i have taken another liberty – and i have shaken the grip that time had on glimpses. though i am still taking a trip down memory line – i am no longer committed to a linear trip. i am releasing the memories as they come. sometimes it starts with an image that leads to a memory and words, other times it is a memory that leads to images and words. this time though – it’s a word that led to a memory of images and then more words. violence.
a while ago i spoke to shahar about two experiences i had in a studio environment – both times i felt, after the events had occured, uncomfortable with my actions. i felt that i chose violence as a form of expression. i felt i was confessing this to shahar who, like he has many times, wrapped me in his attentive embrace and gently shifted my perspective and shed a new light on … well my perception.
though i don’t remember now both occasions of violence – one does stand out in my memory. it was during the second day of my visit to the gottingern impro-festival. the first days were designated a teachers meeting – with the intension of giving the teachers and facilitators time to meet and give the festival a focus and flavor. during the evenings we were trying out an open space – where arts and artist could meet and explore together. the event i am referring to is the first open space experiment where i felt like nobody knew quite what to do. the word that comes to my mind and sticks there relentlessly is weird. though this was not the first time i experienced weird in improvisation work – this time is was intense and different. the space felt heavy and lost – and as if to cope with that the participants, me included, seemed to be aggressive and searching.
as i was searching for a door into this tense space – i approached david – who was sitting on the outskirts of the space with his notebooks and pencils. at first i approached him with the camera taking a few images – then i engaged him in an interaction – the nature of which was to disturb him. as i write these words – i feel as if i was picking on him, in a way hoping he would react and express his discomfort with my interruption. violence – is the best word to describe what i felt then and afterward. i cannot recall what actually happened and what was his reaction. i do remember going up to him and apologizing when the session ended.
i also recall, towards the end of the session, seeing shahar sitting with the guitar next to a wall. he arrived a few hours earlier and we had a wonderful and playful session together with judit, orly and shai. i don’t recall him participating in the session itself. i do remember seeing him there – like an island of sanity within the mess that was left behind in the physical space and beyond.
some months later i brought up this experience of violence in a conversation with shahar. he then said to me that in physical contact with another person there are two ways to apply physical force – pushing to create distance and pulling to create proximity. though many words can be used to describe these actions – their essence & nature do not change – they describe a physical interaction. my interpretation of my interaction with the space embodied additional contexts (social, moral…) that are simply not relevant in a creative space of physical contact and motion. pushing and pulling are expected and agreed. if there was any violence involved it occurred in my mind and was turned against me and not against others.