MISSING FOR TEN YEARS

EI Foundation, New York

Curadoria – Phill Niblock


 english

Under the allocation stage at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, curated by Phill Niblock, I developed a research and a performance, which has as reflective support the state of disqualification. In an era filled with semiotic references, the lack of them, induce an increasing anxiety. The desert is today more than ever, a strange place. The impossibility to record over time and space, cause to our intrinsic passion for taxonomy, a discoordination. To all that can not be located, dated or classified is also withdrawn its existence.

The Portuguese Civil Code (Art. 68) applies a Presumed Death to adults who are absent for more than 10 years. That is, the existence of the natural person ends.

To this analysis of the suspected loss of life, I intend to add to it a narrative crossing the last known work of artist Bas Jan Ader. Not intending to reinterpret his work, or impersonate his person, I want instead, to create an allegorical relation which emphasizes the emotion of anxiety easily acquired in a moment of lack of bond (“habitat”), as exemplified by the maritime or air space. In this situation of confrontation, it is often given a golden, aureus or miraculous event.

Bas Jan Ader was born in the Netherlands, in 1942, sought to achieve through his artwork, a natural spontaneity. Waiting for his body to fall from a tree, or mimicking a shrub breathed upon by the wind, his work was very performative, but also romantically provocative and ironic. This artist was undergoing regular monitoring of his body physicality. Had a (presumed) mediated death for being, itself, intentionally or not, part of an artistic performance. This performance is entitled “In Search Of The Miraculous” (1975) and consisted in crossing the Atlantic Ocean by himself, depending on a small sailboat. After three weeks of the absence of radio signal, Bas Jan Ader was reported missing and the body was never found. The media attention created around this event gave him a heroic status on his work.

Sea salt is the most relevant element in this piece, as it shapes the sound, according to its density.

The simultaneous fragility and magnificence of the pristine nature, are sensations to be conveyed to the viewer.

 


 

português

Missing for ten years gira em torno de conceitos como o desaparecimento, a flutuação e a ausência de referências.
O código civil português confere uma Morte Presumida aos adultos que se encontrem ausentes há mais de 10 anos. Curiosamente, este balizamento temporal varia de país para país, atribuindo à existência um pendor circunstancial. Esta consideração cruza-se com a última obra conhecida do artista Bas Jan Ader (In Search of The Miraculous, 1975) que, lançando-se sozinho na travessia do Oceano Atlântico a bordo de um veleiro, é dado como desaparecido, após três semanas de perda da sua emissão rádio. Tomando a viagem de Ader como alegoria, Missing For Ten Years enuncia um estado de ansiedade, resultante da perda de vínculo ou de habitat natural.
Esta peça, de carácter performativo mas também sonoro e objectual, consiste na acção da artista, que induz electricidade em vários pontos de uma plataforma formada por sal marinho. As variações eléctricas, resultantes de maiores ou menores densidades de sal são emitidas via rádio para um computador, processando a composição sonora.

A gestualidade é guiada por uma única tarefa: estiolar o sal enquanto matéria sólida, contudo invisível, presente na água dos oceanos. A força exercida pelo corpo em movimento, provoca numa dada altura, a fractura do sal prensado. Este momento é assinalado por seis homens que erguem a plataforma, revelando um lençol de sobrevivência pontuado por 10 porções de sal.

 

 

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