On October 13, 14 and 15, Converso presents the key, a durational performance by American, New York-based artist Dawn Kasper. the key investigates the possibilities of healing rituals: healing a body, healing a soul, healing an environment. Healing, then, as the humus which receives and nurtures the seeds of the artistic gesture—the key to pass through, to go beyond the threshold in between doing and creating. Kasper’s rituals challenge choreography with improvisation: movements, sounds (human voices or of musical instruments or of things—that is,
noises), texts (words, sentences, speeches) and body configurations operate the search for the other, without seeking a climax. They interconnect without spiraling into sequence, instead weaving the dullness of a pattern. In the artist’s words: “Locating the interconnectivity through improvisational movement would, in theory, create patterns.
The patterns would be drawn and so the composition created during the performance of activating materials. Materials such as musical instruments, props, people moving in the space. They themselves depict and reference patterns drawn between theoretical and philosophical questions. The patterns drawn become documentation. Documentation as data collection; data collection as composition; composition as sounds—sounds that then become archived.”With the key, as in many of Kasper’s performances, we are located before and after the artistic gesture. As the audience who surrounds the stage, we are brought to the periphery of creation, a hazy landscape in which either we wander—and so we get lost—or we stay yearning for the center. Where is art? Is it there? Is it here? Is it with her, the (alleged) artist? Is it with us? Didn’t we just gather (in a church!) to partake in an artistic happening (a ceremony!)? Of course, belief is the most pervasive force at play here. And the exercise of belief is what Kasper’s performance calls to an arrest, a suspension—so we can ask ourselves more and more questions about where the art lies.
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