Monday, 5 December 2016

Pussy power meditations

I have recently experienced my first group pussy power meditation. I loved it and I would like to share my recording. 
It is one of the songs by Izabella Finch (UK) who explores new-trends of female self-empowerment and who is studying eco-feminism.

Monday, 28 November 2016

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visually dynamic and interesting forms of this performance that my ears did not manage to absorb all the politically historical content, because it was a lot of information to take in.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 o
f 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.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

"Why do you want to live another year?"

There I was, having some lovely time in Paris during the contemporary art fair Paris Internationale in the end of october, but not knowing what to do after the closing times of the galleries. The weather was too nice for an autumn evening so the mission was not completed yet. After a little research via Facebook I got to know about a late night performance in the member's club of the filmmaker David Lynch. And so I went there to see the performance of American novelist, poet and criminal defense attorney  Vanessa Place. I didn't know she was an attorney until I googled her. She is also a codirector of an independent, nonprofit literary press, Les Figues. 

It was the first time I saw her performance and I must say that the mix of experience of the space and the performance was  intense in a good way. The club is designed in the style of David Lynch films - enigmatic, dark, sensual, distant and the performance was build around the forbidden fruit, the question of a suicide. The artist was reading out loud an interesting text touching upon experiences and just thoughts around the wish to die. It kept my attention because there was maturity, wisdom and also some kind of sweetness to it. The dark red setting of the performance was complimenting the act. Her words "Why do you want to live another year? Why do you want to live another two years?" made me wonder about the moments that we subtract from our future vision or an image in our mind and place into the now. I think that in my age many women live at least partly for their kids, but the only experience I ever had was living for myself. It probably made me into this independent woman who wants to live another year to at least try to fulfil her dreams and challenge herself, avoiding deep swamps. Now I sound like a western product, but I can't disagree that doing what I love for another year would be great. To see and to show art that has depth and ability to take you to places that you want to explore. 

Friday, 18 November 2016

The speed of eating

I have always taken my time to eat a meal. I really dislike rushing with food. I rather just have a fruit or a little something if I don't have time to eat. I guess it's related to the body experience as well as practising meditation. If you are used to being in the Now, then you don't rush with food. Taste, appreciate and become one or refuse the bite. I believe that by observing how someone is having their meal you can sense many things about the person. During my studies and the process of creating Breakfast I was working in a fast paced restaurant, serving food. The clients were mostly from the corporate world, having limited time for a meal, so making and serving food asap was essential. Now, 8 months after filming this work I understood why I have chosen this setup for my idea. By extending the cutlery I left no other choice to my performers as to take it slow. It was not just my philosophical contemplation about the experience of ones sense of autonomy and connecting, but it was also about taking the time to eat and being fully there. On one hand it's kind of super obvious - the work was filmed 50 frames per second. It was played in slow motion, however I did not connect it to the restaurant world right away. It's silly, but I just realized it today, after my lunch shift.

I think that one of the roles of an artist is to make people slow down for a moment and reflect on the environment they live in. This comes naturally - we observe, digest and then we spill out.

If I can find myself confronted with real life, real characters, real issues, it serves as food for my creative process and becomes an essential part of my development. I'm feeding people and they are feeding me, and I'm an autonomous artist.

I have started a fb page for my new publication - The art of switching gears. It will be a personal research about the relativity of slow and fast

There is 1 book left from the previous publication, 120 eur. In collaboration with a graphic designer Steven Lenoir

Friday, 11 November 2016

Mosquitoe dream

It's been a long time since I saw a stirring dream. The kitchen walls of my studio were covered with oversized mosquitoes. It was not clear where they came from but they made me feel uncanny. I did not take any action. I did not try to kill them. They did not attack me. It was time to wake up. I kept on wondering who are these visitors? Why did they came and what do they want?
When I was back home in Latvia this summer I spent several days at my friends country house close to the river. Plenty of mosquitoes there. There was a moment when I got intensively bitten on my hands because I wanted to pick up some flowers from the sidewalk near the forest. In these forests and fields I grew up and spent my summers as a child. The little flowers represent a part of me of which I wish to be reminded while living in Amsterdam. Everything has a price, so I endured the itchy pain and allowed myself to be someones meal. I felt happy despite the irritation. The energy of the nature with it's living organisms that was present in that moment made me feel good. The next day I got bitten on my eyelid and many other places, and that was less fun, still the energising retreat in the nature was definitely worth it. The nature was in it's fullest glory. It is now almost winter and I'm far from rivers, mosquitoes and apple trees. The flowers are dry and framed and now I dream about big mosquitoes.