Performance and experiences (DIHAN)

With blue sidewalk chalk I drew an uninterrupted, wandering line - on walls and floor - in one of the two (rough) cellar spaces, located next to ARTisBOOKshop. A mark on the wall (point A) was the starting point of my drawing performance. While drawing I made my way through the public as well; on the floor my chalk was finding its way around the feet of the people in the audience. As soon as I had reached point B (a mark on the wall as well) I stopped; the drawing came to an end. After this a small memo card - with the sentence: ‘From A to B is rarely a straight line‘ - was handed out to everyone in the audience. In a way my performance could be seen as a self-portrait.

To participate at the performance evening ’Does it have a name: small things‘ was an experiment to me. Usually I am working in my studio - where I am making drawings (and paintings). (After a while a selection of the works are being exhibited; so people will only get to see the results.) To work/perform in a space (in relation to the space) and in front of an audience - as at DIHAN - is (was) a totally different process and experience:
(1) There’s a different scale to relate to (usually I draw on paper, a given format). (2) The space is three-dimensional (of course paper is flat); as a performer you can move around/forward in this space. (3) The making of the work is the work: the work can as well succeed and fail - both options must be calculated/accepted. (4) As a performer I was extremely aware of the presence of the people watching. This awareness of what’s happening goes both ways (I think) - from performer to audience, and vice versa - and creates a special kind of atmosphere/dynamics (a sort of meta awareness). I was glad to have prepared/visualised well before, so I could carry on! (5) As a participant you kind of feel that you are part of a whole; among the performers there is this feeling of a shared responsiblity, to make the evening successful (at least I felt that). This kind of group process (even if you perform alone) is new to me; usually I am working in my studio - individually. The positive energy and curiosity generated by the audience are importent as well.

I am pretty sure that I will be doing a performance again some day - perhaps at an opening of an exhibition of mine. (I am glad to have some experience now.) Of course a possible future performance will be quite different than the one I did at DIHAN!