille who are also showing the more recent solo in pieces I made with the Japanese dancer Fumiyo Ikeda.