2011 - Performance

“I remember that the verb 'to find' [trouver] does not first of all mean 'to find,' in the sense of a practical or scientific result. To find is to turn, to take a turn about, to go around. To come up with a song is to turn a melodic movement, to make it turn. No idea here of a goal, still less of a stopping. To find is almost exactly the same word as 'to seek' [chercher], which means to 'take a turn around.' — To find, to search for, to turn, to go around: yes, these are words indicating movement, but always circular. It is as though the sense of searching or research lay in its necessary inflection in turning. 'To find' is inscribed upon the great celestial 'vault' that gave us the first models of the unmoved mover. To find is to seek in relation to the centre that is, properly speaking, what cannot be found.” — (Maurice Blanchot, 'Speaking is not seeing’, 'The Infinite Conversation’)

“For me, words have a temperature. When they reach a certain degree and start to get heated, I am attracted to them… Sometimes I dream that if a word gets too hot it will evaporate and I will no longer be able to read or think it. Mostly I capture the words before they get too hot.” — (Edward Ruscha, ‘The evanescence of words’)

Every moment countless thoughts are running through our mind. Some surface to our consciousness, most go by unnoticed.

In Turning Turning, three performers try to give a voice to this stream of thoughts that drives the ‘here and now’ towards the void of the so-called future. They empty their minds and mouths, and fill time with continuously changing meaning. How to talk ahead of ones thoughts? How to be the horse while riding? How to capture the ‘now’ in words? How to move inside language, unplanned, uncensored? How to say what one really thinks, here and now?

Turning Turning confronts questions concerning the very dynamism the human self is constructed by and constructing through language.

This performance is based on a practice I developed over years, which I call ‘thinking-talking’. Rather than just a vehicle for communication, I consider speech to be movement, with specific patterns and characteristics to each individual’s speech. In order to not only emphasize these patterns but also transform and overcome them, we developed different tools. One technique — and, at the same time, a paradox - proved to be especially important, namely 'to speak ahead of one’s thoughts'. In an intensive research practice, together with performers Ragna Aurich and Thomas Kasebacher, we investigated phenomena related to speech: to which extent is the language we are using a social product? How much does one's body and its inherent rhythm and tonus direct one's word-flow? With which intensity and does one's brain react to unusual patterns of speaking? How ‘are’ we, in language?

Five experts from different backgrounds (philosophy of language, mathematics and logics, performance theory, psychoanalysis, neurolinguistics) were invited to comment freely on recordings of this practice, mirroring the performers' situation of unplanned speech while retaining their respective terminology. The video recordings of these experts commenting “off the top of their heads” on performers “talking ahead of their thoughts”, are being re-introduced into the live-situation. What we are experiencing, is different modes of thinking, moving — living in language. And words that turn around words that turn around words.

In 2013, I developed a solo based on the Turning Turning practice, as a durational performance.

“This is really just a game, really just a game, so fuck off. Shit in a bottle and throw it down a mountain. It will split on someone’s head and you will laugh for eternity forever and you will be the happiest person in the world. There’s so much talking about mountains. I have to get up. I have to hold on to something; I have to hold on to one of you. There is a memory of when something touches the skin and then it stays, and I cannot get rid of this at all, it’s very difficult. And now I’m thinking: ‘Waw, I’m gonna cry.’ But I’m not.” — (Thomas Kasebacher)

”Do you think my thoughts are still sincere? I guess it’s like playing a dartboard. You’re always the target, whatever bubble you put around yourself. The target of…- I don’t know, my mind is- … not espionage, but sarcasm. How allergic I am for sarcasm and irony. You should just put the wire around your neck and pull. My boyfriend’s father died like that. And he has his carcass now in his carcass and whenever he breaths, there’s the same desires. It’s just frustrating for me; I did not want to be married to two men. So that is why in the name of the father is really not indispensable. Yeah? What I do with the bible? I have a collection of bibles and they keep growing, they are growing by themselves. I use them to harvest new thoughts” — (Ragna Aurich)