concept of work

Broadly articulating the concepts and ideas for this work circle around human and societal relationships between indifference: i.e., separation with the world and its events and states of impassiveness: i.e., to the world and its events. The performance seeks to create references to society that is ultimately formed by it and is about it - but is radically opposed to it by not offering any sensationalism in showing it. Instead the performance seeks to work in the microcosm of care and responsibility to one’s immediate surroundings as against world care which is so often ascribed to projections rather than probable realizations.

First aid is an action of response - it is direct. Its purpose is to counteract the harm a body has encountered. Giving first aid is a position on one’s ability to help, as it is the ability to identify, take care and responsibility for somebody’s pain. Part of delivering first aid is to disarm the body for the person who is hurting, so as to create an environment enabling this individual to disappear within the administration of first aid. First aid can then be seen as saving a person but also taking close to absolute control on the body.

Another case of an existing oppositional dialectic is the dilemma of neutrality. For example: the white neutral room is to all intensive purposes a construction of a dominant mind-set. The white neutral room has been invented for how one is asked to perceive neutrality as the dominant vision where differences, it can be asserted, can disappear. Both of these examples are flawed.

White Trash brings together the association of the above flaws by taking them into the work. Dealing with the above oppositions i.e., disappearance, vision and neutrality and one’s ability to deliver care is to take part within these constructions and yet acknowledge the participation within these existing dominant mind-sets. But not all minds, not all carer’s and certainly not all bodies come to be fielded within this dominant construct. white trash gambles with these dialectics within a white space. This space, a container, sucks and absorbs hides and deletes other histories, other realities through its pretence for neutrality.

performance aspects

One aspect of the work is to take direct action of the above dominant modes of thought and action into the performance event. Part of the performance is an action of wrapping the body which participates to both the first aid on the body and its disappearance. Through creating casts on parts of the body the performance addresses the care of oneself that which is a universal body experience. This experience comes in the form of a slow and gradual transformation of two bodies assimilating into the white environment.

Taking care and covering wounds is the first action towards stepping outside of oneself towards taking care for others. Two people, who are not the same as each other, begin through care of the self to create the opportunity of vanishing to join what the dominant mind-set hides. Disappearing within the constructed white environment opens the opportunity to delve behind that environment and address what it covers.

The aim of this work then is to collectively position the spectator into different fields of separation and connection - between hearing and seeing, between visual recognition and appearance, between conflict of performance expectation and performance experiencing, between gaining a hold on the work and getting something from it, between consuming it and dismissing it, between being filled by it and emptied by it. The work is not about telling the audience something, anything or discharging value but does seek to find other ways in how the above senses can be stimulated and finally reassembled during the performance as part of a collective audience experience.

Incorporating basics constructs such as care separation and expectation are enacted. Through the fragility and allegory of paper the performers wrap and discard themselves ‘out of appearance’. The point to come too is the erasure of expectancy.

Published 23 June 2004