Layers of Jeremiah Day

I enjoy arriving to a performance without expectations, without reading about it beforehand and just see and feel what happens to me in the moment. What happened here was a lot. A lot of information, a lot of words, images, body movements – a mix of different forms of communication. Beautiful poetry combined with a kind of informative hyperactivity. Boldness and masculinity in contrast with poetry and raw, improvised body gestures. How come that a person is able to manage all of these ingredients at the same time and able to smoothly switch in between various forms. My eyes were so focused on the visually dynamic and interesting forms of this performance that my ears did not manage to absorb all the politically historical content, because it was a lot of information to take in. But that’s probably just me being too slow. Somehow a word ‘struggle’ comes to my mind, it was not a piece that I would call ‘easy going’ but probably that’s the whole point of it, to trigger uncanniness.

“Jeremiah Day (1974, USA) is re-examining political conflicts and resistances through unfolding their subjective traces and contexts through photography, speech and body language.” (info from the website of The Graduate School an the Postgraduate Forum of the Berlin University of the Arts).

It’s amazing how many different forms and temperaments a performance can be – from an abstract setup without words to an overflow of information and facts. A fiction can be a performance, a documentary can be a performance. A film or a performance can be a story in-between.

In September I was attending a performance of a Dutch artist Roos Tulen, during the food and art festival in Schiedam. She was serving Syrian food in a homey atmosphere. We were a small group sitting around the dinner table, connected in some way and consuming the experience. The food tasting was accompanied by a video projection on the table and the sound on the headphones. It was a story about Syrian refugees in the Netherlands. And once again, I was too slow to digest all the layers at once, as a “one sense at the time” person. I was tasting the food while listening to a story on the headphones and at times also watching a video. And I was all the time late with finishing the food, but I don’t like to eat fast, specially in the context of (layered) art. Roos explained to me that that is how quickly they eat in a Syrian family, so she had adjusted to it.

Somehow I believe that in the times of coping with constant rush, burnouts and information overflow, an artist could allow to slow down the space around him or her. Just below the dinning room there was my slow motion video playing. I stay loyal to the slow. Maybe because my part time job in a semi fast food cafe has traumatised me. Maybe because I love my slow Estonian friends.

Just came across this ‘what is now’ clock.

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