In my last letter I discussed the three aspects which I consider to be the pillars for understanding the Festival and Laboratory Linha de Fuga, namely, the institutional, the political and the aesthetic. In this letter, I want to address the aesthetic aspect as an exercise aimed not merely at evaluating, but of abstraction in flight offered by each participant using different devices, just as expected from participant observation, the documentation methodology I offered to be as a documenter at the Laboratory. In fact, I believe an important collaboration of our work for ethnographic studies in general, grosso modo
, is the perception that perhaps we are collaborating with some methodology of “participant documentation”. Maybe that expression already exists and is specific to other research areas among human sciences which we may come to meet in the future.
And I want to deter myself among those possibilities of participating documentation
, specifically in the types of results we were able to offer as documenters in combination with a very interesting curatorship, to say the least.
It’s essential to highlight that, in abstraction, in flight, I don’t intend to write exactly about results, but of the desire to make use of all the field records I managed to collect from the event. Because desire is also an abstraction of results. So, in fact, I believe the idea is to understand the escape routes that the participants also went through, as well as forecasted or predictable scientific possibilities, allowing space for possibilities of authorship constructed among flashes of memory. In this case, it is very important to note that the accuracy of participant observation depends greatly on the accuracy of collecting and storing empirical research data. Maybe this will still astound many academics and sound weird to them. The most prestigious collected materials are the surveys. At once you can imagine a dark room with a lamp shining in the face of an unwanted (interrogated) person, with a dictator on the other side in the dark and a table between them. This kind of metaphor gives me the feeling that I am safe from my own country, at this moment, when a dictator is the president of a Brazil of fascism which is far from childish but equally tacky and redneck like the praxis
in Coimbra. So, if it was a matter of simply prescribing results, I would start with myself, still as a Laboratory participant and not a documenter and state that the best outcome was to find a way to keep me literally alive in foreign lands. But this should be done without those old exiles of the martyrs from long ago, making it easier for us, together with the curator, the technical teams, the different audiences, the cities and the participants, to weave proof of what I was while on the run: a paper napkin, a taste, a light, a notebook with weird scribbles, hundreds of photographs, transient loves, disconnected ideas, soup every day.
I’ve kept the notes of a conversation with Sergi Faustino
about the way dance is in fact a type of writing because its words are projectable, but in a notebook without lines, even if the body is standart.
That notebook is like life to him, although one gesture will always be more projectable than another. It depends on the political moment, for example. I also have memories of Sara Jaleco
, for whom dance writes nothing until it is possible to choose or be chosen for a new work. But she also acknowledges that without a body there is no text. Sílvia Coelho
believes that writing is libertarian, but asks me about the necessary level of altruism to be able to perform. And I don’t know. Mish
was concerned with the difference between languages from one dance to the other. We speak of the Portuguese language in Europe and its absences, but I was left wondering if the level of non-sense
that she achieves in performances is the result of her Australian English and how the Laboratory could be itinerant and bring a certain Portuguese way of smiling on the inside. António Azenha
even believes that physical contact does not mean greater proximity to the conversation, which is different from what I had imagined, because while the abstraction embedded in the body-gesture relation, beginning with the gesture, seems to me to be asking for something collective, it’s not always like that for the artist. I can understand what Azenha says when I think of Asli
, from Turkey – she left us with the certainty that words are sweet when the body is too, but that has nothing to do with the person who dances, thus the level of abstraction of a gesture may contain guttural arrangements of individuality. I remember a conversation with Federica Folco
about the possible exaggerations by which artists believe in themselves, although that is the idea, to believe in oneself. However, if all that is in excess spoils, we must think of collective actions, albeit alone, at first, but as much as possible, so as not to be filled with intentions which are too narrow or expansive, underpinning discourses in pocket ideologies. Memory and ideology would be a beautiful theme for a future Laboratory contribution. For that purpose, I would choose to make connections between the works of Karina Pino
, Mari Bley
and Camilla Morello
. At Linha de Fuga, I believe it is possible to understand what a cow, an androgynous being from the Amazon and a ballot box have in common, in this case, the historical awareness that the body is political, but also emblematic, such that Sergi is right. His sayings will depend on the heat of the moment and that leads me to think that memory and ideology would be two ingredients that could make the same piece of body art survive over time or not.
I do not believe that ideologies are the starting point for the three, let alone the point of arrival, although each was visionary in flight: Mari Bley didn’t know that the arson encouraged by Jair Bolsonaro would embarrass Brazil in the eyes of the world; Karina did not know these crimes would take place to defend beef cattle and Camilla did not know the presidential elections in Brazil would lead to all this. Ideology is an instrument for locating memories.
Thinking of instrumentations I can only think of Etienne
, João Telmo
who, if at the outset have not much in common, at the end could not go without fundamental objects to compose some speech in flight, most of the time about themselves. In this case, a mason's overall is not a costume, nor is a cement shovel, just as a mirror is not to reflect what it is seen before it, at least, as long a disheveled mannequin can do it. And between dishevelings I find the poems of Valinho Gigas
, the memories of Zeca Afonso brought by Bruno Caracol
and the documentary by Tiago Cravidão
and I feel dismayed, as I understand that my thoughts put them on the escape route together, because they are Portuguese, really very Portuguese, to the point that I cannot see them in other scenarios because they are so faithful to what they mirror. As for Guilem
he seems to bring me another perspective, a certain courage not to be ashamed to undertake all this. I once invented a wine label by stamping the event flyer on a bottle, suggesting that the Laboratory would need this entrepreneurial footprint, as ecological as the others. We drank the wine, laughed and no longer talked about this in the presence of Nóra
, the sweetness that escapes all this and comes back in Hungarian, her mother tongue in a foreigner’s Portuguese. And finally, it was from Saeed
that I learned that all bodies spin within their axis, but not all reach God. By the way, what about Wellington Gadelha
? He didn't come, what a pity.
Sending you a hug, till next time,