The Exquisite Corpse > recomposing the body
New Emergences present a new commission, working with sound, image, text and movement. The composition is inspired by the game known from the Surrealist art movement, where a completely new body is built out of separately drawn parts. Four musicians, a visual artist and a performance artist will enter the game, and generate a score in real-time, exploring the discrepancies and frictions between our relationship to our bodies and society’s ideal norms.
residency at iii Workspace – The Hague, Netherlands
premier November 23, 2019 at 19:30–22:00 Splendor - Amsterdam
The live generated score was developed at iii Workspace.
The performance was premiered at Splendor, combined with a panel discussion between makers, artists, thinkers and audience, to explore the themes of chance, acceptance, body differences, reflection, self-identity, and androgyny as alien or ideal.
The Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse) was a counter-narrative to the notion of the ideal body that resulted from the rise of 18th century thought in both aesthetics and science. Explored as a collaborative game technique, it was invented in the early 20th Century by Surrealists André Breton and Paul Eluard. The game assembled words, composed sequentially by simple rules, or randomly, by only seeing the ends of the previous contribution. Later on, drawings/graphics were introduced.
As the concepts of “female” and “male” were beginning to reconcile again, the Androgyne came to become the personification of the ideal. In later years, the Australian sociologist R.W. Connell, in her book Masculinities (1993 / 2005): Degendering, presented a strategy of “degendering” as a means for social justice in gender relations, and/or to free the association of gender-referencing on the body itself, and further to the level of culture and institutions.
When we compare Surrealism to Japanese Butoh, both movement/art-forms emerged as an artistic response to the physical and psychological traumas of the World Wars. Physical trauma necessitated the advancement of prostheses which replaced missing limbs; masks which re-structured facial injuries; and the phantom limb syndrome. For both, the body served as a visceral site for confronting its materiality, its fragmentation, and its re-suturing into new forms. These new forms paved the way for deeper perceptions of ourselves, our culture and our corporeality.
Emily's new score (made "on the moment") will be the 'new challenger' that will make decisions in realtime, to change the way we see/play/move within the old score. ie: we will be given new gestures (etc) to work with.. it will change how we interpret the pre-made score, and we may even be instructed to ignore the old score and follow Emily's new score.
Emily and Sato are 'one' person. Emily is Sato, Sato is Emily.
Sato visually represents the expression given to her by the outside, the social pressures, the external, the conformity of identity etcetc. Sato has the control in her mind to struggle with this pressure but not the ability to say or really do anything to resist it. The way Sato moves is confined / reduced to an area of her body (Perhaps this part will lead and guide her movements)...more to define and describe (later)...
Emily's drawings are the result of her and Sato's mind. It represent the expression/intentions of those thoughts, the protest, the uniquesness, difference, the imagination that travels and explores. What Emily draws shows the dichotomous struggles of: real -ism vs surreal/magical real -ism; social pressures vs self-expression; conforming vs resisting, or sameness vs difference.
Emily is able to express these thoughts onto paper.
Emily uses a drawing device that will sense the gestures she makes on the paper. This informs the computer (Emily and Sato's brain) where Dan's software will:
1/send out "cues" to be given to the musicians (what kind of new gestures to play).
2/manipulate Emily's own sounds that she makes from the paper (her table is mic'ed up).
3/manipulate the other musicians' sounds which will all be going into 'the brain-computer' that Dan will operate.
4/will create disruptors in which the course of 'play' will change.
Artistic Director: Semay Wu – composer, cellist, sound artist
Technical Director: Dan Gibson – sound artist, instrument builder & designer
New Instrument Concept, Coding & Build: Semay Wu and Dan Gibson
Sato Endo – choreographer, performance artist
Emily Fong – visual artist
Dan Gibson – sound artist, instrument designer
Fani Konstantinidou – composer, sound artist, music researcher
Anne Wellmer – composer, performer, media artist
Semay Wu – composer, cellist, sound artis
Marianna Maruyama – artist working with the body, voice and language.
Joan Dee – body modification artist
moderator – Mariette Groot