is set in darkness.two people are moving in glacial(so slow its hard to notice)diagnally across the space from two far corners of the room.they push telivisions on stands and are illuminated by a blue light source from the tvs.abstact 'noise music' plays.after awhile four masked people are illuminated by torches shining in their face.they chant navajho myths in a greek chorus style and tap on the railings.they were ten meteres above the floor on balconies.eventually another creeps into the space unseen,picks a spot,then shines a torch on face and recites more navajho sayings,then turning off torch and dissapearing into darkness to find another spot in the space unseen.after doing this 3 or four times,this person exits the chorus chant more navajho sayings.the leader speaks and the others follow by keeping time on th railings.one again they retreat to the darkness,leaving the tvs to complete their trek to more 'noise' music.they are moving so slowly that in the performace length (25-30 mis), they get 3/4 across the space.
a five act thing,which was abstractly based on the relationship of magrette steffen and bertolt brecht.each of the acts are preceded by an m.c miming into a micrphone to backwards loops,and then parading a sign written in large letters that represent the setting of each act.. act 1(spicernstrasse 414,berlin,1931):combining glacial movement of the one who represents steffin,with a pencil in hand walking across the space.to the right there is a screen in which is projected various vieled refrences to brecht (a cigar bieng the most obvious).in the back of the space,two blob like creatures that would have not been out of place in a dr who episode,move glacialy and aimliessly.the blue light from the video projector when its not playing,and a lamp are the only sources of light. after 40 mins of this the steffin representation has made it to behind the screen.and she snaps the pencil,which signals the end of the act.slowed down violin music plays throughout.the act for me is about steffin writing for brecht(apparently she wrote the bones of many of his plays and wasnt given credit),hence the pencil....
act 2(a loud,filthy,selly,tiny,damp berlin slum flat,1908):one performer is kneeling and a helmet is placed on head with the use of a rope.baloons and cloured paperclips are relesed from a trapdoor.one performer sits atop a wall dangling legs.the 3rd performer enters plays with the baloons and fills up her baggy overalls with them.ist performer exits the hemet,still hanging in mid air,crawls around chasing the second performer,procceds to pop all the performers balloons.the two performers collapse.the 3rd performer comes off top of wall.the other two clean up,while the music changes and becomes frenetic.3rd performer(steffin) comes out with a vacuum cleaner and sucks up remaining baloons,and starts bouncing them.this sequence continues until everyting has been cleaned and the steffin character is left aloneand embarrased holding a vacuum cleaner.i know people had many differing oppinioms of what it meant.forme,it was a childlike look which was meant to be playful,clownish and absurd,with a touch of hide andseek included.maybe it could be concluded that the steffin character,by looking down from the top of a wall could be imagining what was going on in the performance space,but the vacuum cleaner thing? dont ask.
act 3 (18 pincessengade,copenhagen,1933)starts with lights flashing on an off every ten seconds or so.when the lights are on you see performer one and two in still pose.they are in the process of placing silver boxes with an image of the buddah in the space.this lighting switch continues until all 8 boxes are in varying positions on the floor.after a 20 second silence classical indian influenced music starts up,and performers one and two start reverently doing yoga poses then placing the box they are nearest on thier heads,then continuing yoga poses.this happens for 10 mins or so,then the steffin character comes on stage carrying suitcases in places against the wall, and exits.suitcases are a metaphor for brecht and steffin in tow fleeing the nazi threat.as for the yoga buddah stuff, maybe a bit of my ego there....act 4 (a house on the island of lidigno,1939)performer one and steffin character enters.a two track reel to reel tape player has been hiding behind the screen.it is bought to the centre of the space.performer one pulls the tape through the machine.it makes a sound.the steffin character carries the tape that is piling up on the floor and take it through the audience and wraps it round audience.while this is happening, performer two enters wearing blob costume and starts picking up the suitcases,and with a deliberate slowness,places them in differents spots.when the remaining tape has been pulled out,the act ends.this act is again about fleeing, but this time theres unravelling and thats what was happening to steffin,she had long been diagnosed with teberculosis and it was slowly killing her....act 5 (room 23,high hils hospital,moscow,june 4th,1941)sound of russian from a language tape a six armed thing comprising all three performers,with a head of one of them,is slowly writhing.after 15 minutes of writhing perforemer one and two start dancing and chanting.eventually the steffin character falls out of the six armed formation and the sheet they were behing collapses.steffin is wrapped up in the sheet and carried off by the other two. the six armed thing,well,it could represent the desease eating away at steffin,it could be also seen as an inian dietyof chaos and resurection.steffin was left to die alone in moscow while brecht fled to america.
takes place in a space with large windows at the front,looking out onto a coutyard.there are also large windows at the back.there is an alter made out of rubber scraps with a tree mask covered with silkscreened cloth on the alter.lynda is knneling down in a solem pose riciting her version of icelandic words to the alter. to the right centre there is a series of boxes piled on top of each other.near the audience there are several mats.each has on of the rune symbols made out of rice. outside julian,who is wearing a read circular mask like a large cheery anmd part of stem.he waears shorts and has bike lights strapped to his wrists.he creeps to the front couryard,then starts an elaborate dance with the lights turned on. it turns out that alicia is in the boxes and she starts moving reasonably slowly.julian enters space and gets rid of the mask.he walks to a mountain of rubber crap and hides.lynda takes the mask from the alter and puts it on her head.she starts slowly walking inthe space.julian occasionally peeks over the mountain and improvises dialogue about it bieng his home.alicia elaborately and atletically sheds her boxes.julian goes from behind mountain and goes to lynda,who takes the mask of her head and puts it on his.julian elaborately daces offstage and exits stage. music starts up and julian moves the boxes across stage like they are holy relics.when the music stops lynda and alicia are at either end of the mats and they roll into the centre,dispersing the rice all over the place.julian lies in a position near the mats.alicia paints a symbol on his back and he then is placed on a piece of paper and the image is transfered to the paper.he is dragged off,while lynda shows the image to the audience.she places it carefully on the floor in front of her and leaves the stage.
when the audience comes in they see pauls top half.he is standing behind a square rostrum to the left of the stage.in the centre there is a traingle which is about 2and a half metres on all sides.a similar triangle is on the right of stage but it is closer to the audience.jason is moving at a glacial pace from the far right of the stage.he takes 10 mins to walk four metres. paul retreats behind the sqaure until he cant be seen.behind the screen sally is moulding his features, which he then shows to the audience.this happens repeatidly until jason has reached a spot at the front. jason then starts a call and response using sounds with paul who comes to the front of the stage.each call is then backed up with a movement that is insired by the vocalization.this call and response goes back and forward between the two until they come together.this section usually took five minutes or so. all three come to the centre of the stage and sit down in half lotus position and start omming.jason eventually dissapears behind the middle screen. music greets the coming of the maked god.once again like somthing out of a budget cut dr who.paul and sally greet him with great gestures of awe.paul welcoms the great one with a short speech .he and sally give offerings which the masked god accepts.paul tells the audience that he's not really a god,just a fellow from a niegbouring village.sally also remarks that his feet pound like fearful drums of thunder.the god (jason/local villager) replies that their generosity will not go unheeded.he disapears then a song from the hi god people starts up. paul fetches a stick,gives other stick to jason and they go either side of the stage,both sticks are connected by string.in the middle there is a cut out object.paul and jason become grounded in legs and start vibrating the sticks so thast the cut out wiggles.they have fearful faces and are wearing fake lizrds tongues.sally does a dance inspired by indian dance.this goes on for a few minutes. the ropes and sticks are put away and the three take position closely bunched.balanese gamelan music starts and the three place pyrimids over their heads.they do school of fish movements.one leads with a movement,and the other follow in the way they percieve that movement.this sequence goes for five mins.the end is signified by one taking initiative and piling thier hat on anothers hat.the second person will do this and the person withhats take them away .the three then use all of the space to improvise any move they feel.firstly on thier own not worrying about the others then occasionally interacting.this lasts ten minutes until a gong sounds and they resume the positions they have at the start.the loop starts again with paul being moulded.then the call and response section from jason and paul.for the sake of time the show ends here.it is designed to be a whenever ending loop to be played as many times as prefered.one day i would love to do a 12 or 24 hour version just to see what happens.
there is an underground car park.its deep dank secrets speak of its use as a dumping ground. how to make this place sacred.how can i erase the screeching memory of a thousand cars that have been there?
the audience entres the space.they are the u bolt,the lucky horseshoe.they assemble in the dusks fading light.in the centre is a lone being.he is trying through prayer -the cerimony constantly repeated througout the past year-to make the place holy.he includes the audience in his prayers and salutations.he wants to commune with them,to take them on a journey.this journey is the mans effort to open up mirrors inside himself-pathways to the finite world of the etheric concsiosness.he wants the audience to share with him... tis journey...as passengers on spaceship earth...as humans that are the same when shed of their materiality.
he has perepared the moment...long has he conteplated his task.he wants to view the place where the balanese know there gods and ancestors live.he offers himself to the band of time.to be in and out of temporal flux.
as the night takes hold,he will give himself to the process of transformation.bubbling through his journey, he is joined by others. in their reverie,they will share a moment in comunion with the elemental forces of nature-together laying etheric prints in the nook an crannys of our concrete,metal and wood contacts.
when the welcoming cerimony is completed,the search for the tree trunk of balance will begin.a sense of place in each step of bodily offering. the locality...its gravity...why am i her at this moment of time? through the opening of my etheric nature,i can find strength in my reason for being - in my faith in the nature of human existance,in the reason i'm here doing this.
the tree trunk is a sense of grounding.it has emerged from my research into wester highland new guinea ritual life.each leaf on each tree,each layer of the locality held in esteem. when a rock is moved or a tree chopped down, a special cerimony is held to ask the gods if this is the right thing to do.this attention to space has somthing to teach us in our busy western world. THE SACREDNESS OF ALL SPACE.
he moves to a table.this is his work bench...he must organize his working materials in precise order,with reverence,so that he can begin work.he plays this personalized ritual like an overgrown child with too many secrets to hold.he chants a mantra which tells of slleping stones. should they lie, or should he break open his life and let the imperminence in? subtle permeatations permeate from each moment to the next...deep reverent focus he holds.
the others at last come to tell a story. he is a witness outside the frey.they have remade and remodeled a particular gestural form.they have played in the sun and rain so that they could come together and share this moment.they become one essence,intermingling with concrete.
he re- enters. he gives his weight to the floor, and gives strict attention to the passage of pink hairy skin on grey cold concrete. he is playing a game with himself.the group wait at the table as if they were stranded in a void outside time.he sings along with a ghost of himself, harmonizing....listening to the way his voice bounces against the harsh decaying walls.
he puts on a mask which makes him aware of the envelope he has created in this moment.a small wash of paint against the grain.he celibrates this small band of time he is filling up...prints of body on surfaces... sound of his voice.the group know not to let this journey go to his head.he is demasked...depersonalized. he accepts that he is part of the group.to share the experience of imprints in space.
when we return,he wants to let the hum soak his bones.wants to heighten the the feeling of travelling into his core. he shows gestures borrowed from bali and gives them another place.he loosed himself in the repetitions.his focus inward...but becomes RAGGED his feet cannot go where he wants to go.entropy of tiredness..he goes with this...doesnt know in his mind where he is going. he likes this. he trusts this- playing with the space and his relationship to it. temporal boundaries are played with,somtimes obliterated in deeper inner knowing,somtimes aware of the body and its experience.
the group are waiting to get into the act.they take him to the pose of childhood awakening.the childhood awakening mask is fitted and he hovers for awile like a laughing clown at a royal show.his perceptions turn to a story of a ritual from his childhood. the group,with eyes closed interpret the story with him. each through the sense of the others.we weave in and out of memories with a gentle wind of imagination painting the building.
we lie down. we each have a little prayer. we have modified a sense of ritual from other lands through the process of improvisation.now we turn our wholeness to the celibration of everyday life in our city.
i have watched people walking...in shopping centres...in places of learning... facinated by the way they hold their hands,by the way they walk and they way they behave in differing groups.taking this research,we use it as a prayer for the journey from the mundane to the holy.
we have come together to share the everyday with new ritual focus. we ask the question WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RITUAL AND HABIT? we pay strict attention to our relationship to the process. we have the feeling of our everyday actions being transformed into sacred shards of luminessence.we pass this on to the audience,so that they to can be with us in our attempts to remove the banal from everyday.
the group closes with a hum.which is the elemental holy confirmation of existence.
to be completed when i get the video back.
the place...a bridge/moat like structure going out to a lake which has been drain of water and is now mud.i enter the site and lie down on the bridge/moat.after a couple of minutes stillness i star hand gestures derived from bali.my arms move my hands.the rest of my body is still.i start to mumble while doing the hand movements and eventually i sti up. i then perform an inocation to the sun and its power of renual.ONE EYED CYCLOPX SUN.music of a lone organ starts playing and i move my legs so they dangle over the bridge/moat.i start singing WELL SONG. << there once was a spring here/fenten oh fenten/the shrine once stood/on a series of mounds/the i dol hill yonder/weoh oh weoh/there once was a well here/that provided the sweetest water/until some demon/ threw a dead unholy beast/down into its depths>> then i recite...all i have is a prayer to close the open wounds...then ising...fenten oh fenten.
i leave the bridge/moat and go to the lakes shoreline where there is a placcard with ROYAL BRISBANE HOSPITAL i do a series of leg and arm movents on the shoreline and in the mud. i start chanting HOSTIL/COMRADE/EASTERN/ANGLIA/AMIGA in as many deconstructing phases as i can improvise at the time.
i take of the placcard and put it back in its place.there is a map which i drew in a period of turmoil.carefully place it on a spot i choose on the shore and place four stones from my pockets on each corner.i use the map to improvise movements which ambigously follow the contours.i pick up the map and place it another place,put the stones down and continue improvisations.after doing this three of four times.an organ starts playing and i start singing LAKE OF THE DEAD <
i then cover one of my eyes and recite while doing gesture << giving ones eyes...to the guardian of the spring...beneath the root of the world tree...it stands a hundred paces yonder (point to merri creek)...the water passes over the stones as the world tree stands and watches...i close my eye and recieve the sweet sound of passing water over stones >>.i then go into a wide legged sitting stance and start measurement poses using the length of my hands and wrist to elbow.
an organ shanty starts up and i start swaying like a drunken fool << gladly i will drink ale to the high seat/ i will laugh until my death/shining and brilliant/there lies dagda/laughing on my burial mound//next to the sacred knotted oak/i'll pile the heads of my enemies/and drink ale from their skulls//the ale is an offering to dagda/shining and brilliant in the half light of the unshown mind >>.i move to the one eye placcard which hs been placed on the shore and go to the bridge/moat.
i start elaborate hand movements meant to symbolize thor being disguised as the godess freya.in my legs iam strong and i stamp.i gorge invisible food with my hands and im clerly pissed off with trying to hold my disguise.i start belching and growling and pulling faces,while gorging,then going back to female hand poses.i go into bow pose and start singing unacompanied <
i take of the eye placcard and replace it with the royal brisbane hospital placcard.i then tell and improvised story of my time in hospital and the events that took me there.i'm moving using all of the space.this goes on for five minutes or so,then the organ starts up again and i take off the placcard,sing and slowly work my way under the bridge/moat. <
as the audience enters,craig is eating a chicken. julian and estaban are bating eachother diagonaly across the space with water from clay pots.they all are waring sarongs.each is tied in a different way.this goes on for 3 or so minutes all that is heard is the sound of squlching cloths and chicken chomping.the smell of supermarket chicken permiates through the space. eventually julian stands.he takes to clay pots with him to a place where a large pece of metal is suspended from ropes.he grabs a peice of thing dowling and stars bashing the metal with it.eastaban stands and starts doing improvised body percussion movements.craig continues eating chicken. julian stops and gives a speech about the great god thor disguised as freyja,the godess of love.while speaking,julian goes to a cloth which as been stilling in the middle of the space.he picks it up and wraps it round craig,who has now stood up.estaban grabs the basket of chicken remains and takes it off stage. he pickes up a basket filled with rose petals.craigs assumes a female arcytype and julian,continuing the speech bows down in submission as craig starts his walk around the space.estaban is in front dropping rose petals in craigs path. the speech continues..."we offered food and we were amazed at her appetite. she ate 8 salmon,1 boar and drank three barels of mead". julian and estaban start burping with a strong intensity..."she started to get very angry,stomping her feet". julian goes to the metal and starts bashing it in time with the foot movements.estaban his following craig,doing big stamping movements..."the we knew it was thor,the god of thunder"...craig and estaban let out a roar. julian joins the stamping and says "we never knew why thor visited our village.all we knew is that he left over the horizon". by this point craig has gone to a corner of the space where there is a foorlight.he squats.julian takes the cloth away from craig ,folds it up with great atention and places it in the centre.then craig starts walking round the space,eventually going into subtle chicken movements.estaban assumes a feminine arcytype of a ballroom dancer.julian squats and does movements with his hands palm up,then down,then extending a leg HE FINDS THE END.
(From the programme notes.)
… CHARIOTS OF THE GODS IN REVERSE.
Straw spaceship to the spirit.
Starts with one man on a sheet metal roof, walking in shoes glued to planks, for maximum noise effect. He closes do and takes off his shoes.
NASA TAPE FOUND IN MOONAH, TASMANIA - REEL TO REEL OF APOLLO 11 MISSION.
SPACE IS BUT A LONGING FOR TRANSFORMATION.
TWIG TOWERS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>MOUTH OPEN
Larger than ….THE EGG
Ghastly face on the line.. Elbows searching for the sky.
Ban teai srei - the citadel of women….TOWERS OF THE CHORD DANCERS.
"the weight of all the seeds on earth…we are filled with signs…fast winds on a distant planet" in and out of the egg… leap of faith.
HIDE BEHIND THE MONKEY STATUE. RISE ABOVE IN THE STRAW CAPSULE. Rapid change of atmosphere. Serpent licking.
THE STAR OF THE TENTH MOON.
Write it down on a paper grid…check for change.
The sticks are laid out with care and focus to make a boundary. He is not sure if it is safe inside.
He rides in his straw rocket to the world of his imagination. The journey is bumpy and he will never set foot on the moon.
ROWED ACROSS THE RIVER…CHECK TO SEE IF THE PLACE IS NEW.
ARMS TAKING THE PRESSURE.
STICKY OOOZE FROTH….NEW PLACES.
My heartbeat functions above the parameters >rocks jagged corners…..
Crucible of actions
Venerate the one
Egg………>>>>>OBSCURE VISION CORNERS.
A SNEAK AROUND THE CONTOURS.
IN the future, there will be places to explore. TWIG TOWERS LA LA LA LA LA LA!
BREATHE NEW GASSES………………..