Artificial Respiration walks through the intricate labyrinth of a past that cannot be changed and the feeling of impotence, caused by it. In this performance I have undertaken 12 sessions with a psychologist, using my two selves, the one who suffered a serious personal trauma of loss and mistaken identity and the other who is trying to resolve a seemingly trivial existential riddle. I have acknowledged logical methods, but the results is more akin to that of a “the random unreason of the world” than the clean and precise methods of science.
An assemble of truths and lies to discover through the rearrangement of order, a semi fictional world of apprehension and estrangement. If life is a dream, who is dreaming that dream, and who is dreaming the dreamer? A performance that might or might not exist.
Artificial Repirations (Excerpt)
Christian – Imagine the suffering of someone who suddenly discovers that…that nothing no father no mother no past no present. Now, you may feel like pitying me, pity cost very little. Well, go right ahead! But I feel is my duty to warn you that this isn’t exactly my case. In fact I could draw you a whole family tree, with the origin and ramifications of my line, and I could show you, that, not only I knew my father and my mother, but can name my ancestors too and recount their deeds over a long period of time, even if not all of this were praiseworthy.
Psychologist – Is the knowledge of truth in this matter so important?
Christian – the problem that I have found with the notion of ‘virtuous’ lies is that the person lied to has no say, in assessing what is considered to be good for them not to know. Who says what a good lie is? Truth is a luxury meant only for the elite few who can handle the “hidden” reality behind the necessary illusions. This justifies the right for the few to be behind the ‘big lie’ over the many for their own good. This picture is not a comfortable basis for the accumulation of truth is it?
The struggle over truth and lies that has permeated my life means, that I have to be on the lookout. When the stakes are high, or unusual behavior needs explaining I cannot take the words people say for granted In short, I need to look for their motives, because on the whole, I had to ground my being on something that had not been.
It has now become vigilance without an end. I am thrown back, towards what has never been in my power or my freedom towards what has never been my presence and has never come into my memory.
I have been handed a fictitious truth, like a sealed package on a strange looking plate, and expected to accept it without opening it. Such was my non-intentional participation in the history of “what has happened in the past of others who regard me” that for the moment, and god knows how much it pains me I have disappeared already twice. The first time, it wasn’t a mistake and the second, you might think it for yourself…
Performed at Vanguard Reading 21/09/2011