Friday, 18 November 2011

Don't try this at home / A nu se incerca acasa, Performance Review, 2008

text by Mihaela Varzari

published as part of Periferic 8 Biennale's research project initiated by Dora Hegyi, art as a gift, 2008, curated by Dora Hegyi (HU), Iasi, Romania

English version 

For the uninitiated, the introduction into performance as an artistic representation could become an instrument for understanding and interpretation of one's inner issues. One of my first experiences, that I can remember, took place at the French Cultural Institute, Iasi, during the Periferic Biennial in 1998. Bearing in mind that I was a young Spanish & English Literature student of 20 years old,  thus coming from a different area of interest but nevertheless experienced through and with reading literature, the meeting with this new form of art was quite unique. I counted myself amongst the very few ones who saw Gustáv Ütö  &  Rékà Könya's performance. The Romanian artistic duo was eating quietly for a few minutes at a table in front of a 30 people audience, when they started stubbing each other using forks, which remained still on their protected vests.

As a spectator, the first feeling to experience was of freedom generated by this new artistic form. The close vicinity in which the performance took place gave birth to a tension which implied emotional involvement on audience's behalf. The fact that we were dealing with a domestic, a la Ionesco, scene, created an abrupt interruption of rhythm, which ultimately facilitated a meeting with the self. The exteriorization through performance created freedom like feelings but nevertheless angst. Through the shamanic and exorcizing use of the body, the encounter with performance freed myself from a confused mind set and created another one following and leading a personal process of introspection; it also initiated an interior chaos, in which every gesture, expression, body movement became a performance, a gesture full of meanings. I tried to follow the organically newly thus created chaotic and liberating personal universe and I wrote my own draft for a performance but was told by an artist friend that was worthless.


Romanian version 

Pentru un neinitiat cu tipul de reprezentare artistica numita performance, ea poate deveni un instrument de intelegere si interpretare a propiilor problematici. Una din primele experiente de acest gen de care imi aduc aminte, a avut loc la Centrul Cultural Francez, Iasi in 1998, in cadrul Bienalei Periferic. Pentru cineva care vine din alta zona de interes dar cu o imaginatie exersata prin lectura, a fost o experienta cu adevarat inedita. Este vorba de un performance, mai putin cunoscut duo-ului artistic  GustáÜtö  &  Rékà Könya, in care cuplul de artisti romani maninca asezati la o masa, pe scena, in fata unei audiente de 30 de persoane. Artistii maninca linistiti, ca dupa citeva minute cei doi, sot si sotie incep sa-si infiga furculitele unul in pieptul celuilalt. Furculitele ramin intepenite in vestele captusite cu polistiren purtate de cei doi iar totul se desfasoara intr-o completa liniste.
Primul sentiment generat a fost de libertate personala indusa de posibilitatea creata prin aceasta noua forma de manifestare artistica. Tensiunea izvorita din proximitatea in care se desfasoara actiunea cere un grad mai inalt de implicare afectiva din parrtea privitorului. Faptul ca scena trateaza un subiect domestic de genul "ionescian" creeaza cu atit mai mult o intrerupere brusca de ritm existential, facilitind astfel o intilnirede grad superior cu sinele.

Exteriorizarea prin performance mi-a stirnit trairi datatoare de libertate dar si de angoasa. Samanic si extorcizant prin folosirea propriului corp, intilnirea cu performance-ul m-a eliberat de niste stari de confuzie si daruit altele care urmaresc un proces personal de introspectie; initiaza un haos interior in care orice gest, expresie, miscare, atitudine devine un performance, un gest artistic plin de intelesuri. Am incercat sa-mi urmez organic noua orinduire pe cit de haotica, pe atit de eliberatoare si am scris propriul "scenariul" pentru un performance, care dupa parerea unui prieten artist nu avea nici o valoare.

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