PROBABILITY PRAXIS 21 of 28 waning gibbous
COVEN – Underdog Gallery
short reflection and photos from Mil …
“I have really appreciated your open and inclusive approach to performance making. There is so much bullshit around in the world and in the art world that it was great to experience something genuine, layered but simple, and with integrity. I loved the different textures – smooth painted bodies, laced canvass strip used to wrapped Adrienne at the beginning, plain cotton strips used for blindfolds, a large plastic sheet, small pieces of paper, metal bars – that were used or been available during the ritual. And the fact that we were part of a breathable structure that allowed all of us, you, interlocutors and audience alike, to feel supported together but also left with plenty of space and time to improvise, join in or take a step back on our own, and in Nietzche’s words to become who we are. Someone said that a lesson in art he learned from Tarkovsky was to allow room for spirituality and to be true to reality. I think you achieved both in your performance of Critical Magic on Saturday. Thank you!” — Mil Vukovik Smart
PROBABILITY PRAXIS 21 of 28
London. COVEN at Underdog Gallery.
16.09.2017 Waning Gibbous
Interlocutors: Lizzie Masterton, Mil Vukovic-Smart
reflections from Kate
This centering, with the help of the interlocutors, was very helpful for me personally to ground myself during the show. And our intention was based on some of the work that Mil is doing currently about how people lie to themselves, and this causes the most stress in our lives. So our intention as a small group was about bringing to light the truth, and combating that self deception.
I would love to work more with contact dance during the blindfold moment. Focusing on the the very minuscule moments of contact, helping to create the eternal NOW. this is always challenging, not only with new audience members, but even with adrienne.
i loved the moment when lizzie came up and in the center lay down on the floor. i would in the future also bring people out of their chairs and lay them down on the floor. the chairs i found to be difficult to navigate. there was a moment of hesitation in myself and i think i went the “easier” route. i could have challenged myself more.
i overheard one person say something about the sexuality of the performance; i suppose i can completely understand, that the presentation of the almost nude body invites a sexualized gaze. And yet partly the idea of the nude body is the rawness, the naturalness of the form that we emerge as from birth. it somehow feels just as unnatural, or even more awkward, to cover the body with some kind of appropriated fabric, with its own origins, separateness, vague disorientation of origin. yet i also understand how the nude body can separate more.
there are some sound issues we have to take care of, ie, the boominess during federicas dance. and the synths in dong dae mun. this for next time.
i am enjoying the stage set, with the line across the stage and the hanging blindfolds. i would also like to create a static presentation, place for the plastic.
i am thinking about how to create a dynamic generation of the binaries so that the audience has more control over which ones are called out, and how to engender participation in this time, especially if the audience is shy to move.
again, like winchester, the verbal response afterwards was so overwhelmingly positive, warm, some person said it was the best thing theyd seen in london in years. another wrote us a beautiful note about magic. another was a dancer, who said that she felt inspired about what could be done, what still can be done, in the realm of participation. i felt lifted and carried by this and renewed in the labour of performative praxis.
PROBABILITY PRAXIS 20 of 28
Winchester, UK 15.09
(notes from Kate)
Someone we spoke to in Copenhagen gave us the idea that we should begin with a more focused energy, perhaps by asking everyone to clap at the same time. He suggested that this would allow us to pull everyone in, make everyone feel a part of the ritual, without having to say anything, and to give it more solemnity. We still havent tried that yet, but we are coming around to the idea. I suppose this series is about giving every idea a chance, to see how it will function.
We are doing better at getting the circle to come around and focusing together as a duo to come together but we both need to rehearse our vocal cues. we also feel that we need to refocus our spoken parts. i for one need to slow down when I am speaking and i would like to add something about the idea of “critical”, I want to communicate that I dont believe that simply by shouting out our intentions that we can make them real. But I do believe that by being in the same place together, forming a union together, in that space, even just touching bodies, even with our hands, we can make change.
Each time we perform this spoken part, I feel like it needs to be renewed and refreshed, to fit the particular context in which we are working. This is no doubt a challenge, especially when we have just a few hours pre show to soak in where we are. The centering that we have been doing, the mapping around our area, is helping me to feel more grounded and connected to our particular location. I think this is invaluable.
The “leave” and “remain” binary that Adrienne suggested I found both particularly triggering and powerful for people here, the white blindfolds as well. I still worry that the depart the octagon can approach clowning and I worry about this.
After the show we have a long talk about how important it is to us to set a beautiful stage and how we want to make more attention to the layout and design of the stage. In our dreams we make the altar and the technics the same thing — like a kind of transformation of the technological into the magical, or rather, posing them as possibility of one and same. But in order to do this I feel strongly that we need to have hardcases and a sturdy structure to hide the technical things from getting thrown on the ground.
I was happy to feel that many people were really moved by the show and that they went deep with us. At times I worried that there was shyness from audience members about body contact and involvement, but i realized from the verbal feedback afterwards that they were really moved. Even one conversation like this, even just one, makes me feel like we are continuing in productive art that is making change.
GENDER BENDING QUEER PARTYWORM, ROTTERDAM 02.09probability praxis 18 of 28 waning gibbous
Interlocutors:Pasquale di Morizio, Manon la Décadence , Lu, Carlijn Bakker, Sanne van Driel, Olave Basabose, Dennis Snorremansbest night ever. The Hyenaz did a ritual performance of about an hour. It is entirely magical. Me and some of the others were so-called interlocutors. our job was basically to help the audience engage the ritual. which was participatory. So we basically were in the audience (the 4 of us) leading by example, participating in the magic and stuff. That was amazing already, to be able to see the energy and engagement of the audience sort of ripple through us, and back to us from them. The interlocutors were covered in a shiny armor like silver body paint. I was afraid that it would be reminiscent of armor, statues, robotic disconnection. But in the space it seemed to highlight our physicality instead. I felt very much protected by the bodypaint, as the energy rose and the many ripples collided, and the intentions became entirely tangible in the space. At some point, the Hyenaz invited us to yell out our intentions. At this point I had drifted to the stage and I was able to oversee the whole audience. The engagement had become total, the ripples united in one maelstrom of power, focused intention for a better world. It was like being in a temple of the body, body magic, body sacracity embodied. These wilful creatures of the oppressed, repressed, objectified, violenced, violated, erased and humiliaties bodies, were, before my eyes, transformed in both a sharp-edged sword, and harbor, havens for the lost, the hopeful, the loving, the hungry, the licking, the sucking and fucking. Sharp edged, cause I heard intentions that cut to the core of where we are not. I heard some call: “liberation” others “freedom”, others “solidarity”, I added “black liberation” in a cacophonic symphony of the angry, the clear-eyed and visionary queers in the room. By the time we invited people to dance blindfolded, guided and touched by others who are not blindfolded, I felt safe. I took one of the blindfolds and moved through the audience. I was caressed, bit, kissed, held, pushed down, pushed up, and I didn’t care. I wanted my shiny, silvery armor to be touched, smudged. I wanted to be felt. I remember vividly someone pressing a hairy, hard upper leg between my exposed buttcheeks. The pressure of the string I was wearing on my anus intensified, and it seemed like an upwards fountain of energy sprung up from prostrate or anus through to the crown of my head. It made me dizzy. Another memory is the hand that caressed and cocooned one of my cheeks. i leaned into it, challenging gravity, challenging the strength of the hand, challenging my own daring. I leaned in deeper and deeper, held nothing back. The hand, unseen, disembodied, met my challenge. it held all of me, gently and protectively. The hand guided me to my knees, my forehead to the floor; i took the opportunity to speak gratitude into the universe, for hands that caress and protect, that accept the dares we put to them, that reward our courage and trust, and have the strength to hold all of us. It was more than body magic to me. It was ancestral magic to me as well. when the ceremony started, i decided to call upon Imana, and my ancestors (who undoubtedly practiced the cult of Imana) to guide me through this moment. to give me the wisdom of movement and intention, so long lost now. Colonization in Burundi took away a spiritual system and technology that had been carefully crafted, tested and improved upon for centuries. I hoped that some of that wisdom and craft could be granted to them, in that moment. As the Burundi healers of old must have undoubtedly led and guided mass rituals, I felt confident that my ancestors would be up to the task of gifting me with the body language and visualisations necessary to be of service to the ritual participants. And they did, these undoubtedly queer ancestors of mine, they moved me, and offered me a tactile perception of unseens forces and energies coalescing and moving and concentrating, symbols and signs moved before my mind’s eye, power symbols and signs I am sure, I became a pillar of all that energy, I think. I have to be honest that my memory of the ritual is slowly starting to recede into, I suspect, the codes of my genetic programming, the inner lining of my hemoglobins, into a myriad of synaptic configurations, into the nape of my neck, the curve of my pelvis, the rise of my penis, the depth of my pallet. I think that that is the way of all that is true to the body, it must be absorbed into it, transmutated into life. I am going to be okay with that, I want to be okay with that, I want to embrace that that is the way of body magic. — Olave Basabose
HYENAZ are looking for interlocutors for our upcoming live experiences in the probability praxis series.
Probability Praxis is the series of 28 performances of the Critical Magic ritual. “Praxis” is intentional practice of radical imaginings; this is our laboratory. “Probability” is an acknowledgement that transformation does not happen overnight, but that practicing intimacy, questioning our acts of Othering, actively interrogating boundaries and deeply understanding our bodies in relation to other bodies increases the probability of personal and political change.
Critical Magic 비평 적 마술 is based in contact, sound and movement to break physical and mental isolation and to spark discourse that is both critical and utopian. It is an electronic music performance as well as interactive ritual performance which grew out of the site specific performance “Spectral Rite” with Sylbee Kim and Nico Pelzer at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul in 2014.
It has since been performed as a full ritual around Europe, Canada, and Australia. We are looking for Interlocutors who will help be active participants to ensure an atmosphere of mutual respect and connection between ourselves (HYENAZ) as facilitators and the “audience” as participants.
No previous rehearsal or experience is required, we welcome all bodies. Your curiosity and eagerness is most important. looking forward to meeting you.
we performed in the forest. Birk and Nina had installed the lights, the sculpture, the screen, beautifully. The large screen behind us with the beamer coming in from the back. The ground was so soft, I sunk into it, so many times, it welcomed me. Bishop and Tereza were with us as interlocutors. There was a faint rain, just still a hint. Our technical equipment was safe from the rain in ninas car. We felt well taken care of. We took bare feet on the forest ground. Our purpose among the four of us was restoration, ecology. We felt honored to be performing amongst the trees. I saw them as part of the ritual, their tall bodies stretching upwards. I could focus on them, with them. There were times I came drawn to them, I wanted to included them in the percussions, but I did not want to hit them. Our audience came and went, they did not all stay with us the entire time. In the middle it wained, in the end they came again. I felt the undulation with the energy. They were pulled in with us in the beginning, inside the circle. We ended as a circle, around the circle. We helped Adrienne carry her last piece of wood as she rung out the last notes. In positive, all of this, and especially the magic that was felt through our bodies, was very real. Bishop ended with a mark on his forehead from the forest floor that looked like blood on a newborns forehead. Like he had just existed the cunt, it was stunning and beautiful. I had a magical dance blindfolded with two people, at least. The breeze was ecstatic on my skin. I I felt that I could have done better at the height of gnosis, that I was missing something of the magic at exactly that point, that perhaps there is a better way to remove the routine of that moment. That we need to prepare more for the climax and that it needs be even higher than what it felt then. Even though, I could see that people were with us, I was hoping there might be … something else. Im not yet sure what. Krf.
critical magic, in my mind, fundamentally challenges the idea that magic can be about a poof – wave the wand and change everything. Critical magic is about critical engagement, critical theory, active listening, participation, active presence, and deicing to work towards change. And yet. There is also perhaps, what I can see now, there is perhaps also room for a “poof” – if we can call it that. There is room for an exacting moment of revelation. In this conception, the poof moment could be the moment when the imagination takes on a new ordering and accepts a new paradigm as an act of performance — performance here is a moment of “reframing” ones truth. This is as opposed to creating or enacting a new empirical truth. The world cannot change in one second, but our minds can change. The world can change slowly over time, with hard work and commitment and coming together through activism and action. Part of this change requires the changing of minds, and even though the changing of minds can also take a long time, it seems that on the other hand, a mind does switch, there is a moment when one decides that in fact the floor is not green, that rather it is brown. There are ahhah moments, there are moments when we decide to use a new pronoun for someone, when we decide to give someone a new name, when we acknowledge a death or a birth. And this moment is specific, one might say, a poof moment, a singular moment. There in that sense we can radically imagine a new way of categorizing that was before not seen. Ithink about what elizabeth povinelli says about life versus non life, all she had to write was simply the idea, the new vision, and the paradigm was open. Not because the paradigm is or is not, but rather that it exists at all as “one way of seeing” and if we can allow ourselves to see in that/those other ways, this is a radical vision. Radically visioning. The performance act is a chance to live inside a radical vision, to perform a radical state of mind and of speech act. It is a chance to practice a new way of seeing. Within that “other way of seeing” perhaps we can also envision what that other way of seeing will give birth to over time.