May 31, 2016
There’s a point in the documentary The Artist is Present at which Marina Abramovic says that doing almost nothing is the hardest thing in performance art. Moments of silence or stillness in the Illuminous sessions are the ones that fascinate me. They test my nerves, and I sense those of the audience too. Any tiny movement – Andrew letting his trumpet drift down to one side; me lifting my face away from the screen; a gaze met and held, an almost inaudible tapping on the trumpet’s valves. What are they doing? Why have they stopped? Are they finished? Isn’t it too soon? If they’re finished, why aren’t they acting like they’re finished? (And perhaps, sub-consciously… Where am I? What am I doing? Is this body really mine? Am I here? If so, how long have I been here? How much longer have I got? Is here even here? Is now even now? Am I breathing? When I see my breath in the air, whose is it now and where is it going?)
I love these elasticated, elongated minutes. To play with micro-moments. Tiny calibrations. Of body. Imagination. Emotion.