Saturday, 13 October 2007

more thoughts on intimacy in one-to-one

Just thinking over my last post - for me the problem with 'intimacy' is that it implies a symmetrical (in terms of power shifts) engagement, an informal engagement - more similar to that you would have with a friend etc... However, in performance, particularly 'audience of one' or 'solo spectator' pieces - this is practically impossible. These are formal interactions, with a pattern, a structure and to some extent, an anticipated/predicted/or intentional outcome - however unstable.

Unavoidably the performer, as creator, commands dominance and is held accountable for the encounter, however obscured or presented as dis-empowered, for example. The strategies of asymmetrical dialogue are present here - however they can also be used as a way to overcome themselves; they too are breakable and in fact, not fixed – merely tools to conjure an emphasis of connection on the individual level of performer and viewer.

‘Discourse transmits and produces power; it reinforces it, but also undermines and exposes it, renders it fragile and makes it possible to thwart it’

Foucault, M. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction.


This is not a direct link to power-shifts - but a quote I find personally very useful :


‘The individual is obsessed by the obligation to act as a function of “the other,” obsessed by the obligation to exhibit himself in order to be. The over-riding desire is to live collective ethos and pathos, to grasp the existent in all of its brutal physicality, to communicate something that has been previously felt but is lived in the very moment of communication, to return to the origins without leaving the present, to lead the individual to relationship with both himself and others, to lead the individual, in short, back to his specific mode of existence.’

Virgine, L. The Body as Language. Body Art and Performance.



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