idocde » Editorial
BIG UPDATE! a NEW Symposium and more…
reflections on the 2022 IDOCDE symposium
The April Issue – symposium description is here
The March Issue
The February Issue
The November Issue
making place for making place
Nancy Stark Smith
The May Issue: Onwards with IDOCDE!
IDOCDE Virtual Meetings starting soon!
The December Issue
The September Issue
on symposium scheduling and languaging against the odds
on beaver dams and the 7th IDOCDE symposium
in lieu of transparency, approaching the 2019 IDOCDE symposium
Tracing Forwards –––––– the question of (human) nature
New Year, New Symposium, New Story
Tradition, Evolution and Diversity – Share Your Legacy
updates, updates, updates
... how many hours in a day
The Cassiopeia score and other matters; power, pedagogy, and the imparting of knowledge
revelations, reflections, confessions; post-symposium update
Months Bleed into New Months
Martin's Alphabet
You are here – I am here
Something New
Ashes to Ashes, Water to Words
Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui ... [1]
a fictional season
on beauty: an unexpected debate
What I Did Not Miss This Summer
I Can Not Not Move. Can You?
IN THE SPACE OF STUDY – notes on The Legacy Project and the 2017 IDOCDE Symposium
Scores for Rest
Everlasting Words
what you give will remain yours forever
the limit of the limitless
What can dance bring to culture?
Documentation and Identity – New lives of memories...
Solo thinking does not exist
The Importance of Being [Un]Necessary
Hot Stones Notwithstanding
Documenting what is in a flux
Symposium Preparations Under Way
Moving images are often read as “the truth”...
The Technology Coordinator
Potential for Relationship, Subversion and Emergence
A quantum LEAP to REFLEX
Abundance of Exchange – no me but for you!
Teaching Form[less]?
Questioning it all?
After a few months of ephemerality…
Failing Successfully!
Her sweet boredom…
teaching dance, flying airplanes and surgery procedures
re-creation – by the writing dance teacher
Revisiting Our Reality
The End
Roll the bones!
And now?
Treasure Hunt
News from the Arsenal
Body time & Politics
Morning training opening at K3
Symposium 2013 Vienna
Time is ticking...
"If tomatoes are a fruit, isn't ketchup...
Symposium 2013: Call for proposals
Teaching at ImPulsTanz: Call for applications
idocde meeting Stolzenhagen August 13-17, 2012
More videos please!
Hello… What are you doing here?

Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui ... [1]

                                                                                         Shadow of a ghost (2013), by Julien Bruneau

My dance practice has always been an unlearning process. Dancing is one of the ways I took to acknowledge the multiple layers of habits, ideas and certainties that I am made of.  Dancing is the way I follow to observe and be more conscious of the memories stored in my body and in my mind. Some of these memories are keeping me alive, others are in the way. They act as protective shield that separates me from things, people, reality. Dancing is the listening practice that gently dissolves this shield, layer after layer, when it’s time. The older I get the more porous I am, the more alive I feel.  

I have always had a taste for the fresh, the new, the unknown. The fresh I am talking about has nothing to do with the new version of the same watch or the same soap that ads are trying to sell me at this period of the year where consumption reaches its peak. The fresh I am talking about is something that instantaneously emerged because the old has died. It can be triggered by very ancient and traditional practices and most of the time emerges from regularity.

With such a taste for unlearning and dissolving layers of memories, it seems a paradox that I committed myself to a research on documentation.  But I guess one has to engage into the problem to question it. Also, I choose to investigate Poetic Documentation, which is a paradox in itself : how to open space for the unknown through the known? As G. Bataille puts it [2] “The poetic is the familiar dissolving into the strange and ourselves with it. It never dispossesses us entirely, for the words, the images (once dissolved) are charged with emotions already experienced, attached to objects which link them to the known.”  The first sentence tells us that we are dissolving, the second says: not completely so. For Bataille, the poetic implies a partial dissolution. I intuitively choose poetic documentation because I am not interested to produce knowledge but to dissolve it. I used the word knowledge for my research as an entrance to the artistic research world, but I have to admit that I feel more concerned by wisdom than knowledge. What is the connection between the two then and is there any? Do more knowledge leads to more wisdom?  Reading the newspaper today, I see that our knowledge does not fundamentally change our behavior: we still bomb innocent’s people for money and close our borders to kids that are escaping these bombs. I think that society today needs wisdom and I wonder: Is wisdom the acceptance of the impermanence of knowledge?  Is Wisdom a way to faint, translated in French by perdre connaissance?

I wish to create a kind of documentation that makes space for the new and addresses disappearance, oblivion and death as a creative act and a survival necessity. I am interested to apply the action of erasing, destroying, dissolving to documentation and see how these choices affects document and people that are in contact with them. The action of crumpling and un-crumpling printed pages in The breathing archive [3] was a first attempt to question the permanence of documents: pages get wrinkled, thinner and teared, ink and words disappear. Yet, I find that there are still too many words in that work. I have a desire for more space and silence. I have been looking for examples of documents and artworks that remove rather than add and would like to share some of them with you.

The first one is a poetic document, Lisa Nelson on Scores (2003), by American dance artist Lisa Nelson and  Brussels based artist Myriam Van Imschoot. It ispublished on Oral Site, a platform for online artist publication. As one opens the document, she can hear a one hour long conversation between the two artists about society conventions, processes of consensus formation, invisible forms, survival and desire.  While listening to the conversation she can follow the subtitles on the screen. A disappearance script has been applied to the subtitles, thus every word that re-occurs in the conversation disappears by getting replaced by a blank space. At the end, all words have been dissolved by chance. Only two punctuation signs remain, articulating the silence.

Another artwork that I find inspiring is on Oral site too. It is a work by Julien Bruneau, dancer, choreographer and visual artist based in Brussels. It is embedded in Strata, his online publication that I highly recommend to visit.

When you are on Strata’s page you can see a column with key words at the left side of the screen. Click on“GHOST”. You will  see two texts overlaping (ghost and brothers and sisters), and five portraits as short video that you can activate one after the other or all at the same time. These portraits are part of and installation titled Shadow of a ghost (2013). It is made of 5 sheets of burned paper, each slightly larger than an A4 and five videos in loop. Julien Bruneau describes the work as “an attempt to portrait the formless, a drive to face one’s own ghosts, to set them free by making them dance in the fire, to convert the cloth they hide behind into a material trace in the paper.“

The last artwork is a 2 minutes 16 mm mute film by Marcel Broodthaers that was made in 1969: La pluie (projet pour un texte). I saw this film in the Palais des Beaux Arts (Bozart) in Brussels twenty years ago. The film shows Marcel Broodthaers trying to write while the rain constantly washes away the ink.[4] Here you can see a video document of the film that was shot at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris in October 2010. Hope you will have the chance once to see the original.

Today I feel that my research has entered a new phase. I wonder where my taste for unlearning will lead me. Bataille, the poet, talks about a partial dissolution that is still attached to the known.  Through poetry we experience some moment of freshness that transforms us. But does this experience transform us radically? As I said previously I feel more interested in wisdom than knowledge and more and more incline to listen to the voice of mystics. Krishnamurti that I re-read at the moment, have a very radical position towards memory: “Watch your own memory and you will see. When you finish an experience, complete it; there is no memory of that experience in the sense of a psychological residue. There is a residue only when an experience is not fully understood, and there is no understanding of experience, because we look at each experience through past memories, and therefore we never meet the new, as the new, but always through the screen of the old.”[5]

Krishnamurti talks about completion. When something is complete it dissolves by itself, it disappears. So may be completing is a simple civic, artistic and spiritual practice to cultivate in a time that needs space, silence and peace more than ever. Even and because we live at a technological age that allows to preserve and accumulate enormous amount of data on smaller and smaller space, it is important to integrate this practice in our own documentation process so may be something new can emerge.

Completion is of course related to death. If you are interrested in the subject a new OVNI[6] Observatori de Video No Identificat, will happen from March 7th to 11th    2018 at the Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona (CCCB), Spain.  As Abu Ali video artist and co-curator of OVNI writes in his invitation “We are trying to create a journey in this next OVNI not a video program… a journey, a rite of passage through several soulscapes... some of them no so easy to deal with... mainly passages related with physical death... ego death... soul death … body departure... funeral rites.“

December is the perfect month to address this question since the 21st is the winter solstice. Life is a process and after the dark time, light comes back.

I wish you a silent, restfull and peacefull time.

Anouk Llaurens

[1] Title of a poem by Stephane Mallarmé. See Encripted -Translators confront the supreme enigma of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poetry an article by Alex Ross, The New Yorker.

[2]  See my contribution for MIND THE DANCE “Warming up the attention, scores as door to poetic documentation”

[3]  An article about The breathing archive was just published in BODY IN REVOLT, an online magazine curated by ICK Amsterdam and Ballet National de Marseille (BNM), both under the direction of Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten.

[4] The Rain (Project for a Text) 1969. Multimedia recording, 16 mm film, b/w, silent, 2 min, MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation 1595.


[6] See amazing video archive online.