Per-form: to carry out with adherence to a prescribed style. Herein lies the bewildering aspect of performance art: that whilst it appears to subvert the Aristotelian pyramid of theatre, devoid of narrative or apparent technique, it also subscribes to it.
It creates its own action, tempo and its own scale: everything is absolute within its world.
Performance, then, one might conjecture, is 'live', an act that utilizes time, space and the insertion of a verb within it.
The stories in this issue access an array of performances: Manjari writes about The Water Station, a performance about traveling to an essence, a source. And though it is silent and in slow motion, it stops becoming so, (except for your own racing mind and twitching body) for it is only measured within itself.
Lara speaks about Maya Rao's use of the universal epic, Ramayana, to tell a tale about the creative process. The fragmented narrative reflects the fragmentation of the actor and her daily dilemmas. Though Maya Rao is well above the age of 35, the tale is universal, and the technical crew--lights, set and sound--is all young. Because the piece relies heavily on the creative process as the amalgamation of diverse elements, we chose to include this story.
Parni writes a story about a photographer's visit and documentation of the ladies' compartment train in India, and though this wouldn't normally be construed as 'performance', holding a camera up and making that journey every day is an act that involves the body, time and space. This sense of performance then, transcends the stage and fuses with everyday life, in composition.
Finally, Veerangana flips the art of performing: when spectator becomes actor. When you, simply by inhabiting a deliberate space, become a performer by virtue of yourself.
And so an event takes place per-form, in real-time, in proximity of the body, in the heat of the moment, where things happen in accordance to a rehearsed practice or an improvised structure. Lines blur, circles form. A journey is begun, ends and begins again.
Performance, in a word, is travel. From one point to another, even if the two are the same. It is an arc without a story, a line without a point, a present vulnerable to weather and to the stars and a feeling of inertia that moves you into stillness.
I invite you to ponder the temporal corporeality of performance art in the wake of the India Art Fair and the several happenings around the country in the second issue of slow blooming Fuschia Tree. This is an art-storybook, that tells a tale on art that refuses to leave us. Spread the word and we encourage you to ruminate and debate on the ideas that issue forth.
Wishing you a slow read,
Every sunbeam, every strain of music, every sapling and starfish is ultimately the regeneration of a previous something, a collection of somethings, taking on new shape. At the most indivisible level we can comprehend, all life is nothing more than atoms and molecules dancing their way through various forms. And if everything comes from something, it stands to reason that everything must go to something as well.Read More