The use and abuse of nostalgia

22 08 2010

RITES #7, Saturday 14 August 2010, 7.30 pm

Venue: The Substation Theatre

Like everyone else in this busy country I am always complaining about insufficient time and would really like to form a movement to change the 24 hour day to that of 48 hours to ease our stressfulness over not enough time but I don’t have the time for that. But the real issue is how everything boils down to that of making a judgment and decision as to what we find is most important in terms of priorities. No I am not referring to the people who should be in the audience but not there to help us celebrate our one year anniversary of R.I.T.E.S. but I think this is one big question for all performance artists, that of time. There are different approaches of course and this evening’s program somehow made me nostalgic and although the artists may not be had intended they actually gave me some things to think about concerning nostalgia in relationship to time. But nostalgia is not just about time but how our emotions are moved in certain directions when thinking back about the past.

“Hermes Action Writing”

Jozef Czeres walked in with a suitcase containing a typewriter, among other things. Who uses a typewriter in the age of computers? This aroused my first nostalgic impression. While setting up Ceres seemed to be speaking to himself in a low almost inaudible tone. His mumbling at first sounded like a retelling of the Greek mythology of Hermes and his reverence for the founder of music and art and then ending with jaded rants about how most of contemporary art is crap? Or maybe I was just imagining it but it gave me a second nostalgic impression as although dressed casually he gave the an aura of a world weary philosopher who had seen better days when art and culture was really gracious manifestation of humanity in our daily life. We then hear a voice calling out random alphabets, were they spoken live or prerecorded and played through a speaker? I wished artists who speak did make sure they could be heard unless they intend it that way. But the alphabet and typewriter were making a sleepy drone as if hypnotizing me into; you guessed it, a nostalgic mood. As Jozef typed on it looked like he was typing the letters that were being spoken through the speakers. This continued for some time and later asked to the audience for help to read from books laid on the chairs that were already placed in front. They read them out loud, in various languages the books were in as Czeres carried on typing on different pieces of paper. It became a choir of rather monotonous, rhythmic drone that now seemed to be tone of the whole presentation. The readers stop reading, and Jozef goes on to end the performance by laying out the typed papers, with a lighted tea light placed beside each paper. He went to the back wall and using some chalk wrote, “Terrorists destroy buildings. Tourists destroy places. Artists destroy both”. He then ended by using a rubber stamp to put some red words on the paper he laid out which says “THE LAZY ANARCHISTS”. Another nostalgic moment for me as not many young artists care, discusses or even refer to anarchy in their slick art world although performance and conceptual art has been seemingly accepted, most are comfortably strutting out with pride and confidence sans the original motivations of being a critical response to the status quo.

Jozef Czeres


This installment of R.I.T.E.S. coincides with the exhibition “Touch” held in the Substation gallery, organized with the help of Jeremy Hiah together with Nopawan Sirivejku and Monkol Plienbanchang both active organizer artists base in Bangkok. Nopawan Sirivejku, or more popularly known Aor, blew into a child’s whistle before going on with various actions. Her piece was also entitled “Touch” and could be seen in relation to the exhibition that called our attention to the often neglected and taken for granted need of sensory gratification in human nature. Although attitudes are changing, within various Asian traditions touching each other especially between the different genders is not commonly seen in public. Coming from her background of an active organizer artist with concerns for social work her actions also led beyond the interpersonal act of physical touching to sharing life experiences seeking community. After blowing the whistle, she worked on a ball of red thread, unwinding and spreading it as she walked through the audience, tying or entangling some of them up in the process. The red thread appears as a vehicle for the artist to touch and relate to our separate independent individual bodies of senses attempting to unify everyone. The red thread touched the audience as she walks through them.

Nopawan Sirivejku

“We Are What We Have Lost”

Ezzam Rahman’s piece is the second part, dedicated to his father’s passing away, the day before his 40th day of departure. The first part was presented during the Sama-sama Guesthouse mini Alternative Festival 2010 [i]just a week before in Malacca where his father was born. Ezzam told an emotion filled tale of his parent’s separation after which he chewed a whole bunch of “gulang melba”, a kind of rock sugar, tied onto a string he wore around his neck until he bled from his mouth. He also asked his younger brother, Fareed Rahman to come on board in the second part performed at R.I.T.E.S. While Fareed played on the sadatanah, or suarantanah, which literally translates to “voices of earth” Ezzam blew into a small translucent plastic bag, tied it to a length of string as he dropped the bag and held it like a pendulum. He carried to use larger plastic bags from mortuaries that are meant for corpses, explicitly referring to the notion of death. Unrolling one of the plastic bags to its length, he stepped with intent across it, as he laid it out in front of himself, creating a series of fleeting footprints that appeared and disappeared as he stretches over the translucent plastic surfaces. He then proceeded to open up other plastic bags fully and swung them around like flogging himself or covering and uncovering over his head and body. Stretching the bag over his tall stout body frame changing his form into amorphous shapes. At some point standing against the back wall, while still covered with the plastic, he continued to stretch them till they tore at various overstretched sections. As his leg was became visible through the torn plastic followed by his body emerging like a birthing scene. With the accelerating tempo and rhythm of Fareed’s playing, Ezzam furiously thrashed the plastic around himself blatantly letting fly his motions, himself culminating perhaps into catharsis. Fareed slowed down the tempo back to silence as Ezzam covered both himself and his brother with the bag, laying it all to rest. Ezzam later explained that he used various material like the “gulang melba” out of nostalgia for his growing up years, something that many of us could also identify with. In working with the nostalgic elements he had become what he had lost.

Ezzam Rahman

“It’s a hole”

Chua Chin Chin filled three glasses with water, constantly shuffling them on the table top, quite like gamblers with playing cards. Perhaps a gamble on life with the physical body in which we are all trapped inside. She occasionally takes mouthfuls of water, which later she reveals that her voice is always prone to being hoarse. She then tells the audience that one of her biggest fears is to be stuck in the cold, of hypothermia. She proceeds to fill a bucket up with ice, and plunges her feet into it. She strums strings entwined around some nails across some lengths of wooden planks boards laid on the table with some metal cutlery. She begins a narrative on how to get out of a house with no doors or windows, signifying our own entrapped within our physical body. She punched her own upper arms, in turn revealing that her feet, which had been soaking in ice perhaps in contrast had become numbed to the pain. At times strumming the strings with the cutlery. With pensive actions and self-inflicted pain, Chin translated intangible emotions and sensitivities into physical images attempting to reveal her personal struggles at evoking the yearning to fulfill oneself.

Chua Chin Chin

“War Therapy”

Monkol Plienbangchang also used some images that were exhibited in “Touch” showing in the Substation gallery. Holding up a toy elephant and military artillery tank he wrote the word “VIOLENCE” on his arm and on his shirt. He then added a “NON” suffix to the word. And then another, in turn shows the audience ‘non-non-violence’, a complete redundancy of the first paradox. He then wrapped his right foot with an army printed cloth, and his left with a photograph image of the blue sky, which he had used in the exhibit “Touch”. The image he used was actually part of a photograph, which showed Monkol tearing up the image and evoking man’s violence on nature, with the elephant and the army tank. He filled a glass bowl with cinnamon and some herbal powder adding and mixing them with water. He soaks his covered feet in the cinnamon water, and held the water into his gaping mouth and spitting the water out, dripping over himself, the toy army tank, and the toy elephant. He went to the back and writing the word VIOLENCE” with chalk on the black wall and added a number of the suffix “NON” as if to emphasize the urgency to negate violence.

Monkol Plienbangchang

With the prospect of a tense future we tend to nostalgically dream of recapturing an idealized past. Perhaps it was the air-conditioning, but I came out with a fever after the performances and hurried home trying to figure out how we may use and abuse our nostalgia.

By Lee Wen and Chand Chandra Mohan

[i] Sama-sama Guesthouse Mini Alternative Art Festival 2010 (Melaka), 06/08/2010 – 08/08/2010, Venue: Sama-sama Guesthouse, Jalan Tukang Besi, Melaka, Malaysia,



16 responses

22 08 2010
Rooted In The Ephemeral Speak

An exchange on facebook:

Kuning Zai:
why you waste time on describing the performance (the obvious) instead of explaining why it is use and abused of nostalgia?
7 hours ago · Like ·

Lee Wen:
thanks zai. i don’t think its a waste. i was having fever on that day so i asked Chand our volunteer to help with writing, and with her descriptions of the performances i tweaked and added some comments. i think many do not look at performance art with attention. we often have pre-conceived idea even before looking. at the same time the artists need to be taken seriously at what they do and hopefully learn something from how other people see them. maybe i m wrong but it is an attempt to also develop writing about performance art

2 hours ago · Like ·

Kuning Zai
yes lee wen. it does not sound like you but ok. i got fever too and the aircon is killing me so i must admit i watch josef about 5 min and it bore me to death bcos i dont like mumbling talk. Aor got 1 min. its boring. the rest i dont watch. i could not take the cold. and i also must admit i get real bored and constantly disappointed the same way with theatre, dance and musical. i dont know if i have become lazy. if people want me to sit down for 30 minit for their show i got to be drunk. if im sober you got 1 min the most.

the beauty of ‘performing’ in many way bustardise by the idea of ‘ism’ (dance, drama, phisical theatre, performance art etc.). the body constantly in a state of ‘being rape’ with ‘ideas’. engagement between audience and performer is neglected and all seems like complete indulgence which lead audience and society BLIND n DEFT. i do really mean it. if performance artist continuosly condemn theatre/drama/dance and all form of performance which question phisicality and think that performance art is avant garde or ‘more contemporary’ then others or better…all of us is digging a grave with a tombstone carved INDULGENCE.


probably you are doing the right thing to write about performance art which mean you got to write about really fucking boring performative language. i salute you and i hope people do wake up. as much we want audience to take performance artist seriously they should take themself seriously too. the most insulting thing is when we think ‘people dont understand’. im dead sick of such statement from performance artist.

my opinion is that performance art in asia is still in the state of what some call ‘boy scout camping on open fire by the beach or lake and take turn to do some fuckup trick

22 08 2010
Malgosia Butterwick

art IS indulgence!!! 🙂

Indulge in art! – in every way – mantal, physical, emotional etc…
In this indulgence we get to know ourselves better, and let others to know us as we are – here starts all reflection…


best regards

Malgosia Butterwick

23 08 2010
Zai Kuning

and my respond to malgosia ‘indulgence is a tool but not ‘its’

23 08 2010

thats very nice malgosia. indulgence is just a tools and not ‘it’

23 08 2010
Iwan Wijono

Dear Lee Wen and All,

Oh la la, these talk so emotional and so many hard analizing and
treated that performance art is boring. For me many good performance
art and many boring performance art, also boring song and good song,
good film so boring film, great theatre and so bad theatre.

For me, I use performance art, beceause easily for me to do more
things than established art medium. Make it simple in mind and do many
things in life, confrence, talk, debate just sometimes after important
action with real benefit in social life.

Iwan Wijono

23 08 2010
Andrea Pagnes

Dear Lee, dear all, let me say that “Nostalgia” – as topic du jour – has been always fundamental to investigate and comprehend ourselves as humans, (hence as artists), and also what is the meaning of our presence in this world, which is always more than a simple condition. I’m glad you have arised a debate on this specific subject. As you have rightly written, it seems that in our present days we all face a lack of awarenss towards the profoundess of Nostalgia. However, the problem is not just generational, it’s somehow collective. The “pain/ache for the return” (as the ancient Greek called it), or the “undefined yearning” stated by Baudelaire later, has been something deeply ingrained in Man constitutional nature since ever. So the question is – I mean, for perfomance artists and artists in general – “how to produce effective meanings of a certain consistency using it?” The fact is that something seems still forgotten. This is not just because of “time scarcity”, but, again as you have lined up in the final sentence at the beginning of your commentary, it is due to the difficulty of deeply comprehend what is the “emotion-al understanding”. A difficulty that comes firstly to ours, hence towards the others’. It’s clear that if I’m not able to understand and define my emotions, although mysterious, I can’t communicate them properly, and I can’t aspire to make something which may be universal, although I’m animated by the best intentions. If someone wishes to deal consciously with it – that is to properly use the “feeling” of nostalgia (or if you prefer “psychic condition of a particular affection”) therefore not abuse it- S/he must not rely to (or worstly evoke) that something that has already been passed away, gone forever. This could be a mistake, because sets afar the individual by being contemporary, which is what counts the most, whatsoever work of art S/he does. What instead sounds today as an urgency, is to watch back at “that something” as necessary way of approach to gear a sensed process of making to transform and evolve. I believe people must look at “what is nostalgia” with eyes wideopen (and open heart) because this is a way to proceed foward, which is the way of Walter Benjamin’s Angel alike. It’s a pure matter of responsibility and sincerity towards History, and, consequently, towards our own personal story. On this basis, I can surely match with Malgosia when she says “I want to see real good indulgence”, but this not unconditionally in art – only in Life. If it’s true that compassion is the word to tolerate and interlace together, Art is not just a game in/for itself. Because of not knowing really “how to do Art and why to make Art – Art falls too often into a vacuum container of self-celabrativeness, and this leads to nothing, or, worstly, instead of producing an intellegible catarsis, better an epiphany, it causes an inevitable boredom, as Kuning Zai complains about. I understand this position too. To translate an idea or a feeling at its best into art, specifically into an art action, someone has the duty to know what is there for, and not only this, how to use the body properly, the energy, the objects, words, sounds, not for him/herself only, but for the others who have come to watch and interact with. There are knowledge, technique, discipline, and rules to learn (and when necessary of course disavow) even in what is the most extreme, anarchist, free, so-called “avant-garde” form of Art which is ART ACTION. To end my little contribution to the debate, let me say that for an effective performance “the sense of Timing and to be completely into that action, with all the entire being” is the main key. The rest will come if it has to, and when someone gratituosly condemn something someone else has made, it just means that s/he has already decided to crop his head with an axe. Let’s start asking ourselves not only what is a “good” performance, but also what is a “useful” performance. (F.N. Good perfos’ description, a proofy “Service” for who couldn’t have the possibility to be present).

24 08 2010
zai kuning

theres alot of point that i agree with you andrea especially the question concern the body which is largely have been my interest for more then 20 years. the limitation and posibility of the body. yes there is knowledge, technique, discipline, rules to learn and i often felt this is what really at ‘void’ in the ‘trend’ happen within and around performance art here in Asia.

the problem with performance art often is the lack of ‘knowledge’ about the idea of ‘performing’, not necessarily ‘performance art’. one of the reason i stop performing under the label of performance art simply because there isn’t a strong tradition of performance art in singapore (some say started late 80’s) to be question or study. i went straigth into the question of rituals and how the body/mind was transform by a specific ‘technique, method etc’ and since then most of my performance are under the label ‘phisical theatre’. but in less then 10 years i do get bored with it too. it is the limitation of ‘theatre culture’ with ticketing, ligth, set, props and all though my theatre can be said ‘bare to the max’. it is always about the body where ity become a mirror for nthe onlookers/audiences. its dance heavily influence or inform by ‘rituals’ but not conventional and often misunderstood with ‘Butoh’.

my very personal biasness observing several performance art event is simply the lack of knowledge about the body and the great potentiol of technique and method of ‘manipulation’ and move it towards a very personal language. the body as tools but not an image. and in my own biasness if performance art in asia want or desire to evolved as a powerfull tools of communication it really got to go back and question the whole notion of ‘phisicality of the body’ and its presence. it is an avantage as i see it in asia because of the continuos tradition of rituals where it constantly push the limitation of the body and mind towards something beyond ‘thinking’. we can simply call it ‘happening’.

this i thought what performance artist can do. it is to question theatre, dance, music, poetry which eventually will make us all think why do we need to see theatre when theres already so much bluff interm of ‘performing lanaguage’? nothing real in theatre except for the text. im talking more about the theatre in singapore that im familiar with. the same i think also about contempoirary dance. why the hell is all this jumping around? which has become a demonstartion phisicality which say ‘i can jump’ but it say nothing about jumping.


24 08 2010
Rooted In The Ephemeral Speak

Someone told me it is painful to read this blog. And I am sorry if it cause anyone pain. I always wonder if people actually read things like blogs, as netizens I believe are more often than not surfers and browsers who are only interested in getting the delirium and high from the digital surfing rather than serious avid readers looking for meaning and willingly stare at these wiggly letters we write and arranged into sentences. As writers presumably spent time and energy to think thoughts and ideas that could then be transmitted through the act of writing and then posting it on the blog in order to hopefully reach out to another mind, who on reading these words will hopefully and gainfully grow with knowledge and sometimes wisdom as well. However this is an opinion of one who grew up with books and the printed word on paper rather than the pixilated kind and must admit to holding the bias of someone who prefers the T.V. or the written word on the pages of a book.

The only reason reading this paragraph may be painful to the reader is that she may have the notion she already knew what was going to be said and yet he had to read it to find out if it was new or just repetitions of what had already been said and now repeated and perhaps badly i.e. written by the unskilled writer who should be doing some drawings instead like the Chinese would say “If you don’t know how to read and write, go and draw.” Sort of an earlier preceding form of arrogance we see in the contemporary conceptual artists that don’t care to draw anymore. But my apologies for the pain and boredom I must have indulgently served you with boring clichéd sentence patterns and overused expressions sometimes politely seen or described as the effects of a nostalgic inclination. But I am not against the serious reproduction of boredom. In fact being a die-hard fan of John Cage I often admirably cited him as saying that if we find something boring, we should do it again and again until it becomes interesting. So it can be boredom done in all serious intent which deserves our attention and since dear Zai fell asleep or left earlier due to the bloody air-conditioning or catching the fever, it was out of our humble wish to share the enacted performances that we saw and here described in details, by Chand and I. And I dare say not everyone who was there would describe or saw what we saw.

This blog too is an experiment in seeking a language to discuss what we are doing, that of performance art. And if for some reason we do not like this name for it then shall we call them actions that are rooted in the ephemeral speak. When we look at performativity in its wider context the writing of describing performances seen then becomes another performance besides the performances that we are in principle serving in terms of making a serious discussion from and of. But which then may after all be the source of our painful or boring experience heretofore which perhaps is hard to tell where it all started.

When in doubt we may turn to long-standing traditions as Zai suggested and I have no qualms with the label of performance art. To many of us coming from a post-colonial consciousness there is a tendency to deny inheriting or continuing with a lineage of hundred odd years of history which inevitably began mainly in Western art historical contexts with the industrial age and the movements of Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, conceptualism, modernism etc. Which in many ways have prepared us for the present situation of globalization and post-modernism and for some even a post-cultural era. But also include the interplay and hybridization of different cultures around the world not only European or American.

Admittedly there is no one formulaic method or technique of performance art that applies to everyone who may wish to embark on this way of ‘play’. Maybe it is an indulgence or obsession for some but art making is serious ‘play’ as Kuo Pao Kun once reminded us of the etymology of this alternative English term for theatre. Hopefully artists may also be exploring its many possible varieties based on the often taken for granted comparative freedom given to the performance artist. The anti-disciplinary stance of performance art is often also a discipline which negates the authority of established norms of directed, scripted or choreographed ‘play’ and yet demanding the artist to be conscious of her own responsibility of choosing whichever suit their individual, social or historical backgrounds, archetypical or unique personalities, idiosyncrasies or body types or frames, and levels of tolerance or humor towards our differing degrees of boredom.or the desire for entertainment or excitement.:) Finally it is a decision to be made in terms of our judgment of values. What is good, necessary and how do we manifest them through actions, agitations or actuations created based on what we got in this physical, mental, psychological, political, chemical, organic body which not only feel the pain but also the joy of life as a human being.

25 08 2010
andrea pagnes

I feel that all this profound “written” conversation is a tool (another precious tool) to lead us to the core of what we care the most. This is vital. It’s rare, today, to meet together on such common ground. And this of you, from Singapore, is fresh and special. Not painful, but true. I hardly look at blogs, but when 2 days ago my wife forwarded me the “back and forth” between Lee and Zai, I was grasped by reading sentences of 2 artists that care of the same thing by seeing it from different perspectives. We all need to acknowledge different perspectives in order to implement our potential and deepen our investigation. What you guys are doing in REF is offering free culture and reachable learning. And Lee, please, let me underline that when I say “service” is to me the most noble and notable word. Again, so rare- not painful but true.
Now, about boredom and about joy (as it is with nostalgia). We must commit with. Inevitably. And understand what they are, as they are just human feelings. When I feel boredom I must do something to change this state, maybe mistaking, as a child does. When I feel joy, I always wish – utopically – to try my best to prolong its lasting, as a child wants. I wish to say thank to Zai, because in his final sentence he has enucleated what it’s maybe “the more needed” in art and perfo art today as well- which for me is in Life too: not to demonstrate “how good I am to do this or that”, but rather exploring consciously “what is behind this or that”. Anyhow – as Lee said, is surely toxic to yield at personal judgments based on personal values, instead of digging inside our soul, in order to understand where and why a particular emotion (or a sensation) by seeing something is arousing so well or so badly into ourselves.
wish to continue, friends.

26 08 2010

Thank you Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes,
Friendship of course, is more important than winning an argument. The posting of “use-and-abuse-of-nostalgia” made the mistake of too many descriptive details with not enough critical commentaries. And my last entry tried to act smart with rhetorical beautiful words although the points were there the egoistic tone maybe alienate the reader from listening. The problem is to find a balance, as sometimes we need to learn from just trying, making mistakes and active listening to each other. Although many positive things happened with more possibilities and growing network for performance art we are not yet ready to retire or work on ‘automatic mode’ of complacency. There is urgent need to respond to the changes otherwise it’s just like playing with a dead corpse. For example we are sure we need discussion but we don’t know how to go beyond being polite with ‘I like it’ or quietly leaving when we are bored. Last April in Solo, I was quite upset with Norbert Klassen when he harangued the artist to ‘Get on with it!’ when he saw some repeated actions that were moving too slowly. Ian Hinchliffe hackled me one time too for making a ritualistic series of actions in streets of Dresden some years ago. Veterans like Norbert and Ian Hinchliffe have no time to waste and not wrong to express their displeasure but we need to assert that repetitive, ritualistic actions may be a meaningful process for some of us with some inclination for rituals in Asian traditions. I am most thankful to Hinchliffe’s intervention that almost made me give up but it jolted me like a reality check. My faith to continue working in slow repetitive ritualistic processes was shakened but led me to tolerate the different perspectives and opinions. Zai’s searching questions and provocative comments is always welcome but my wish is for more participation from others too. On reflection we are reacting to compensate for the many dissatisfactions over the current state of performance art practice and this discussion brought out some on going inquiries as well as expressed our concerns for a clearer motivation amongst the practitioners. I hope it did not offend anyone but will help keep us on the lookout on working on them.

27 08 2010

lee wen there is a saying ‘the more you are sorry the more you try to please many’….but it only make sense, since this is a ‘dialouge’ that the person who say its painful to read this blog, put some effort to convince himself that he is in pain reading. if h/she cant then i suppose h/she is a pain not in pain.

27 08 2010
lee wen

mr. zai kuning, in order for this to get anywhere we have to be more specific, in terms of questions and offering possible ways to continue the dialectical process of finding out what is really happening. first we got performances which you were not able to sit through, for reasons of your physical illness as well as finding it boring or painful to sit through. i was also feeling ill but perhaps out of playing the role of being an organizer i stayed to watch although not of 100 per cent attention. with Chand’s help the review gave quite concise descriptions of each and every one performance. maybe to you it is waste time because in reading this you had to ‘watch’ them even though you ran away on that day. but it is possible to still discuss the individual pieces based on description or digital video and photographs. i would not have put in so many details usually because after many years of watching performances we tend to pick out only the more memorable actions so as to make comments on the gist of it. i think they all deserved some attention, that is why we presented them. one reason for my sympathy to describing them in details is that i find many times critics when doing reviews don’t even bother to describe or even talk about the works at all. our discussion had been expressing a general dissatisfaction with performance art which for you its due to a lack of knowledge, skill or discipline of the artist to give us a ‘good’ work worthy of our attention and time. this attitude is very much held by many who have no patience to accept the larger aspect of the cultural game we are playing, especially those coming from the more sophisticated theater practitioners and audiences. my take is that performance art does not particularly worry about dramatics of presentation nor seek to please every body’s gratification, although this is more often than not the main criteria how most will respond in terms of liking or disliking it. performance art had been proliferating and encourages individual responsibility to artists to speak in their own way based on their own concerns. its anarchic intentions may be self-indulgent but we must grow out of it and not only be motivated by our indulgence. yes there are ways to make them more entertaining and maybe less painful to watch but more often than not it is something beyond dramatic impact which is in need for us to attempt to describe and review what is really important in it. but too bad mostly we don’t have time for it. i must admit it is a struggle to write not based on reasons why i like or dislike what i see but more importantly to understand what each human being who do something here in the name of performance art is saying and how they are saying it. but many times it comes in different combinations of quality in terms of performance that can move us without any particular method, rules and obligation to directed or choreographed actions. but of course can also include those who prefer to work in that way. but having said this i would be inclined to say that it is difficult to say how good or bad each performance is without considering what the artist also is doing in his fieldwork ie. context. however it is also painful when we want to say or do so much and not getting across to people.

30 08 2010

Hello everybody,
it is only painful because we are human.
we are Rooted in the Ephemeral speak..
literally speaking about the ephemeral.
Thank you for sharing.

2 09 2010
Andrea Pagnes

Dear Kai, yes, all rooted in the Ephemeral… as ephemeral flowers, lasting but one day. Although for a moment, the fragrance of all those flowers tell of the ineffable, impermanence and, show us the secrets of all.
Thank you for beeing- performers.

23 09 2010
Klyth/Clive Tan

Hi all ye performance artists celebrating the 1st Anniversay of RITES which i missed with great regret after gaining ‘painful’ details of its happening on this blog!

Coming on about three long weeks after the challenging heat and global climactic change caused by this Great Nostalgic Debate so far (it’s always been my ‘belated’ nostalgic way of getting a bit of hearing, hehe) …

As a poet, I once wrote a piece called “Nostalgia” published (or some would say, now, ‘advertised’) in the ‘No Other City” anthology back in 2000 (nostalgia, nostalgia). The word brings to instant memory the personal memories the word itself is supposed to evoke as a word … i shouldn’t be advertising my poem here any further and so let me change the subject to include a little contributing thought about RITES …

RITES, RITES, RITES … i really like the event’s name … whose idea, hey? Don’t be shy, please owe up when owing up is due, dude … RITES suggests a sense of the ‘ritual’ associated with performance art and as an ‘acronym’ (or is it ‘abbreviation’? oh, someone good at shortening everything in English do help me) … I think “Rooted In The Ephemeral Speak” rocks! If anyone has to be so trend-conscious as to insist that it hips and hops as well as gagas, ladies & gentlemen, etc, etc, add whatever you want to have it your way … RITES appeals to the writer in me too … WRITES … the cornerstone of freedom also … RIGHTS …

that repeating call of life
uprooted, uprooted, uprooted
in the in the in the
sudden flash of a feral moment
washed as driftwood, a blank plank
floating on a loan of time and space
between places again.

Looking forward to the next RITES event (meanwhile no apologies about reading a book, watching TV, blogging, surfing, stumbling onto ‘wickedly-leaking’ websites or simply smashing that computer for an electronics-free, power-saving day!)

26 09 2014

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