Dedications to Gravity

September 2018
edited by Diana Damian Martin

]performance s p a c e[, 2018.

An inscription, a form of words, a formation, falling, pulling.

During the Wake festival at the ]performance space[ in Folkestone a small group of us performed dedications as a way of tracing experiences of the artworks through the town, across the artists and with the environments. Writing dedications is an attempt to expand the experiences of a performance, and during the festival dedications were usually created in the 24 hours after viewing a work. This is the final dedication to the works in Wake.

This text was  crafted in reflections after the festivals end, it is not my intention to record what happened but to trace lines out beyond the immediacies of bodies in front of bodies into the landscapes of thoughts and feelings beyond. It was in the wake of the festival that this final dedication came into the light.

This text engages with Simone Weils notions of gravity and grace, to ask “What kind of attention is offered in a dedication? What kind of dedication is required of our attention?”

Wake, to become awake, to arise, is a composite of old English, Wacu, related to watching, and Old Norse, Vaka, meaning vigil, relating to wakefulness; wake is a track left by a moving ship, wake is holding a vigil.

(States of Wake) was a live critical writing project that took the form of dedications as moments of critical attention, unfolding as part of WAKE Festival in Folkestone. This book, edited by Diana Damian Martin, is a document of that process and an exploration of the gesture of dedicating performance.

(States of) Wake features contributions from Bean and Benjamin Sebastian, Selina Bonelli, Richard Hancock and Traci Kelly (Hancock and Kelly), Madeleine Collie, Jennie Klein, Esther Neff, Problemdog, and Sheaf + Barley.

]performance s p a c e[, 2018. 104 pages, 21 cm x 15 cm.

 

Dedication to the vortex between worlds
(Kira O’Reilly) Wake Performance Festival
Folkestone

Here.

Where the sea is engaged in an endless movement between one place and another.

Unfathomable.

When fathoms measure the depths of water from a surface that is always moving the measurement is also moving.

There.

Where there is no line between sea and sky, only a temporary surface, a mist, a skin, a slick, a reflection.

A mirror, Foucault says, is a joint experience between a utopia and heterotopia, and is both at once. “The mirror is, after all, a utopia, since it is a placeless place. In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. But it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does exist in reality, where it exerts a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy.”*
There is a mirror today by the concrete slabs that run down towards the sea of the English Channel; the mirror held by the artist reflects fast and clear flashes of concrete, land, cliff, bramble, sea, sky, bodies. The mirror blurs the landscapes, sea becomes concrete, concrete becomes sky. The mirror
cuts out a hole in the long body of the artist. The mirror is heavy and yet she wields it lightly. The mirror moves too fast for us see ourselves there, on the other side of the mirror, where we are not. The mirror takes the place of the sea and is fearless and unfathomable. The mirror is directing us back toward ourselves. The mirror is on the border between the environmental here and the virtual there. The mirror is enacting a reading, of land, of borders, of sea and of sky.

And what did he say about the sea…?

Nothing, he said nothing of the infinity of sea.

There.

A cliff face, a crumbling and ancient landscape.

Here.

A cliff edge, a trembling sense of who we might become.

*Foucault, Michel, Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias, “Des Espace Autres,” March 1967