Studio opening of artistic residence Ecstasy Machine.
Inresidence Program, Porto, Portugal - In the Circolando's company studio.
Photo: Thiago Liberdade
Maikon K as Hippolytus, in the play Fedra in the fantastic world of Hippolytus.
Photo: Amanda Vicentini
Maikon K architect freedom in "Cannibal Fog". Castiano Castilho's text about the performance presented on 8/18/2018.
Photo: Elenize Desgeniski
My body is my beginning. Unknown raw material. To deprogram this amalgam of habits, educations and beliefs. To penetrate its instinct, memory, knowledge and power. To vibrate its layers. Electric flesh, solid, atomic. Genome of metamorphoses. Human for an instant. Everything now. To discover how far this body can go, how much it can affect. Concepts and ideas must incarnate.
Performance art does not conform to analytical categories. Its image is never completed. Dark matter of art. Void among the atoms, gravitational black hole to where all things return and reemerge reconfigures. Where all probabilities exist side by side. Crevice-body. Passageway. The performer is now a creature. Pure desire. Mystical machine. Rising crudity. Slaughterhouse of all convictions.
The shaman was the first performer, prior to all avant-gardes. He does not separate art. Science and spirituality. He does not name life. He creates languages to open up worm-holes to other realities. I don’t see him as the guardian of sacredness. He is a researcher of languages, enhancing the use of the senses. He reinvents the body. He has intercourse with the universe (all magic is a sexual act). He communicates with all forms of life and knows that everything communicates. When he dances, sings, incorporates, he becomes a bridge: from material to immaterial. His body is all he has got. On building an instrument, he penetrates the earth, walks through the woods, fasts, touches another person, prepares a potion, smokes his pipe, tells a story, mark his body, he knows every action echoes in this and other dimensions. Invisible, yet perceptible.
This is not a theory. It is a surgery.
The performer is the shaman of unbelief, in constant self-initiation. His faith is in his body. His therapy is the clash of senses. The performer is his own immolated idol, his own voodoo doll. He instrumentalizes his body to access uncommon states of being. Because daily life is a heavy, opaque corpse, which must be continuously shattered. That requires a supernatural effort. That requires dying many times over.
It is not about transcending or denying the world. But expanding it, enlarging the idea one has of the world. Cutting it to the quick. Then swallowing it.
The shaman experiments on himself before offering it to the other. As a performer, O do the same. I want to confront myself. At heart, every artist is an egotist. He wants to surpass himself. His condition is a paradox: his quest is extremely personal, but only acquires meaning when shared. It is in the other that his work must live.
Every work demands some type of preparedness/unpreparedness. In the process of DNA of DAN, I invited Kysy Fischer to collaborate in the body research. The goal was to prepare myself to be unprepared in front of the audience. To create a bodily memory and then abandon it, free to act on me. To go through my initiation to being capable of establishing a collective ritual. Backbone, stare, breathe, chakras, environment-skin, hypnosis, rhythms, incorporate images and give them back to the world.
Long-duration performance was the challenge posed by Marina. It was like discovering something that had always been before my eyes. When I am researching, I often spend hours searching for something, but when it comes to converting that experience into something public, it is edited and condensed. Long-duration performance defies commercial logic, as it establishes the ritualistic time, it proposes to the audience and the artist other pacts and relations with the work. It substitutes experience for consumption. It is not an easy bargaining chip, and it is hard to find a structure (institution) ready to welcome its proposal (it is up to the performer to open up these spaces). It is common to work with different materials and themes, but rarely with time. And time formats and alters awareness. Time challenges all forms.
The long duration in DNA of DAN steered the logic of my presence and the relationship with the audience. How to sustain and update my presence for so long/ I am not presenting myself, I am present. Even if I am not doing anything, how can I show that a lot is happening, regardless of my will?
Layers of perception start opening up under the pressure of time. We exist in time. When the perception of time is transformed, we are also transformed. “There is no time in presence”, stated Marina during the Cleaning the House workshop. There is deepness in time, which is felt when we slow down. Actually, there is always movement in the act of stopping: it is like hearing a river running underground. The daily life mind wants to refrain this flow, since it is not able to rationalize it. We plunge into presence on entering the domain of feeling. “There is no time in presence” means: we are time.
At the workshop, other performers and I were required to research presence in a radical way: suspending habits (eating, speaking, seeing) and lengthening extreme actions (walking slowly, gazing into each other’s eyes). Abolishing habits makes us confront social patterns rooted in the body, which generate needs and automatisms, which in turn guide our actions, to where most of our energy is converged. The performer must have all his energy available, be aware of the mechanisms that condition his body. Long-duration actions place this body in a paradox: to perform a task persistently with no purposeful objective to fulfill. I realized that clearly while walking slowly for fours. At one point I thought: “There is no objective, there is nowhere I need to go”. This activated a state of presence without necessities, placing the body into new relations with the environment. The action is a pretext to focus on the present, a device to destabilize patterns. Outside their original spiritual context, the practices proposed by marina serve as a means to enhance the senses. Thus, this body, when performing, will be able to deal with expanded layers of perception. This understanding of presence which deepens in time transformed my attitude in performance art. The long-lasting action mobilizes intense energy, it is up to the performer to choose what to do with it and how. As in the slow walking exercise, the performer has “no objective to be achieved”, the action is a means to unearth unknown states of perception. And the audience realizes this. With its body.
The world is not an idea. It is sensation. Sensation is the body’s intelligence. To weave, with the body, new holograms of reality.
Creating realities demands balls and womb. I want to have balls and womb.
The audience is the key that gives meaning to the rite. In the exchange with the other, the performer moves around in a network: there is communication. Unusual communication. I discovered empty spaces, where I didn’t have to worry about doing, but realize what was already happening and allow that to traverse and modify me. This became clear when the audience and I simply looked at each other, the energy between us thickened and acted on our bodies in different ways (tremors, tears, altered breathing, sounds). A shared universe expanded between us. We could sense that something was happening. And that was a lot. And it was not conceptual. And maybe that moment was not art, nor science, nor spirituality. Maybe it was an experience each one feels according to their own senses. Maybe it was performance art.