Interrogated Silence: participation performance
Space: Hoxton Gallery at the Arch
Reflections on the performance – a conversation between Lani Rocillo and Evgenia Emets:
EE: Lani, how did you feel about the performance today?
LR: It felt like the collective energy was of resistance. Which include ours at some level.
EE: Yes, absolutely. I found it very interesting to be working with this aspect, as it never happened before, during the two first rehearsals we had quite a different experience – one of openness and involvement. How do you think we can deal with this kind of “obstacle” in the future, how shall we look at this “opportunity”?
LR: A vocal warm up to engage people into voicing, release tension and to hear how they sound in the space. We can tone along the body and maybe focus also on the solar plexus.
EE: I agree, however I am thinking: How to make people step out of the box? How to overcome the usual pattern in contemporary performance: ‘You – entertain me!’ You see, we are dealing with the audience that has been brought up to be entertained to be sitting back passively, to delineate, and to divide. We have put this audience in a box ourselves, so what are we waiting for now. Are we waiting for equal, active conscious participation?
LR: I feel we can state the point that the aim of this performance is to break down barriers of the conventional performer/audience context. As a mirror of day-to-day relations we are all performers and audience in one way or another. With intention of sharing the self, the act of voicing can dissolve separation. With all participants sounding, the invisible interconnectedness becomes visible.
EE: Lani, what do you think about Victor’s suggestion of a ritual, as something that removes your thoughts by mere repetition of actions, when you either learn and know how to do beforehand or learn from watching others as you go through the process.
LR: Humans do a multitude of things that are repetitive that somewhat remove thoughts. Our daily rituals for instance. To be able to share oneself requires being fully present in all levels of being. A kind of framework might support this process but the framework is not set. It might change from performance to performance as it evolves.
EE: Yes, the idea of creating a structure that can be worked through every time we gather in a space, then tested and developed into something new on the basis of something that exists prior, so that this experience constantly changes over a long period of time.
LR: I do think that we need to give clearer guideline at start to make people feel safe. Feel safe within boundary before leaping into the unknown.
EE: What kind of seamless experience can be created so that the box flips open, so that the magic comes out and play? Can this work be directed in the form of a game, playful, where everyone who steps into the space starts singing along as if to the invisible audience of their own?
LR: You mentioned earlier about the performance we saw at LSO (“Graphic Scores”). A woman singing with projected graphics and words. It was mesmerizing. Perhaps we can incorporate this game as part of warm up. Play brings us seamlessly to be involved.
EE: I love the idea, integrating visual aspect into the space is very interesting especially when this visual work comes out of mere background image that accompanies the sound and becomes a score. Let’s think about it for the next one.
On another note, I feel we have no intention of anaesthetizing the audience, the opposite of waking people up from the paralysis of art. How do we prepare and educate the audience for direct unobstructed perception of deeper, more complex layers of work? We have managed to remove the stage, but these are very first tentative steps of audience on this stage.
LR: We prepare the audience by pointing out that they are performers as well. Removing the stage brings the platform to all who are drawn to be involved. It is an invitation in a given space to visibly explore one’s potential to create. Awake as active participants we see that individual expressions in the collective are aspects that shape the experience. All are significant.
… to be continued