Alice Heyward

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When I read through my scribbled notes from June, from when I was taking part in Xavier and Scarlet’s development workshop in Venice for Title in Process, 2015  up until now, as we are developing the work in Sydney, I encounter questions that I continue to ask myself – not to find their answers, but to ask questions as a continuous mode of production:

- "How does an audience of a durational work witness its own transformation?”

- “How can you change the notion of ‘action/reaction’?

- “Disappearing and Appearing: When? Why? How?”

- “What is it to be real, and what is it to be other”?

- “How to not do, but be very active?”

Questions passing. Feeling the thinking.

The questions are produced continuously and incrementally, in an ongoing cycle that does not lead to fixed answers, but spawns more questions through contemplation. This is our material produced by our material.

Smelling and Listening.

The eye as a relation vehicle.

Personal space becoming shared space.

You encounter something.

B r o a d changing. Nothing escapes the entire modification.

The Self:

If we don’t direct our attention to it, we can easily reproduce what could be both our favourite, and most hated role of ourselves, if we allow the involuntary shift to ‘auto-pilot’ mode – our auto-self. It is important to question oneself, in order to enhance the landscape made by the group; to ask, “what are my alternatives?” We tend to our role in questioning it.

Thinking, “I want to try this (behavior, action) out” (in the vocabulary of a lion in the score), or to commence a line of thought in a conversation with a visitor, with, “For me…” or “I think…” emphasizes me, as subject. We can consider a sense of ‘selfishness’ in our condition in the overall situation – an attention that I initially had reservations about.

Over the past few days, my critical feelings associated to a sense of self-regard have lifted. To state that “I think” something, means that my thought stands for me, and allows me to think together with another, in just the same way as in the group score, as a lion, I can connect with, and compose the space with others, by following my own interests and desires. Xavier’s guidance “Go to you(rself)” has resonated very strongly for me. The material brings the relation, and the action refers back to the subject.

In conversation, to think together, is different to stating preconceived opinions with which we subjectively identify, and have the potential to narrow and fix our sense of self.

The subject is the process. The “I” is the product. I am this; the aging, the transforming, the learning, the growing, the falling in and out of love… This is not a property, attribute or alteration to my being but a “consistent sequence, global and self-unfolding, of which the “I” is the successive product”. (Francois Julien, The Silent Transformation).

We think about what could be going on, we know what will soon be going on, but we never know exactly how; and all the time, we are anchored to the present through self-inquiry, in order to connect with each other and transform the situation into one which overcomes its subjects, where the situational therefore prevails over the personal.

- Alice Heyward, performer