Against Assumptions: Preparing Disasters/Preparing for Anarchism
Understanding the concept of Against Assumptions and Against Delivery we agreed that this session will challenge different modes of presentation and production, while trying to tackle and resist the formats that we are familiar with by questioning presentation as an artistic practice which incorporates surprises.
This session took place in the Blackboard Cafe over two one hour sessions. Nir, Leni, Naomi, Sophie and Sarah remained in both sessions as facilitators, while participants were changed. We began the session while we sat on the big rounded carpet. Nir and Leni suggested with hand gestures to clear the space and turn the carpet into an improvised stage. Then they asked 2 women to step into the stage and situated them in an intimate position, the two were laying on the carpet face-to-face. “Can you ask the person in front of you about her research?” Nir asked one of them. Then a deep discussion between the two developed. They shared their researches in a way that delivered an art work, a performance. Others were invited to this conversation and extend the discourse. Ankles were touched. People were eager to follow the suggestions, in a sort of ‘pick-me-don’t-pick-me’ situation and used these suggestions as a platform to communicate their thoughts and interests. If there was an anarchism within the session then it was a communal one, insofar as it generated a work in which we all represented ourselves.
The two sessions structured and originated from the same idea, oddly enough they were completely different from each other. The first session was dense, intimate and generated a tension between the “audience” and the “performers”, between “research” and “practice” and between the “physical” and the “conceptual”, while the following session was going AGAINST the suggested structure. The audience and the performers were more suspicious about the format and the discussion delivered in a more familiar and formal fashion within a non-formal structure.
It is impossible not to compare between the two sessions. If we will try and remember the initial idea of this forum- to enable surprises to happen, to allow any type of discourse in any type of mode, to suggest an open invitation without having any scenarios in mind, those two opposite and complementary sessions were an interesting surprise for us.