OWEN at the Arnolfini Bristol on the 17th and the 20th of January 2013.
OWEN is a sniper's text who fought in Iraq, wish to become an invitation to be listened in public, spoken in the space by mouths, heard in time by ears. OWEN is the detailed elements of a presentation, the performance's steps come from Beckett’s play Footfalls, offering a rhythmical, more of a metronomic aspect to the duration of the piece. The performer learns the text by heart through the help of the passers. When the text is learned and spoken a few times by only the performer, without the adding of words or possible corrections of linguistic errors from the passers that moment marks the end of the performance. The repetitive reciting of each word, sentence and paragraph which is spoken by the passers who sit on the benches and read again and again to the performer creates a module where the text is heard many times in various ways by many different people. The people engage to the words than what is the performer's representational accomplishment to the role of the sniper. Instead we look each others position in speaking and listening the sniper's words. The passers read and speak the words, look how and in which way the words that the performer speaks are correct and even allowing some errors to exist. This whole process produces, how I call it an oral-monument. When I hear the word monument it comes to mind a stable, fixed representation, a resolved event of the past. Through this piece I'm trying to make a monument that creates history, through a text from the past. History can't be only representations from the past which we suppose to mimic, but words, actions which we learn to share and translate to each other we perhaps allow history to be created, a history of our own in the present moment. When the piece is taking place the performer is one of the elements, she/he is amongst the participants to the piece and not the only one to be exposed or to present something. The performer is not the virtuoso but creates one variation of the piece. OWEN is an object standing on a shelf, a record that includes the script, the plan that is the formation of the benches in which the performance is taking place and the contract that describes it and enables everyone to do it- to learn the text by heart with the help of others. The record was made through the expertise of typographers and bookbinders from Athens. Without their work the record wouldn’t be made. OWEN then is a chain of relationships; exchanges of thoughts, ideas, associations and those are not limited only to the moment of the performance. Previous relationships constituted the piece and the ones to come is the reason to do it, to do the performance, nothing else.
Posted by Georgia Sagri at 3:26 μ.μ.