theatricality

“The problem is not to create a better story, but to make it sufficiently performative to make it build its own reality.” – Wim Nusselder

the title, citing Wim Nusselder, is from comments on the video at Kate Raworth’s website.

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dear reader, I am writing a book. Below a tiny excerpt. If you would like to support this work, please contact me by way of the contact form, top, left hand margin.

The brain remains a symbol, with all that is entailed under this symbolic existence, nailed at some extremity—perhaps the highest plank—of the vast carpentry we have been calling the symbolic framework of reference, so long as its cognitive functions are identified with representation and so long as these higher functions are so called. Except that it express itself symbolically we should therefore show no small amazement that we cannot trust it.

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field recordings 2017:06:16 18:06:43 – 2017:08:03 12:37:29 including Minus Theatre rehearsing VMG at the Baptist Church and setup at LOT23

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untitled 1: including an in memoriam for Douglas Wright, 14 October 1956 – 14 November 2018

The great Spanish writer—not an opinion, a fact, my friend

He would or he might begin with something suitably self-deprecating—

a reference to another writer, an artist who, perhaps, was more far-sighted,

in not worrying so much about his place in things, worrying at her hems,

edges and scabs, at the places where the body—of work, obviously—comes

undone, as it inevitably does, Douglas Wright died this week, I say this

not to be topical, but in respect of an image and its necessary resonance, or,

let us say, vibration with another—necessary, because the only reason ever

for an image, to initiate one, is to set it up in such a way that it ping

off another, calling everyone, at this overflowing table, to attention with the edge

of a knife, how sharp we will never know, tap against an empty glass—a

game of golf, Douglas in a liminal state induced by drugs of a medical nature,

purportedly, hearing the news, on the radio, a voice: it says, this

this will really really put New Zealand at last put New Zealand New Zealand

on the world the world on the world stage; and voices from a stand of

macrocarpa, adjacent to the golf course, echoing up over the balcony, in

through an open window, to where Douglas lies, on a couch, in a state

between waking and dreaming, hearing the voices commingle, those

from the stand of macrocarpa, adjacent to the golf course, where golf

balls often end up being hit by accident, voices of the searchers for the lost

golf balls, calling out, WHERE IS IT? HERE and IT’S OVER HERE,

WHERE? I FOUND IT! and that voice

on the radio, so that … but here I become confused, because the next

image enters, not prematurely, I hope, but soon enough that it sets off

the former image, so that we almost trip over it—HERE

New Zealand on the world stage IT’S OVER HERE

at last—and I would like to champion, at this point, Ghost Dance, the source

of this former image, having its source in its author, Douglas Wright, who

is also, sadly, former, as the greatest artistic autobiography ever written by

a by by a by a New Zealander by a New Zealander … OVER HERE … Lost …

from the world stage, forever. Vila-Matas was the famous Spanish author.

The next image is—can it in all truth be called an image? when it is

a matter of voices?—and Douglas’s voice, I hear his cadences, pronouncing

on the, what was it we had lost? the sense of the strength of movement

coming from the pelvis, that we had lost, in our young dancers—the next

a voice says please

return to your seat

it sweeps the aisle

clear at the same

time David Byrne

is singing another

voice and another

close, Stay in your

lines.

You are being

You are out

of control, Sonny

or is it Girlie?

I have the strange

unwonted accompanying sensations,

not entirely unpleasant, of arms, not entirely unpleasant, only

unwonted, of arms holding me and the hands attempting

to take hold

of the left arm in the classic armlock we know from films, and twist it

behind my back, movies about forced removal

of potentially disruptive and violent—and again

the fit of the words is false, without falsifying, since this is

indeed what we do with miscreants: the bodyguard, no, he is

a security guard, with a beautiful word emblazoned—the most

exaggerated form of embroidery or printing—emblazoned on his back, VENUE

SECURITY all one word, like a gang patch.

Douglas Wright and David Byrne. Douglas was just 62. What is

an age, when you do not grow old?

 

David Byrne David David Byrne amazing fantastic and beautifully

deconstructed in the concert version of American Utopia two

words

venuesecurity at the Spark telco arena, although this makes it sound like

they built it, they did not—do brands maintain their psychosexual overtone?

of having been inflicted in a hot moment of contact—let us say, “the lie

of the land

she meant yes

she meant yes”

 

It was a white and middleclass and quite fat night on the metaphorical bleachers

at the David Byrne concert tonight,

the second encore ended with a rollcall of names of murdered

African-Americans (two words?)

whose killings in racially charged circumstances have elevated them into the hall of martyrs” says Variety

There is an insupportable irony in the fact that my assailants were all brown

because I wanted to dance

 

Dance

is it a health and safety issue that so few serious modern composers who

are accepted as such

commit themselves to music to dance to?

 

Dance

I cannot imagine Douglas Wright dying

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I think this will be the last one of this series, it is #31

XXXI.

getoveryourself or you should know when to stop are not the same pieces of advice

but you are not listening to me you are looking at the image of an idiot on the screen

an idiot boy Bolaño says—right in my ear—the image of an idiot boy—and i am overcome by a feeling of wonder at how great it would be it is to be a female art

a female artist a woman first, second—they are not the same pieces of advice—you could—one justifies another—produce the most overtly sexual and sexualised imagery

you would not be guilty of sexuality—and I am fore-betrayed by knowledge, memory, belief one does not justify another duplicitous amongst the victims blending in, before a page of prose looking for even yet the flight of a bird & birdsong, time blurred like the wingbeat of a sacred kingfisher [writes Adam Roberts] and

 

my stomach drops

into shallow pans

tripe-white

of my open hands (even yet Fergus Barrowman, replied, some of the lines are simply bad)

facing a page of prose: sometimes life is shit: one justifies another and I accuse the extinguished theatre I mean professor removed from positon by concerted and personal vendetta—what one feels now the other will. INTIMIDATION seemed right closest to our theme but you should know when to stop

the recoil is lost it is political and so it is born: and once it was a child and knew getoveryourself for not having to be a female artist, of a woman first second—at the same—the integrity of the personal gesture of sexuality now the integrity of the gesture was lost

it would not be reproduced, it would not pay to reproduce and once it was a child, and at the same time it is the memory of things, not as they were, thought to be heading in a certain direction, ends unknown, all of a sudden going in a wholly unexpected direction the integrity of the gesture was lost, and the reduction to ends and desires the image of that idiot boy on a screen I see my memory at two removes extinguished theatre I mean professor and yours but you are not looking

and in no wise would it be true to say these two manners of appearing followed one upon the other but that in somewise I know not were they concurrent also Adam in The Thing Itself the thing itself might as well figure thought in the image of the hypocrite not the idiot

we are so many people in the manner of a lost world given the word or gesture of the appearance of victims and I amongst gathered together who don’t who can’t and who cannot recognise a crime who gather together in their want and in their lack of recognition and who do not ask who answers for it, for once it was a child and knew, but that in the want and lack of their recognition its answer goes unquestioned its question goes unasked

which is their question and i amongst and it is like the memory of smoke in a dream that on waking is the image of a face in sand that on looking you look does not ask anymore

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field recordings 2017:04:21 17:26:48 – 2017:05:27 12:25:15 including Minus Theatre rehearses Visit Me Genius

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MINUS THEATRE RESEARCH GROUP PRESENTS

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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. …

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of course as a contributing writer you may find yourself on a beautiful site (designed) with some beautiful writing (actual critique) and you may ask yourself…

the answer is:

the perverse

delights of

artistic incest

& nepotism

in NZ

introducing

the pantograph punch

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THEATRE WITHOUT AUDIENCE – THEATER OHNE PUBLIKUM – film by Pawel Kocambasi and Carolin Mader

with Andrzej Wirth, Aleksandra Konieczna, Roma Gasiorowska, Tomasz Tyndyk, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Robert Wilson, Rafal Mackowiak, René Pollesch, Jan Dravnel, Carol Washburn, Miho Takayasu, Richard Raack, Emma Lew Thomas, Helena Waldmann, Marianne Frisch,Hans-Thies Lehmann, Mandie O’Connell & Thomas Irmer

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