Today was our first day at the Wonderland Ballroom, a rococo art deco streamlined parquetry dancehall that is now the home of Australian Dance Theatre who are currently either in Tokyo or on a plane somewhere near. We have the back studio, plenty of light and an atmosphere conducive to hanging out on the sofas, and pretty much a whole day passed without seeing anyone.
So the question that is going to give me ulcers, coldsores, leprosy and syphilis is, what am I doing? Still the same question. Or less concisely, if I’m doing the specific things that I’m doing, why am I doing them as opposed to, say, something completely different? Having started with what unflatteringly could be called the detritus of hell, what am I going to do with it?
The detritus. Usually when I make a work, the ideas, methods of constructing tasks and so on that eventually become the work at the completion are bound up and marked ‘finished’, irrespective of whether they had been fully exhumed. This year, having had a bunch of smaller works to make, I’ve had time to revisit a lot of stuff which has induced a weird feeling, like I am pillaging a grave, or slipping a hand underneath the ribs to steal a kidney while everyone is looking the other way.
Revisiting stuff is fine in certain contexts but I really don’t want to just reiterate stuff, same shit different name. So we’ve been working on the Shunga/春宫图 Chungongtu drawings, that I’m trying to extricate into something larger than the one minute of death metal that the became the first time around. Somehow this will tie into lots of Nobuyoshi Araki rope bondage, visits to sex shops, as a map of my overlay onto the same map Amanda and I have flown around over the last few years.
I’m having big doubts and anxiety about following the excruciatingly personal angle that first came up in SiWiC. Somehow what seemed possible and easy there seems contrived or arrogantly self-obsessed here. So in the spirit of those weeks in Zürich were the onslaught of tasks eventually drove me to do something new, I’m asking the dancers to give me tasks to which I have to come up with stuff from in an afternoon or an hour. I suspect gratuitous self-abasement, and puerile smut is the combination I’m looking for.
(No pictures sorry as my camera has got astigmatism and myopia.)