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THE IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE PERFORMANCE

written for the work Re-delegating, Graz, 2006
Jan Ritsema

He staged a building, some kind of historical site.
he invited his colleagues and friends to stage the site
and to direct themselves
and to direct it themselves
so they did
a coming and going of friends and colleagues and friends and colleagues of friends
discussing their work
discussing proposals of work
working
working together
a platform
of exchange
of merging
of the smoothiest way to produce and gain knowledge
of experiencing and training
of invention
a performance
a strange performance
a permanence

He desperately wanted this
this reconfiguration
We need it he screamed
We have to rethink the positions

the undoing of a performance
he used to call it
this unsplit of audience and stage

but this is no performance, they screamed,
(when he started to ask subsidy for it as a performance)
this is a new initiative, very interesting, but not a performance

but i am a director he said
i am staging this
it is my work
this undoing of the stage
this undoing of the audience space

the unification, he said
and he started to shout: el pueblo unido.......

this, he said is a political performance
a change of perspective
a historical split undone

but still they didn’t want to pay for it
the subsidy distributors
they were convinced that this wasn’t a performance
they knew this wasn’t even art either (although they could know that art always should be the exception and not the rule)
they only subsided the rule
the what they could recognize as a performance

his building they said was a project
an initiative, yes,
but no performance
praiseworthy yes
but not subsidiable
not as some kind of art in general,
let alone as a performance
never mind how many actors were involved
how accessible for anybody it was
how this dispositive called theatre had been revisited
how this rusty institute called theatre had been displaced
reconfigured
a serious proposition to revive it
emancipatorise it
dehierarchyse it
but nothing helped

a performance they said needs the split between audience and stage
a split between those who know (their text) and those who don’t know
a split between the haves and the havenots
a performance, they knew needed the clear distinction
between the included and the excluded
the prepared and the not prepared
the bored and the curious
the teachers and the pupils
a performance they knew needed
hierarchy
distinction
inequality

they excluded him
his performance died
for him it died
for them it never existed

this performance
the impossible impossible performance
the absence of a performance
(for them)
not for the theatre director and performer himself
for him it was a performance
a more than live performance
a bigger than live performance
this area of exchange and merging
compressed
condensed
a forum for producing knowledge and ongoing discursive practice
a tool equal to all participants of the event
a tool machine even,
a tool producing tools
a place for temporary autonomy
a theatre at work

but not for them
they left him out
missing again and again
this chance of making a difference that really could make a difference
this chance to change
addicted as they are to what they could recognize
to what they think they belong too
and to what belongs to them
to what is known to them
their past
rejecting what eventually might have been possible
what is unknown to them
a possible future
that of the probable
of the impossible possible

 

 


 

The text is written for the work Re-delegating - Archiving Performances on the Egde of the Void , by Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda, and Ana Vujanović. Within the work it was presented as a sound performance(-proposal).
The work was exhibited at the exhibition no space is innocent!, Steirischer Herbst, Graz, 2006