So we finally had an idea for our performance. The idea was that each of us would have a separate tent to which we could each explore intimacy in our own one to one performance, whether this be the ideas which interested us or the ideas surrounding the senses and a loss of a sense, we took this ideas to our lecturer to discuss. Wes picked up on the idea of me stating that I wanted to create a space in which I would give my time to someone, for them to take it as they wished and responded by asking if I would kiss them if they asked? My answer was yes, I’d have to because I would have essentially created this environment for them and I hadn’t planned on stating any objectives to the person because I felt that that would ruin the notion of giving someone your time. So, okay he replied so what if someone wanted to have anal sex with you…Oh, I was stopped in my tracks. I knew what my answer would be, no, but how could I say no when I would have promised and created this environment for someone, stating that it was purely for them to do what they wanted.
This conversation brought up the notion of commitment. As a group we had to ask ourselves, how far were we willing to go for our performance? Could we give ourselves fully to the performance?
Marina Abramović is an example of an artist who does fully commit herself to her performance. In 1974, she put on the piece Rhythm 0, as explained in the audio below, the performance consisted of a table where 72 objects were placed on a table, these were a variety of objects, including such things as honey, a rose, a gun and a bullet. For six hours Marina encouraged the audience to use these objects on her as they desired. This really highlights the commitment Marina has for her art, to a point where she put her life in the audiences hands as she states in the interview, “it was six hours of real horror” (Abramović: 2012) to which she goes on the explain how the audience become increasingly more aggressive towards her and their acts become more violent.
As a group we had to discuss exactly how far we were prepared to go in this performance and what we felt comfortable with. From the ideas we had generated and developed so far, the notion of exploring intimacy seemed to be a occurring theme in these ideas. Taking this idea, we discussed what would be comfortable for each person, and there appeared to be a path emerging. Jordan wasn’t comfortable in taking the notion of intimacy with a stranger to far, whereas Demi was prepared to go to a certain extent, further than the majority of us. From this we discussed the idea of gradually building up intimacy with our audiences, through a number of separate one to one performances. The participant would begin by simply sitting with one of us, to then holding hands, to cuddling to then kissing a member of our group. This idea appealed to us all and it also allowed for us to do what we were comfortable with, which we believed was vital in what we was exploring because it meant we would be able to commit fully to our performance, thus providing our performance with a truth, a factor we all agreed was vital in creating an effective one to one performance.
Long: Abramović, Marina (2012) Audioguide interview: Rhythm 0. MoMa Online: http://www.moma.org/