15 December 2010
I’m determined to recapture the “high” of the rhythm of my first two months here: up early, down the studio with camera before anyone at Cité is awake, back up four flights to download, edit and upload to YouTube, (write journal entry, enter onto website, take a long walk, buy lunch to bring home and take a nap, all while waiting…) to then embed into my journal—usually a day later.
This morning, I set up the camera in the big studio and set lighting at “Cinema”. I improvised four episodes of one set, then took off my shirt and danced a second set in two parts. Looking at the results, I notice (and feel) a weathered toughness, a matter-of-fact attitude that comes from having shed the fantasies and fancies of my initial exhilaration with my “free man in Paris” phase. Now, it all seems like the work I do, not the results, the innovation, the breaking barriers to invent some newfangled variation that will shake the video world. Ha! Some world. I think the experience last week in Lisbon also beat something out of me: seeing so little that was meaningful or moving, but seeing just enough to keep the faith. I think I also realized how much I’d taken in and refined as a practitioner and teacher, having taught, lectured, written about and presented so much about screendance.
I am reminded that this four months was not about producing a cutting edge work to send out to festivals. (I do not have access to the resources, venues, lighting and other production values necessary for that.) I am simply generating material in a fairly spontaneous, free-flowing progression of sessions. I am becoming facile, practiced, at ease with the process. But does a progression imply “progress”? Have I analyzed each work, made notes, set goals or parameters for the next study, and tracked the “improvement” or development of any one issue, effect, idea, theory, concept or formal device? No, not really. Not consciously. I suppose any theory or development that emerges will do so as I shape a performance/presentation from the body of work. The momentum, form and content will either fall into an overall trajectory that progresses to some place of inevitability, or it will be a montage, a multidirectional pastiche, a series of windows into a four-month exploration, a “university without walls”.
Paris/Last Looks #1 has this weathered look. Somber, maybe. I try to pin things down, set anchor, but am constantly uprooting or subverting that impulse to locate, pin down, settle. Click here.
The first part of Paris/Last Looks #2 is torn-up and “off”; but the second part gets more to the point, I think. I am proud of this section. It serves to embody both the turbulence and the inner logic that has been spinning out of me all these weeks. I draw it together and make it smaller, tighter, into a gestural sign language of forms, shapes, scrawls… I get closer to the camera, I “talk” to it. I talk. Consider me happy... or at least high again. Click here.