-Body/Wall_Encounters: Research text 2018
I. Wall: a perpendicular floor; a construction, partition, fabrication, protrusion; a boundary, shield, screen; an oppressor, protector, authority; a suggestion, direction, companion, guide; a limitation, barrier, confine; a canvas, documentarian, historian, sponge; a shadow-creator, reflection, refraction, light-catcher; a support, crutch, receiver; a meeting, border, edge, asymptote; a ruler, refuge, end; an inside, outside; a rhythm-setter; an (in/)animate relativity; a relational frame.
II. “The first gesture of art, its metaphysical condition and universal expression, is the construction or fabrication of the frame”. It is the frame that establishes territory out of the chaos that is the earth…the frame’s most elementary form is the partition, whether wall or screen, that, projected downward, generates the smoothness of a floor, that “rarefies” and smooths over the surface of the earth, creating a first (human) territorialization.” (Grosz; 2008)
III. I feel it first in my face. I feel it first in my face. It’s a sense of resistance. The thing about walking towards a wall, is your consciousness of the space being finite. I know there is an end to where I can go, which controls how I am willing to move(Excerpt: Wall Experiments 1; 12.8.18).
Architecture is first and foremost a form of knowledge, said French architect Bernard Tschumi, (Tschumi; 2016): and whilst its knowledges are not always clearly visible except by the explicit intentions of plaque and monument, they are embedded into the nature of paces assumed at their peripheries, the angles of inquisition proposed to their entrants, the contextual rendering of the bodies that roam within and upon them, the meanings drawn from observation, entrained (as in biomusicology, as in the synchronisation of organisms to an external rhythm) among those passively viewing their position in land or cityscape. Evolutions and lethargies of economies and ideas are refracted in concrete and fabrication, instilling within us some implicit understanding of the way of the times and places we occupy.
Within and of these structures lie a milieu of tangential talking points, from mathematics to philosophy, culture, religion and politics. And at the inception of the grandiose discipline responsible for these structures is the essential figure of the Wall. The unassuming foundation of (hu)man’s first attempt at wielding his/her sense of territory over the environment. How else could one have built shelter without its extension into such a form? It is simple, instinctive, intuitive; an extension of primal nature and the logic of survival.
Simultaneously, the Wall appears to be a materialisation of reasoning itself. The apex of logical deduction animate into form. It is a dialectic response to gravity and the Divine. Divorced from the contentment of (hu)Man as the derivative of apes, the Wall becomes the enactment of the philosophical quandary at the very heart of living. The Wall: a site of acute relativity and self-awareness.
If the frame is what establishes territory out of chaos (Grosz, 2008), perhaps the Wall represents the greatest effort made by human to reckon the chaos that is life; an articulation of our response to existential crisis. (Build a wall.)
To separate the ideological implications of the Wall from its affective resonance on the Body – that is, the whole of the individual – would be to fall prey to the folly of Cartesian-dualism. Rather, it is the ‘assemblages’ comprising the Body, the Wall, and all other affects, that ‘unfold’ the lives, society and history that we come to know (Fox, N.J. and Alldred, P.; 2018).
The Wall, then,- like all architectural bodies – fundamentally regards the Body. Its impact upon, within, and through the relational fields of Body-sense such as voice, posture, action, gesture, pace and psychology.
This video work reflects audio and video recordings from a series of actions undertaken between the body and a wall in Melbourne in September 2018 as part of the Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice from the Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Art Therapy.
Collages Week 2
Emergent Textual Relations Week 3
The partition transforms the earth into a delimitable space.
“I feel it first in my face”
Though it primarily divides, the wall also provies new ways of relation.
“we are given planes within which we can interact with each other”
the wall divides us from the world, but provides a constructed and framed world
“there is a loneliness here, an isolation”
New connections, new relations
“again, this intimacy is conjured”
In this process of territorialization, deterritorialization and reterritorialization, the body becomes intimately connected to and informed by the peristaltic movements of the universe itself.
“I can’t help but feel like this division, here, is only me against myself.”
Body and universe entwined in mutual concavity/convexity, floating/falling, folding/unfolding are directly touched by that outside now enframed.
Final Creative Synthesis – video – Week Four.
This work was developed in September 2018 as part of the Master of Therapeutic Arts Practice at the Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Art Therapy.