postexegetical thetic palavers amok: on names, or, towards Minus’s next show, VMG (workshop 1) pt. 1

VMG is the acronym for Visit Me Genius, which is what, so far, after one workshop (the next tomorrow–come along!) I am calling Minus Theatre group’s next show, scheduled to have its public outing 26 June (come along!). It may change, the name, although this is what I called it in the recently finished exegesis (submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the qualification of … Palavers hi-Def) on Minus’s work over the last three years. It does not, the name, refer to mathematical, scientific or artistic genius, however; neither does it refer to political or diplomatic genius, if such a thing were today to exist. It is intended to refer to place, to the genius loci–the spirit of place, of a place, always singular, a place having a spirit which is unexchangeable and inequivalent to any other, nontranslatable from one to another and from place to place. A spirit must then speak in its own singular terms and be the definition, if not the embodiment and encapsulation, of the utmost and extreme differentiation, as an absolutely unique belonging of a place.

To be visited by the spirit of a place, what does it mean? I don’t know… but I do know; I think one does know: one is visited in some places by an uncanny (or is it weird?) and unheimlich (German for unhomely, although nothing is more at home than spirit of place?) sense of… what is it? I think of the magnetism of Auckland’s west coast beaches, which is very literally there in the iron sands, summoning ghosts… And I look out into the bright dappled light of the Waiheke suburb where I write this and recall the pscyhogeography a friend invoked when we were talking about the special attraction this place holds for certain people, whom it holds in its embrace, whom it doesn’t always love lovingly. Some people can’t stand it after a while! It is as if it magnifies the reasons they have for choosing Waiheke as their place of dwelling. So they dwell but don’t abide, are not abided, perhaps by the spirit of the place. Berlin, too–although Paris may be the city of love, Berlin’s embrace is hotter, erotic, sexual, it has been said.

Christchurch–a flat city recently picked up and shaken like a rug: who can deny the genius presiding over the planes on which it is situated? threaded with braids of rivers… It can drive you mad, like Munich in the föhn. And so the place of a climatics must be granted when considering genius loci, which needn’t be anthropomorphicised, but may initiate a nonanthropological discourse…

Last Monday, May 15, Minus held at AUT its first workshop of 2017. Our last show was At the Stock Market Meeting–called this (always something in a name?) for the neurolivestock invented by Gilles Châtelet for his book (there being always something in a name) To Live and Think Like Pigs and subtitled, The Incitement of Boredom and Envy in Market Democracies, which I had recently read. At the Stock Market Meeting (ATSMM–Automated-Teller (Autotelic? Autosomatic?)-Meat-Machine) took place at Auckland Old Folks Association Hall on 19 November 2016, one night only, since which a full six months has intervened. Present on Monday last were all the people in ATSMM, minus Amber, plus Rumen.

In the writing so far on Minus, I have used pseudonyms for those involved. I break with this practice on the precedent of the RJF Project which, without the pretext, without the context of an academic assignation, assignment or task, I covered in regular posts on Square White World in 2007, where I used first names, and, sometimes, just initials. It is interesting to see in this although decade-old precedent also an invocation of the human stockyard and of anacting (proceeding minus theatre), as well as the dancer‘s critique of an actor (or is it a betrayal?), since the halflife of these, or the imaginary and fantasy life of these, as theses and thetic, overlaps with the concerns formalised in and by the work on and with Minus.

This writing, here on SWW (always square, a lit square, and white light, sunny, artificial, screenlight, separating, sacralising a world the profanation of which it presupposes), is anyway less formal and, surprisingly, less fictive: I don’t need to protect the names, to protest the givenness of names, in the essential contingency of their conventionality, here, from something called–a name!–ethics. I am released from the fiction of ethics here, again, surprisingly. …