We Promenade, Quaint Selves, Negotiating with the Work
The Hand of Surely comes out of the sky blue, down to earth and sets direction: decisive, resolute, complete.
Clown roars, laughs, unravels itself, exposes genitalia, runs, runny nose, shoots in subway.
Rabbi hides in back, shoulder to the wheel, carrying on the Great Struggle.
Baker at work, flour dust billowing. Baker squashes tomato over right breast, red juice runs down belly, drawn over fat and curves into groin, accumulates, wets anus, red seed juice down inner thigh, knee, leg, sole, puddle. Lemon in hand, rolled down over right bright breast, over abdomen then across belly, diagonal down, then curving round buttock, picked up by left hand and rolled over back of ass.
With red flower in my hair and red lipstick on tiny lips, my head against a moss covered stone, I tongue and lick and kiss the algae.
Bread of dawn, Sun of endings, Rabbi holds our left hand, Clown our right; together we promenade, in full view, sending and receiving.
Spectacle: Clouds of Baker's Flour float over our terrain. Clouds of Baker's Flour float over bowl of water making dough and paste, glue. We're delayed by the glue's touch, squeezing it between our hands, rolling it over our chest, down our abdomen, over our belly, between our legs. Spectacle's searchlights made visible as Clouds of Baker's Flour pass, illuminated by the fires we have built to attract our muse. Shafts, beams, columns of searchers light can be seen through Clouds of Baker's Flour. Even Nuremberg's architectonic searchlight spectacle comes forth.
Spectacle: Approaching, now, large walls of sound, spheres of sound. Huge rippling surfaces raised and lowered by unnamed operators. Massive projections loom behind us, pushing pushing, forcing us before them…we aren't shackled, but there's no place to go, except forward. There is no respite
The closed hand's resolve.
From out of the sky, from way over our heads comes the Hand of Surety, closed fist, with a single, extended pointing finger. We follow its direction. Gases part for it and our directed gaze. We accelerate forward through Baker's Flour. We stride forward.
Forward, into Rabbi's hat, removed so he could wipe his forehead; sweating in back room with shoulder to wheel; and we fly straight into the Shtreiml's( * ) receptacleness. Moving now only in relation to black hat's gravity, what is its tradition and historical presence. In here, we stumble: the Hand of Surety disappears into the dark receiving. Here we waver against the inexorable struggle: our passion endlessly received by a void made of the struggle's ancient past. Reading, studying, pushing and pulling and tumbling about.
Clown lifts brim and looks in.. quizzically.. "What is all this noise?" Puts on Rabbi's hat, looks in mirror. Vomits. Eats the vomit.
Down the long corridor, then to the right, Clown squeezes our right hand, Rabbi cups the left, Baker shields our view. Together, together, we promenade; sending and receiving.
. . .
True theatre has always seemed to me the exercise of a dangerous and terrible act
where the idea of theatre and spectacle is done away with
as well as the idea of all science, all religion and all art.
The act I'm talking about aims for a true organic and physical transformation of the human body.
Because theatre is not that scenic parade where one develops
virtually and symbolically - a myth: theatre is rather
this crucible of fire and real meat
by an anatomical trampling of bone, limbs and syllables
bodies are renewed
and the mythical act of making a body presents
itself physically and plainly.
If you understand me correctly, you'll see in this an act of true
genesis that will seem to everybody much too absurd –
too silly, in fact - to perform
on the plane of real life.
For as of now nobody believes a body can change except
through time and in death.
— (Antonin Artaud, "Theatre and Science", from Theater and Its Double)
Selves: Battling, regrouping, propelled by forces, tornadoes, electricities, fields of magnets; initiating waves. pulses, transmissions: leaving droppings, sites, markers; anticipating shifts; avoiding occurrences: wielding great forces.
(Holding our hands in front of our genitals.) Chalk walls, sandstone passages, paths marked by thread: no quaint selves to be remade in a theatrical crucible of fire and meat: no Dionysus, but the painful grind of Socrates, blind aesthetics, reason before sight…still, we drive towards Dionysus knowing he isn't there.
. . .
Negotiating With The Work
What The Work Is: Work feeds itself, circles in, collapses, recycles; representations are passed between its folds, evaporate, twist, bind.
The Audience Prepares:
The Rabbis have gone into your house?
They have foreseen the book. They are prepared to meet it.
We Do Not Make Art
One cannot go to a thought…thoughts come to us.
Re-valuation: If you look out toward the village you'll see the inhabitants have lit beckoning fires to attract their muse.
Art's Body: Of all the ways it might come, anger comes in waves.
When Striving Against
11. In the Pushing-Hands Practice you must recognize and know the technique of your adversary. Differentiate the genuine attack from the feint. When you ward off, don't go too far out; when you roll back, don't let your opponent come in too close.
12. To defeat a thousand pounds with a trigger force of four ounces, you must use correct technique. If you pull the horns or ears of a thousund-pound cow, you will be unable to move it. However, if you attach a four ounce string to
its nose, you will be able to move the beast easily. If the cow is made of stone, however, even this will not avail. Correct technique will not work unless it is applied against a living creature.
(Yang Cheng-Fu's Twelve Important Points – T'ai-Chi)
Song Of The Pushing-Hands Practice:
if he goes up, you follow,
if he goes down, you follow.
Only If Art Is An Adversary:
3. The substantial and insubstantial must be differentiated. Double weighting must be avoided - keep your weight on only one foot at a time. If your weight is on your left foot, you must use your right hand in attacking and vice versa.
(Yang Cheng-Fu's Twelve Important Points - Tai-Chi)
The Work/Play Dialectic
…this will involve pushing and pulling and tumbling about in an open space which is created by neither of us but which is allowed by us to come to presence.
Yang always said: I'm not a shelf, don't put your dead meat on me.
Rabbi: (draws lamb shank over knuckles, then pours milk over hand.)…
Finally, we approach through the vast vaulted corridor, this,
the culmination of our desires, endpoint, the Work in its perfect glory. A blocking and occupying force supported by corinthian columns uprooted from our ancient past. Adorned, ornamented, and priapic, a cupolla, primary figures, supporting entourages, solitary figures facing east, facing west, looking in all directions. All approaches are watched, all paths must lead here! Its eccentric, monumental, immovable sense of its own position dwarfs us.
Oh, well ordered world, our backdrop,
Oh, shifting planes and surfaces,
Oh, spectacle… Shall we walk up this step or that,
Oh, open field…you beckon us this way and that,
Oh, paradise…here we accompany you and you us,
Oh, frozen moment,
Oh, distance, calling,
Oh, perfect world and bounded mysteries.
Oh, vast space, gilded super-structure. Here we can push & pull & rumble about in an open space that is not our own but which we allow to come to presence.
Oh, structure that urges us to exit for yet a grander and more urgent space.
Now, we shift; now, we are the center. Our space! We fill the floor; we occupy: this structure is of our necessity, not of its own, or of its own accord…that would be absurd…certainly! We are the prime movers, we are the courtiers. Now, with this social scene we synchronize. We dance together in this, our space and we rhyme with its majesty. There can he nothing outside of this!
Outdoors, amongst the mountains, world made visible by our structures, the land opens according to mystery's plan… Here, we promenade; here, we are romantic; here, we run under arches and across open fields; here, we stumble over stone, jump over ditch, crawl on dirt; here, we roll carts; here we climb up and look around, see vistas & floral panoramas. Silent city, silent nature… nothing much moves of its own accord. Oh, master plan.
We have entered triumphant, we possessors and look out to the edge, to the escape, to the frontier!
Now, we return, this time equipped but no wiser.
This time with tools and aids and we begin the task of smoothing, of removing the blemishes, of creating the perfect plane. The pure open surface without barriers…no barriers behind, none to the side or in front or below, so that we can careen around with eyes closed and not touch anything.
Disembodied voice: I can only see it as a plane, a mathematical surface, empty, void, without hand holds or grips or footing. Jumping up and down, shorn of clothes, giggling, drooling, speaking, enunciating, expostulating, grimacing, groaning, singing to itself, jerking about like a puppet.
Within the earth, the open space…
How many are we and is there air enough? How does or did the air get down here?
In re-routing the open space, we close down the entry.
Within the earth
: This time we are letting out thread, … not an anchoring rope. No handholds here, no footholds, certainly no escalators. And the trail isn't simple: stones across a stream (scent lost), white thread on white chalk paths (difficult to follow).
At the clearing, we find: Clown on right, Rabbi on left, Man at the center. Together they promenade, in full view, sending and receiving.