Dimitrina Sevova, On Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End by DFS (2016)
Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End is a spatial installation and dance performance construction in two different planes. Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End is a dance piece in which no one ever appears to dance, like in Dance Construction Clothes by Simone Forti. The fabric and its surface are the interiority of the movement itself, which produced an immersive environment not only to look at, but one which the audience walking in the space can field or inhabited it through their moving bodies. Pieces of fabric cut to different sizes, cut across the existing space other temporalities. They are part of the long-term practices of Discoteca Flaming Star with banners, pieces of fabric, glued together and painted or collaged with text which appears irregularly on their surface in poetic lines that make another movement to that of the freely folding, hung fabric. They serve both as a backdrop curtains for performances and as an independent, formless architecture within the existing architecture that unframes the space. The movements of the banners shuffle the space; they are a spatial deterritorialization whose disorder forms into words. The interplay between the words makes a sensitive bricolage of Discoteca Flaming Star’s own reflections and the cryptic thoughts that pass through them on everything they are interested in at the moment, which they sometimes carry around with them for months. Sometimes they are concepts, or poems. In the words of DFS, they are think-text-iles.
For their live performance dance construction Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End, Discoteca Flaming Star take the case of the little girl Esther who trained ambitiously to become a rhythmic gymnast (1). She wishes to develop to the extreme in her exercises her athletic excellence, to display perfect physical agility, coordination and grace. As it turns out, under the pressure of her parents Esther eventually left the field of gymnastics, to undertake another education that would give her a better future. Now Esther is a woman, who graduated from university, which has indeed given her greater opportunities in her life. Her memory has retained, inscribed in her body, the rigorous training of the movements of rhythmic gymnastics. These inscriptions in her body remind her that she did not manage to realize her child dream. In the duration of the performance, the dance movements bring her back to the time of her childhood, as they evoke her memory through her body. The notations included in the present book are the dance score of Esther’s 90 seconds of multiple becoming in its imperceptible time, becoming child, becoming animal – A-ESTHER-BECOMING-DIVINE HORSEWOMAN, becoming an imperceptible-impersonal molecule, becoming one and many at the same time in the vanishing time of a 90 seconds duration. A molecular becoming of one/many, to the event of the groundless and infinitely small milieus of a collective action, which is an event. Esther does not designate a proper name. Esther does not represent a subject, but a desiring assemblage, a collective persona of three and more, as everything written above in capital letters. She is a collective enunciation (2). The instruction is to love any out of these 90 seconds. To love. A verb in the infinitive! To mark processes like to walk, to love, to dance. The infinitive marks movements of deterritorialization.
Esther dances together with Cristina, and Wolfgang sings. Their dance supposes proximity and distance at the ground level, but in the proximity of their dancing bodies they do not necessarily follow each other’s movements. Their disjointed movements start to intersect more and more often to modulate an invisible diagram of individuation. “I am you” in this passage, with all its intensive components of variability at once. Their movements are at the limit of their bodies and at the limit of their language. Logomotions and body movements interrelate. They double in the becoming of Esther. She is an assemblage – a material production of desires. Esther starts betraying her own memorized techniques of rhythmic gymnastics, displacing them with more improvisational and free movements, eluding the repressive apparatus and disciplining process to lose control, to push her desires to the real life experience, with the sensible quality of emotions and the fabulating movements coming from language. Kristina’s movement techniques are elaborated on the basis of Maya Deren’s and Simone Forti’s systems of movements and techniques, and philosophy.
The notation of Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End opens a new path of imaginary/experience in order to give her a score to become conscious of her difference, embodied in the singularity of the therapeutic process. It is not remodeling Esther’s subjectivity. It is a new production in the dance movements “to recompose her existential corporeality and to get out of her repetitive impasses.”(3) It is both a politics and an aesthetics of irreversible duration.
The weakness of the body in the rehearsal process led Doris Humphrey to formulate her movement techniques of fall and recovery. On this basis, she found that “movement is situated on a tended arc between two deaths,” which are vertical balance and horizontal balance, two zeros, or two straight lines of death. The bending body’s responds to them in a curve that is a pure movement, or pure event, a rainbow-shaped path that is always in the middle of two deaths. This arc is another simple and abstracted line, the line of flight, which has something “exceedingly mysterious […] it is nothing other than the progression of the soul of the dancer.”(4) This simple arc that is a pure event in-between two deaths, or in-between the two undifferentiated abysses of black nothingness and white nothingness can be bridged only by the beatitude of the loving dancer.
Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End cracks the loneliness of the 90 seconds of mechanical time governed by perfection. It is the necessary collapse that will disperse time in a thousand seeds of disjointed meaningless time. 90 seconds of temporal death are a passage to the virtual that opens up to the potentiality of the plurality of time, to its multiplicity. The 90 seconds of disjointed time have to be understood in dramatic terms, as a plural time constituted by a drama of movements. It is a dramatization of time, and a diagrammatization of the finite and mechanical abstract set of 90 seconds stretched to the infinity of cosmic time. Every focal point in movement has its point of temporal death that connects it to the virtual, constructing the invisible diagrammatic grid of spatio-temporality. This is the focal point of ontological time. Time is ontology, which is constitution internal to production, and also internal to freedom.(5)
In Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End, the personal is political, and its highly subjective treatment of time is a refusal of competition timing, the rules of the game, and the disciplinary structures that master perfection. It is about the imperfection of love. Competition should be understood not only in terms of the sport, but “competition has been the universal belief of the last neo-liberalist decades.”(6) The score produces a sensible surface of the floating affective spatio-temporality of the desiring machine of disjointed referents that do not designate anything but themselves, free-floating words. The poetic lines are produced by their infinite play, which gives the freedom of intuition and improvisation rather than instruction. Introducing a ribbon routine in their score, an apparatus whose movements are independent from those of the body, yet controlled by them, draws time in large, smooth and flowing movements in spirals and circles of deformed number figures that give another count of time. The ribbon produces other flexible, precarious movements as it gets more and more entangled, making knots in itself, leading to the necessity to displace, move and constantly change the perspectives on the spatio-temporal construction, undermining the way apparatuses of control entangle with the bodies, and the demand for more flexible time of the precarious present. With the movements of the ribbon in the notation, they write a cryptic code, which reminds of computer-generated captchas, and allude to the typewriter’s ink ribbon, consisting of a length of a medium that imprints the characters on the blank sheet of paper, and to the strange characters and signs directly inscribed in the body.
90 seconds. Death! An absolute void. The indefinite but infinitely virtual “teeming mass of multiplicity” without actualization – these vanishing terms cannot be recombined and mobilized in “punctual, casual and fragmentary forms” of cells’ productive time. Unproductive time is the time that is highly singularized and individuated, unlike de-personalized time. “De-personalized time is now the real agent of the process of valorization, de-personalized time has no right.”(7)
Liberation of time is a time for affection and joy – one’s existential refrain, re-focalized, de-mobilizing and slowing down. It is not abstract time. It is a vital time of existential territory. It constitutes a spatio-temporality subtracted from the social factory. It is to exist in-between the times, which can activate a brain that cannot be downloaded, a memory able to anticipate not only its past, but its future.
End. The necessary collapse for something new to appear-in-the-world. The total exhaustion that leads to collapse in the training, can make the body lose control and fall on the dancing floor. Only love can reconstitute it. Love is the dynamic grid of the sensible temporal surface, a cryptic writing of the body that animates any breath and any movement and collects in his eternal return the seeds of disjointed time, to overcome chaos and reconstitute the body! Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End! Becoming is a spatial constitution. It is the necessary movement of the body falling to the floor. This spatio-temporal construction is produced by the interrelation between the dancing bodies and the existing structure of the dance floor. The dance notation of Love Any Out of (90 Seconds) End is for one, two, three moving bodies that will become more than three. Love abandoned the notion of alienation for a rebellious construction.
Love is a spatio-temporal emancipatory practice. Love is alterity that produces the unconscious, “a substance to be manufactured, to get flowing – a social and political space to be conquered.”(8) Love is intensities in motion. Love is an open social and political concept. Love is affect-in-itself! Love is a powerful critical instrument. Love is revolutionary in the practices of DFS! Love is where a ‘singular existence in its complex relation with the world’ can individuate and become concrete duration. Love is a proliferation of differences. Love forms the erotics of the corporeal collective body that only arc between power and knowledge! Antonio Negri claims, drawing on Spinoza, “that love, only love, can determine the relation between power and knowledge.”(9) Love liberates life from the social factory and competition games, as in one of DFS’s poetic lines: “love when are many and relieve all from the compositions of rules and orders.”
Love makes the movements a dance of refusal. Love is not work! DFS’s notation is a score that gives an instruction: “dance! no work!” Dance forms life! Dancing molecules, disconnected and at the same time all together. Every movement becomes a joyful autonomous event in a mass tune that gives the courage to Esther to traverse the abyss of the 90 seconds of death, of non-being and crying. “I die. I die.” Which means, paradoxically “I leave. I leave.” And give her the power to fight for the world. “I am you.”
(1) The genealogy of rhythmic gymnastics goes back to narrative ballet, the patterns of expression of François Delsarte and his Science of Applied Aesthetics, Pehr Henrik Ling’s free exercise of “aesthetic gymnastics” in which students expressed their feelings and emotions through body movement , Catharine Esther Beecher’s gymnastics program for girls “grace without dancing,” Émile Jaques-Dalcroze’s eurhythmics. This mix of grace of movement, muscular flexibility, and good posture mutated into a highly gendered sport with very strict rules. Olympic rhythmic gymnastics is only for female participants. Competitive rhythmic gymnastics began in the 1940s in the Soviet Union and turned into an ideological, but also a real battle field of the cold war between the Eastern Bloc and the West. ‘Productive bodies’ are not allowed any failure. And yet, there is no competition without failure. On either side of the Iron Curtain, the ban on failure has its ideological foundation, its own economic efficiency in a highly competitive and selective game in the sport industry where only a few are chosen and have to maintain their status at any price. Rhythmic gymnastics gained worldwide popularity in the 1980s, in a time of the birth of biopolitics and soaring neoliberalism in which the social and economic field is determined by competition. The ideology behind rhythmic gymnastics took part in the acceleration of all vital functions, of the rhythms of the global machine.
(2) Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), p. 79.
(3) Félix Guattari, Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm, trans. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis (Bloomington and Indianapolis/IN: Indiana University Press, 1995), p. 7.
(4) G. Deleuze and C. Parnet, op. cit., p. 125. Deleuze refers here to Heinrich von Kleist’s On the Marionette Theater: “The line which the center of gravity has to describe is, at any rate, very simple and in most cases straight. In cases where the line is curved, the curve remains simple, at the most complicated, elliptic; and the ellipse (because of the joints) seems to be the natural curve for movement of the human body. The drawing of an ellipse does not demand any great artistry on the part of the puppeteer. On the other hand there is something enigmatic about an ellipse. It is actually the course that the soul of the dancer takes when the dancer moves, and I doubt whether this course can be traced if the puppeteer does not enter the center of gravity of his marionette; in other words, the puppeteer himself must dance.”
(5) Antonio Negri, The Savage Anomaly. The Power of Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Politics, trans. Michael Hardt (Minneapolis/MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1991).
(6) F. Berardi, op. cit., p. 97.
(7) F. Berardi, op. cit., p. 192.
(8) G. Deleuze and C. Parnet, op. cit., p. 78.
(9) Antonio Negri, “Appendix Two: Archeological Letter. October 1984, Antonio Negri,” in Félix Guattari and Antonio Negri, New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty, Autonomedia, 2010, p. 142.