archery

Something I’ve been meaning to write about for some time. A while ago – in early June – I bought an archery bow. One of the scenes in abjection I have imagined has a slightly megalomaniacal attempt to take out the sun with an arrow. I can’t say for sure if the scene will make sense, function in some way, or even elucidate what it’s about and it’s place in this performance, but nonetheless I wanted to rehearse it well.

My bow is nothing so special, though it looks pretty. It’s a recurved takedown (a Samick Polaris), which means it looks like a sleek upturned handlebar moustache, and the limbs bolt onto the riser, making it dissembled about a third the length it is when together. And when it’s together it’s almost as tall as me. Stringing it is an exercise in learning to dance also; it has the potential to be quite inelegant – lucky I was taught a fancy step-through method by Lewis.

At the other end of Uferhallen is the vast and empty bus-turning and parking ground. Empty is not so good a word. It is full of life, becoming during the course of summer a wilderness of grasses and shrubs abloom and rich with colour. At its widest, it’s nearly 50m and the length is almost four time that. It’s a beautiful, tranquil oases, unpopulated even when the occasional person wanders through. The entrance is guarded by the vast maws of the Uferhallen rubbish bins and assorted piles of detritus, which perhaps help in keeping people from wandering in.

For me, I have a part not so deep inside, bounded on the western side by the blank faces of apartment blocks where I set up to practice. It is a tense engagement; to miss the improvised target (flattened cardboard boxes over up-ended packing palettes) is to strike concrete and shatter the arrow – an expensive blunder. But otherwise …

It becomes a rhythm, like dancing. I attend to the brush of the wind on my skin, its sound, the light as it shifts, the calmness, my breathing. Like dancing, the position is unimportant; if arriving and departing are taken care of, that is.

My training and learning consists of reading what I can find on the internet, watching some videos, closed-eyes feeling my way to a consensus, relying on that I can dance and have a close relationship with the physicality of myself to perhaps, hopefully take something of that and make it useful to the rhythm of pulling the bow string and releasing it.

It is muscular also. Like dancing, climbing, yoga … the other things I do that I call training. I thought perhaps I should have a category for this here too, and write about these things which I make my life with.

How will this archery, Bogenschießen make itself into abjection? I have no idea. I did decide that if nothing else I had to show unequivocally through my handling of the equipment that this was not just something I’d spent half a day or so with prior to a performance; that it must become part of myself or self extended to.

Perhaps later this week I shall be having some photos arranged of this.