Create sense

Creating meaning starts from the idea of reflecting on what performance or action art is from a personal point of view.

The main premise is not to show any action, but the other side, with the viewer’s gaze being the protagonist. It also reflects on key elements such as space, objects and the body, shown through photographs, videos and sounds.

These are records of the pieces, specifically from the last two years, which in turn serve as material for this video essay. So, in turn, we talk about the tools used for documentation and registration, such as videos and photographs, which appear distorted, since they were not made at the time to capture the public, but rather the performer. For this reason, their faces are often out of focus, distorted or moved, giving a special texture to the piece.

That the material used was not intended to register the public is what has led me to cut the planes or move them, which causes a visual and conceptual play of the space on the screen itself. The black screen would be hollow, so there is an omitted information, we do not know what is happening, but we can intuit it.

Create sense plays, as can happen in a performance, with the public, so that they can imagine what is happening, which the performer suggests with his serious action, similar to what happens here. However, here we omit the action part to describe and speak from other points of view. Thus reaching one of the most interesting points, which is “what the public relates within their head and the debates that can be generated from this” ―which appears written at the end of the essay, referring to what Esther Ferrer comments in his talks. We read this while watching a debate, and we hear the din of many voices together as the credits pass.

The last thing the voice-over says: “The performance has no meaning, but it creates meaning” is a clear reference to Bartolomé Ferrando, and this phrase leads us to the title of the work, which appears at the beginning. In addition, the sound used is the one that existed in the environment of the places and spaces where, sometimes, unrecognizable voices or murmurs of the streets or squares, noises from the cameras or from the action itself, such as objects or voice.

The narration we listen to is my own voice, which makes a brief reflection taken from the notebooks where, in recent years, the ideas of this artistic trend have been working, sometimes notes from talks or professors, drawings and other scripts. This voice guides the rehearsal, in addition to the pauses, the silences, the voices of the public, etc. On two occasions there is a change, where it is no longer the reflection, but the script of two performed performances is read, which can be intuited in a sound and visual way through the gaze of the public or the space, but is not shown to the performer or the action, thus continuing with the initial premise.

And, like Harun Farocki, who reflects on his own work, in this piece we see and hear performances carried out collectively or individually by me, now reordered to reflect and create a video essay. We also find the reflection on the medium, which is done at the beginning, where the voiceover says through short words or phrases the brief script of a performance. This is a metaphor for video, photography, sound and ideas, which have led me to start this essay.

In addition, we find the idea of repetition, or of not seeing something that is being talked about, these resources used by Farocki can be seen in “Create meaning”, since they speak of two specific performances, the one previously commented, and another in the one with no picture, but we hear dishes breaking and we read single words. Both the latter and the former we see the public and the objects used, but at different times, which may be before or after.

At no time do we see the bodies of the performers, however towards the end they can be intuited more, but you don’t see what they do, as they are out of focus figures for the camera, of which we see an arm and some of its movement while there are people watching them. Finding ourselves with another metaphor, which would be that of the mirror and the gaze of the spectator, a broken mirror similar to the many public glances that we see, which are the reflection of what they are seeing, but that we do not see.