For this project, we had to focus on portraying the liminal relationship between time and space. Personally I feel Time and Space are intangible concepts that vary according to an individual’s perception. They also alter and morph depending on one’s experience with an event and the subsequent emotion they feel from it. For example, time may feel dreadfully slow, and space acutely tight, when someone feels anxious. Hence for this project, I decided to focus on exploring perceived and experiential time. However, I also wanted to encapsulate the man-made idea of measured and calculated time, and how this in itself can influence one’s perception.
Time, even in its ‘scientific’ definition, according to Quantum Theory, is just a dimension of space. This highlights the relationship between the concepts.
I intended to do a performance piece for my final project, instead of an installation or video as I wanted my body to be the main medium. In line with this idea, I drew inspiration from a performance artist I have always looked up to — Marina Abramovic. She also focuses on exploring the internal dimensions of time and space, while ensuring her works have a strict linear time frame — to ensure a focused delivery to the audience.
Marina Abramovic is hailed as the Grandmother of Performance Art, and she is known for her long durational works which often emphasise on utilising and allowing her body to be the medium through which she portrays her ideas.
Her works also focus on exploring the relationship between artist and audience and testing the limits of the body and the mind. These are concepts I want to be able to execute in my final presentation too.
“What you’re doing is not important. What is really important is the state of mind from which you do it. Performance”
Rhythm 0 — 1974
Abaramovic performed one of her most renowned and controversial works, Rhythm 0, in 1974. She laid down on a table, with 72 items and gave the audience the liberty to interact with her body in any way they wanted to. Hence, for a period of six hours, visitors were invited to use any of the objects on the table while she subjected herself to their treatment. There were items that could induce pleasure and items that were capable of causing severe harm.
Source : guggenheim.org
The Art of Drinking Water Consciously
“Feel the coldness, wetness. Feel how the water goes into the mouth, goes into the body, nourishing cells and drink this glass in 30 minutes, and nothing else. “
This video encapsulates the idea of being acutely aware of the sensations and reactions of the body to an external medium. Through a simple and mundane act of drinking a glass of water, Abramovic explores each movement and feeling in a rhythmic and meditative manner. Time is slowed down in this video as opposed to the rapid and nonchalant manner in which we usually gulp down a glass of liquid.
The Abramovic Method
“The Abramovic Method developed over decades of research on performance and immaterial art. Created by Marina Abramovic, the Method is an exploration of being present in both time and space. It incorporates exercises that focus on breath, motion, stillness, and concentration.” – MAI
This method of feeling the physicality of measured time, while conveying the ideas of intangible versions of time, will form the basis for my performance piece. Understanding the importance of the role of the artist and the audience is key to delivering an effective performance.
This an example of The Abramovic Method, practiced by Pop Icon, Lady Gaga.
Personal GOal for final work
On my part, till the days up to my performance, I conditioned myself to be as acutely aware of the sensations in my body as much as possible. I also constantly looped songs that had a meditative rhythm and beat to them in an attempt to set a prepared state of mind. I mostly listened to idiosyncratic songs by Lisa Gerrard and her band (Dead Can Dance) as they imbue a dissociative feeling while employing a trance like rhythm. It was important for me to detach myself from my ‘body’ and treat it like a mere medium for the audience, while still being aware of each ‘sensation’. I had to feel without letting myself process or interpret them. I also wanted it to be ritualistic.