PIECE FOR RESISTANCE. OTHERS DIALOGUE ON REVOLUTION
Moscow, Russia, 2014
with Ekaterina Vasilyeva
performative installation in three acts as transformation of an ephemeral gesture into an utterance of a community and further dissimilation into materiality of text, object, light.
Conceived as a continuation of the performance AXE DE RÉVOLUTION, this project aimed to exhibit performance documentation but also to develop it into a context for interaction and finally unfolded to a series of verbatims combined with public action and involvement into performance, where actually the public itself became the co-author.
Throughout rethinking the passage of the performance from a state of event to its representation (video documentation), in search of not just an imprinted trace, but of a new singular experience - that of co-action, as an exhibition project an open autoconstructing utterance of the community was initiated. It transformed from an extension of the event to a new independent one.
The performance AXIS OF REVOLUTION activated political and social context, which responded to the metaphoric artistic gesture with a blunt of media noise. The performance was perceived as a provocative political action and at the same time it eluded definite interpretations. The polysemic content of the performance became a trigger of reality, that showed feverishness of the environment, its demands and needs.
This intervention is an unpronounced joint of meanings, expressed in a plastic form. It revealed the necessity of the articulation between the versions, between the told and the untold. The act of marching opened a hermeneutic field and created a need for an act of speech.
The day of the opening the pubic is proposed to write freely on walls of the gallery, while one of the walls is a place for projection of a 17-hours film, documentation of the performance. By making together with public individual speech acts through writing on walls of the gallery, I created mental texto-graphic document which had video-documentation of the Axe de Révolution as a reference. It expanded into a collective memory map and acquired the physical space of the gallery by transforming it into the space of a perpetual polyphonic dialogue.
For the following 14 days artists were present in the gallery for the total of 100 hours. Anybody could come, sit at a table with me and engage into a conversation. Every talk lasted from 40 minutes up to three hours. After each conversation the words and the signs from the walls that served as refer- ence-points for conversations were painted out with white semi-transparent paint. Day by day, phrase by phrase the walls were being cleaned up, writ- ten words were disappearing through vocalization and narration.
On the day of finissage the space of the gallery turned to it initial state: white. Though it had traces of the event: black marks under semi-transparent white paint. when the evening approached, the space was re-arranged, some elements appeared;
------ a neon sign <<axe de revolution>>
------ a small projection on a 5osm3 cube
------ a monitor with a facebook page where the talks were put down in a form of chronological line-field
the room itself was clean and empty. the space was enlightened with blue light of the neon. a sens of purification appeared. public was silent. as if the room itself was silence, a non-verbal non-material dispositif for communication.
this came as the third act and an epilogue: the circle of //de//materialization of the word was completed.
But the answer comes from outside: each and every reminiscence is erotic,
either it is about a city or about a woman.
On the 6th of November - three months after the performance and on the eve of the opening - we came to the 33h kilometer of Moscow MKAD Ring Road - there where we finished our perfromance on th 11th of August.
Along the road on the wayside there was a bitten path, which starts at the bridge and leads, as many roads in Moscow, to nowhere. On the little island in the middle of the highway which is the most southern point of it, there was no metal tube, it disappeared from where it was left.
Not only this, but the place itself disappeared. The huge metal road sign marking the 33h kilometer was absent. All what was left: two tiny metal filed off columns that used to hold the sign. Nearby there was a line of laid grass - a trace left by the tube.
Everything vanished: the place, the time, the object.
Outlines, reminiscence and itinerary of memory - only those remained.
The intimate testimonies that elude neutral protocol documentation.
The paraphrases of the event.
The re-creations of the image.
In which form the paraphrase of a specific experience can exist not only as a duplication or as an impersonal document, but as an open self-constructing utterance of a community?
How to translate it from the state of a fait accompli into modality of representation so that the registered trace remains, but also the new experience emerges - that of co-action?
Questions of interrelation between the actual and its paraphrase, between the literal and metaphoric, between absence and presence, and also the reflection on memory and inner necessity to resist the media noise, led us to the strive for text.
The inner work which continuously happens in and between us - the dialog - in a form of an argument or ecstatic agreement, all those mental journeys together form a mental image of the performance Axis of Revolution, it’s extrasensual existence, its idea.
The performance is a metaphor for relations where two have a non-verbal dialog through an object - a metal construction element of rectangular section, which is at the same time their connection and distance. This metaphor, reformulated for PIECE FOR RESISTANCE becomes a place for a polyphonic dialog and memory, a sphere of ideas and action performed through text.
In the memory - resistance.
Negotiation of time and recreation of the image. A movement through impressions, a movement of the thought which Agamben after Plato calls «erotic anamnesis» that lifts a person to her proper-place - to the place of an idea.
In the memory - persistence.
In the memory - love.
A whatever metal tube, one of many, we left at the most southern point of Moscow MKAD Ring Road. PIECE FOR RESISTANCE is its nonmaterial presence, recreating image of the event in a form of an expanding in space mental map and extended in time reminiscence. From the personal singular handwriting of everyone through the polyphony of utterances - to the place of common memory.
In the performance through the act of march, through the steps, we actualized the topography of the city in parallel with how the act of speech realizes, acquires the language. We pronounced the space of the city through the act, creating a new reality for it as the language acquires realization, pronunciation through a speech act.
By translating a non-verbal corporal communication of the performance to the actualized text, to the speech act which counts for a physical act, we use performativity as an ability of speech to crate action, operate change, construct new state of things.
Semiotic expression has consequences in creation of extra-semiotic reality. By nominating the gallery PIECE FOR RESISTANCE we transform the space into the place of resistance through speech acts - and through memory.
Bipedalism and language, actualized respectively in acts of march and speech are the conditions for hominization and are impossible without «vigilant consciousness» (Mircea Eliade). Steps as well as handwriting - a line that is constantly oscillating between common shape of letters and a unique outline of them - are examples of the co-existence of common and individual and are individual form of the possibility of common resistance.