I think the performances turned out very well, and helped clarify some things for me. When I was still planning and figuring out how they would take shape the article “Dance as a Metaphor for Thought” by Alain Badiou helped me quite a bit. It lead me to my current definition of drawing as the organization of thoughts into meaning. With that, I was able to place everything in the performance into a conceptual framework of the artistic thought process. This weekend I read the play Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry. It was eye opening to see the absurd written in such a way, but also to read the brief bio included on Jarry, who himself lived a life of absurdity. There is also a 1965 performance on youtube which looks fantastic, but with no subtitles it is hard to sit through to much at a time. It has wonderful editing, sets, and costumes though.
In A Willfulness to Play Along, the use of live performers combined with handcrafted environments gives a certain realism, and absurd juxtaposition, that I am fond of. I also really thought that there were very beautiful moments in just having the improvised music continue without end. At one point, while drawing Lauren, the dancer, I yelled out “Play something classical”, and what followed caught me off guard and moved me very profoundly as I finished up the drawing.
In many ways, that performance represented an ideal of what I would prefer my creative environment to be, or what it is in my head. All the parts are running at once, there’s someone singing, dancing, I’m trying to tell them all what to do, to make drawings of them before they pass, to find the jokes, the tension, the right camera angle, the meaning and the fun.
I also watched The Rules of the Game by Renoir, Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren, The Blood of a Poet by Cocteau (no subtitles again), and looked at some stills from the performance The Street, Snapshots from the City by Claes Oldenburg. I have an article about the performance that I will read when I get the chance.
Next on the to-do list is to make an edition of photo-polymer etchings from a performance still I picked out. Also, I will hopefully be collaborating with the bassoon player, Dan, to get a short improvised score for How to Upholster a Hand. I then need to finish that animation and figure out if there is a particular way I want to install it.
Lastly I am going to be attempting to condense my portfolio down for the requirements to a couple residency applications.