The short but intense collaboration with ELY DAOU was beyond words
jet I try to grasp some of it
The nature of this encounter incorporates my perspective on Art
– interwoven with life – as how we met it is impossible to say where our performance started or our life. Mostly it was the same.
I would not say that all life is just art in general…because life also is a present and not just our own creation
but it is : present and creation interwoven
During my six weeks gallery performance, THE CALCULATING MIND CAN NOT BE TRUSTED, I investigated the speciality of the structure of the human mind, which has enabled us to develop in different ways than other mammals.Theses special operating modes, are also the basis of abstract thinking, technology and science: comparing, associating, choosing, aligning and the development of causalities. To investigate these, I stayed in the gallery for six weeks repeating the same action: Every day I cracked 21 walnuts, to eat the broken ones immediately and place the walnut halves that stayed whole, like miniature brains, on a blood-red tray in front of me. I then proceeded to count the nuts. These numbers were the only spoken words during the six weeks in the gallery.I knitted as many of my long blood-red braids, into a red net that was spread out over the ceiling. Every day at seven I started to turn for one hour so that the braids came down again. This way the chaotic variations of life itself, met the structural form of the human mind. Naturally, the amount of broken nuts varied from day to day, and the the net of my red braids would change during the process. My reaction was structured in a clear automatism due to the rules of comparing, choosing, and aligning despite the unpredictability. The experience of this investigation was intense beyond words. The visitors of the gallery became a part of it, some without even noticing it much, some clearly aware of it. When Ely Daou came in for the first time, his eyes and energy revealed a very concentrated investigation.
That day I found some little papers full of numbers in the gallery. I thought that a friend, who was there the same day, a mathematician had left them. When Ely Daou came back again into the gallery, I gave him the papers just to see his reaction and he showed me a book he carried around, full of numbers. The papers I found the other day were out of this book! This moment was a strange epiphany for me. Looking into his eyes, after a month of speaking nothing but numbers, I felt how close but also how far we were in the distinctness of our actions and mind… as if an energy beyond the personal as well as our individuality was present. This was mysterious and revealing at the same time. When my gallery-performance was over, I prepared for a performance in Paris. Ely contacted me via social media and I understood that he was also a performance artist and had also worked with numbers for many years. Since Nicola Fouroni, whom l planned to collaborate with, could not come to Paris, and because I was fascinated with our meeting, I asked him if he would like to join me. It was quite spontaneous but my ideas for the performance were already worked out. He conceded and both of us agreed that we should continue to not speak, at least until after the performance. This was wonderful, especially because Ely explained to me, that writing or reciting numbers is a way to express feelings and thoughts that are beyond words. The performance I had planned for Paris belongs to my performance cycle UNTIL DEATH DO US PART in which l investigated existential human dependencies in seven chapters: nature, heart, water, seeds and eggs, skin, blood and breath and brain. During the chapter brain (the calculating mind can not be trusted) I had met with Ely.
In Paris I was bringing together elements of the chapters skin (I got stripped while I put on a slowly drying latex mask), heart (I was blindfolded) and brain (I was knotted with my braids in the net), while Ely was observing it and reciting numbers.
By the end of this 3 hours performance I was undressed and revealed that all my body was covered with numbers. After hyperventilating intensely the latex mask came of.I placed it onto Elys face and undressed him to reveal that he was also covered with numbers.This performance and especially the preparation for it, writing the numbers on each others bodys without speaking was strange and magical. After the performance we began to speak. I doubt that this was a good idea. We were communicating intensely on different levels: body, mind and soul. Yet the temptation to nail and clarify what can never be said or explained with verbal expression made it impossible to communicate at all after three intense months. I suspect that this drive to clarify anything is misleading us in every way: in art , in science, in love. The truth is: there is never any solution or clarification, the opposite is the case: the more we discover and put down, the more questions arise. And it is quite important to understand this „where the secret is missing , the witness is missing“ (Boris Nieslony).
A solution is imaginable, but does not belong to life as we know it and likewise it is redundant to even try expressing it within the known structures of art, science, communication and so on. As mentioned in Santideva (Mahayana- Buddhism): ”The veiled reality (samvrity) and the absolute reality (paramartha) , these two realities we assume.The absolute reality is not subject to realization. Realization is called veiled reality.”
Marcel Duchamp mentioned this permanent presence of absolute reality as the artistic joker he was: “there is no solution, because there is no problem.”Since the preparation for the Paris performance: just writing the numbers on each others bodies was fascinating for us, we thought it could be interesting for others as well and did that as a 3 hours performance at the Riga Performance Festival. We called it: I COUNT ON YOU The performance in Riga was a meditation about the differences between connection and attachment. This culminated in a moment where we stood facing each other, all covered with numbers. I saw nothing but Ely´s eyes within numbers. Moving numbers. Glowing numbers. Three-dimensional spaces of numbers. All attachment was gone in this moment, as myself was not there anymore. We exist only in relation to someone or something…”if the spirit is without an object, all beings are buddha” said Santideva. I say: if the spirit is without an object, there is no subject anymore.