After creating the Prelude for a Causal Machine (showed on 23rd October 2010 in Theaterschool, Amsterdam), I started a daily studio practice. I was researching on the shadow but also practicing the grid. I would do the grid twice in one day and write notes (diary) about what happen or what ideas or connections came up. The practice of the grid became alive entity. Here is what I wrote about this practice in March 2011: “By practicing the grid I have discovered an interesting physicality/sensation in my back – my back became aware in a very specific way. It would spread inside and outside like one massive antenna, while I was progressing through space by making the grid. It had sensors all over itself, and I always knew where I am. It were sensing the air and the floor. With my other body parts I have sensed the whole floor, so many times. My body started to know the floor. The floor started to know my body. The history of my imprints on the floor was creating the density of the performance every time I would perform it. No matter how tired I was, or what was bothering me in that moment, every time I would enter the grid I would feel whole again. The grid had a purifying capacity – it was catalyzing my daily/actual dilemmas, issues, stories, needs, ideas and my history. The grid was making a funny order out of everything. It was like if the whole inside, emotional body, mental body, physical body, volitional body, became visualized and stretched out in the space of the grid. I remember, once I was dreaming that my spine is laying on the bench next to me, while at the same time I am normal and functional as usually. In this mystical sensation, in which something that is inside of me, my vital part, suddenly can be at the same time outside of me, I have recognized something crucial for my artistic practice. I think that in the grid I am finally managing to achieve what I call the active paradox. I am managing to exist on stage affected by the two opposite forces at the same time. This affection is a distraction from unnecessary load of aesthetics or judgment or doubt or fear. It triggers something real. Something that I can't control but at the same time it is me.
The physicality in the grid is introverted, while the speech is transcending the wall created with the introversion and reaches the audience in the most direct way. The two forces that are working within performer's body, are at the same time working on the whole piece and on the audience perception. Audience feel we are sharing something so personal. It touches them. They enjoy .”
After so much practice, just before I have created ONE DOUBLE BODY, people around me were afraid that I will over-rehears it. But the practice of the grid was so established, that it was always new. Working with Renee Copraij, who was my adviser for the ONE DOUBLE BODY, we were talking about how to elaborate and use fully the four different bodies which I have recognized in my own practice of the grid. These were: factual body, personal body (personal history), social body (habitus) and referential body (influences from other artists and thinkers, which are very important to me). This intention made my work on the grid more accurate and precise. Eventually the grid became more “written”, scored, rhythmical, causal, poetic, puncTtual.
While creating the piece ONE DOUBLE BODY most of the questions were related to the choices that had to be made. I supposed to chose right materials. Shall the floor on which I make the grid be from a black paper or a dance floor? Paper was really beautiful material. Renee said that would make a lot of sense because then my practice of the grid would easier connect to the act of writing (which was one of the potential understanding that I liked a lot). But the paper was too slippery. I couldn't perform with the same physicality as if I would on the dance floor. I was researching the chalk and apparently the best one would be the most common one, that is used in schools on the blackboards. This one, and all the others, apparently, were leaving permanent trace on the floor, so I had to use the oldest dance floor in the school. If the nature of material says that this must be my choice, I am taking it. Because that is a way for me to deal with the reality of the bodies (material) I am working with.
Costume, position of the fridge, relationship with the fridge, HMI light, shadow-lights... it was all about the choice. If I would chose one thing, every other thing depends on it. It meant that any choice will influence other choices and until some choices are stable, already made, I can't see the bigger image. But also I can't make any choice if I don't already see the bigger image. Because the grid and the whole piece where depending on many variables, all these variables had to be discovered, defined and determinated. That is how the research became the piece. Materials that used to be research case-studies got specified and composed. It became a piece about a woman. Her name is Branka Zgonjanin. She is born in 1980 in Belgrade, in former-Yugoslavia. She just gave birth to her son, Dusan Beni. She became an artist when she was 2,5 years old. ... Because I was dealing with myself as a performer, the stories told were coming from my life, from my current state of mind and my situation. But the piece was not about me. Audience confirms that. They say that the piece has inspired them to think about themselves and their lives. They found parallels with their lives and aspects of my life which they heard from my stories.
I think, this is the broken narrative I was looking for. Stories told in a non-linear mode, but still having a line of thought (coming from the causality), having an initiation, a certain development and then an abrupt stop, cut or change of the direction, or fluid transformation to another story. Time of the piece is developing in parallel with accumulation of measured/exposed body-parts, stories told and grids created on the floor. All three of them are gradually developing, and as Igor Dobricic noticed after the first performance, by the end of the grid something happens. What is this something? Maybe the amount of mental/visual connections which audience can create when listening to the stories and watching the accumulation of the grid reaches a certain qualitative saturation and from there advances to another level of understanding? Maybe the opposition between the activity of measuring (introvert quality) and activity of talking (extrovert quality) during accumulation becomes an irresistible active paradox? Maybe this paradox triggers something bellow the surface of our daily existence? Maybe the making of the points, metaphoric and literal at the same time – the quality of a tautology and of a statement, is purifying our being in space/time/society? Maybe the repetition of measuring and chalking the floor turns into mantra? Maybe we all get hypnotized with the power of causality, with the mirroring of everything? With non stop including/hugging everything that sticks out of the flow? Maybe a look at someone's private life, at someone's biography, takes off the social binds and makes us relaxed? Relaxing the concepts of how to be or how to understand what is visible.
(This text is a compilation made from my third and forth half-year report for AMCh)