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Who Moves And Who Doesn’t

Constant Craving — Performing Under Conditions, State of Concept, Greece, 2018

‘who have you been visiting?’.

The food-trays have been removed and coffee has been served, they bring out the perfume box contained 6 to 8 bottles. They anoint themselves with the different scents on different parts of the body or clothing

The appearance of the perfume-box signals the end of the visit, and the guests depart as soon as the performance is completed.

Guests arrive wearing their best perfumes to honor the hostess, and leave being honored in return

By the end of the visit they are bound together by a shared fragrance.

It is a space that has been divided or delimited by fixed or solid borders. The border separates between the space inside from the space outside. The border become a fixed sign of distinction between the inside and the outside.

It responds to the problem of identity, whether it is identity of a person, or a place or something else.

It labels a well-defined group of elements.

But every place she went, they pushed her to the other side/ and that other side pushed her to the other side/ of the other side/ of the other side.

To claim the space is to deny it from ‘others’. Territory is not given but constituted.

Identity of both individual and group.

Identities are never unified and never singular, but multiply constructed across differences.

They are subject to a radical historicization and are constantly in the process of change and transformation.

It is adapted.

Identity is a way of re-departing. Re-departures, different pauses, different arrivals…It is doubled, tripled, multiplied across time and space.

When differences keep on blooming within despite the rejections from without, she dares-by necessity. She dares to mix; she dares to cross the borders to introduce into language, verbal, visual, musical, everything monologism has repressed.

 

To draw a line, we joint dots.

To create a fabric, we weave lines.

Jointed dots become a line, woven lines become a surface.

 

The traces of lines could appear as both an individual’s and collective’s.

Each individual leave traces.

We leave footsteps where we walk pass, breadcrumbs on the table where we had sandwich, hairs that fall on the floor, trace of heat left on window after we touch or a smell of food that linger in the kitchen after we cook.

a trace of existence – lines of habitation.

Habitation, and not occupation. Being and living not to take over or to conquer.

as a person moves she becomes a line.

To find another being who may be lost, you lay one line of tracks through the expanse, looking for signs of another line that might lead you to your quarry. The entire place is perceived as a mesh of interweaving lines rather than a continuous surface.

Trace of gestures.

The person is his or her movements.

Lines are created and leave traces along and behind the movements, while moving – while flowing. In this sense, we can understand a surface as an intertwine lines of smell, woven into the land.

It cannot be captured, shaped or grounded. It’s a flow, that resist containment in discrete units, that cross borders, that link disparate categories and that confuse boundary line.

It flows. It grows.

 

Photo by Alaa Abu Asad

Me and a very dear friend of mine, go to a laundry shop on a busy street. There are a few people waiting for their clean clothes. We exchange coins and start the washing process. We both sit on the bench in the shop, waiting. Not long after our entry appears a family of a mother, father and son with a huge basket full of clothes. They dress in an unusual style. Their clothes show signs of frequently used and time spend in a dusty environment. The mother carries her son and sit him on the bench right next to me, then she turns to help her husband to put their clothes in the machine. They want to clean as many clothes as possible in the machine. The shop owner gets angry because it’s too much for the machine to handle. They have an intense conversation in a language that I don’t understand. Their son does care much. He reaches his hand out towards me. Big smile on his face.

We start to play with silly faces and funny hand gestures. His mother, on the other hand, gives him a serious look time to time when he makes loud noise. The conversation between the shop owner and this family starts getting heated, they start raising their voice. I keep playing with the boy. My friend watches us and giggles.

Suddenly the mother quickly grabs the son from the bench, they leave.

——————-

He sprays everywhere ………………everywhere they touched; the bench that the son sat on, the floor, the washing machine handle and the door.

He wipes off all their traces.

 

They are out of place.

There is a place for everything and everything in its place

Mud….that flows

Mud….that grows.

Yet, there is no such thing as absolute dirt—it is a matter of perception and classification.

dirt is a principal means to arrange culture

They have driven west, away from civilised society, ultimately facing a what “they still tell us and what we still continue to buy”

Perhaps, it is a question of both the lie and its truth, and the truth and its lie.

that reality is blood and dust and death and a cold wind blowing

Relentlessly pursued, they cannot stop to wash off the dirt, just as they cannot eschew responsibility for what they have done. They have become dressed in the dust of road, no longer on it but of it.

Whenever one addresses a change in the color of skin, one engages with the discourse as a potential threat. The darkening of the hero’s skin by dirt, renders them as a perpetrator of violent acts. When the necessity for violence is over the hero cleans up to return to society.

Returning to the gendered confines of ‘civilization’ she must wash off the signs of her struggle and return to sleep as if it was all a nightmare.

Isolated in space and release from being the object. She is free to begin a new discourse. Instead she takes a shower.

For the little people gamboling under the moonlight, my tale is fantastic story.

For the women spinning cotton during the long night of the cold season, my narrative is a delightful diversion.

For those with hairy chins and rugged heels. It is a real revolution.

Perhaps, it is a question of both the lie and its truth, and the truth and its lie.

When does it end. Where and what is behind.

 

 

 

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Text Reference      –  Matter Out of Place – Reading Dirty Women,Carol Wical

                                  – When the Moon Waxes Red Representation Gender and Cultural Politics, Minh-ha Trinh T

 

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