Live non-verbal improvisation performed in absolute darkness, interacting with a cellphone recording from the day before, at The Window, an evening of experimental music, performance and visual art at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Observatory, Cape Town, 29 January 2017.
“It’s not easy to improvise… It’s the most difficult thing to do. Even when one improvises in front of a camera or microphone, one ventriloquizes or leaves another to speak in one’s place the schemas and languages that are already there. There are already a great number of prescriptions that are prescribed in our memory and in our culture. All the names are already pre-programmed. It’s already the names that inhibit our ability to ever really improvise. One can’t say what ever one wants, one is obliged more or less to reproduce the stereotypical discourse. And so I believe in improvisation and I fight for improvisation. But always with the belief that it’s impossible. And there where there is improvisation I am not able to see myself. I am blind to myself. And it’s what I will see, no, I won’t see it. It’s for others to see. The one who is improvised here… no, I won’t ever see him.”
— Jacques Derrida, unpublished interview, 1982, reproduced in David Toop’s Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970, Bloomsbury, 2016, pg 21.
Gonna get otherworldly at The Window tonight with these creatures, and many others. Darkness and light @TheatreArtsAdminCollective, Methodist Church, cnr Wesley & Milton Rds, Observatory. The portal opens at 7:30.
Written and directed by Sara CF de Gouveia, produced by Reinette Du Toit (aka The Oracle), co-produced by Julia Ramsay, starring Siphokazi Khuboni, DOP Felix Seuffert, make-up/hair Tamara Polakow, and more credits on the YouTube link. Music by Shane Cooper.
(Most of the key players in this project were women – more of this please!)
Pain Is…’ (1997) unflinchingly examines the role of pain within society. Attempting “to make an image of pain”, Dwoskin’s film is practical and philosophical.
“Pain Is… combines interviews, archival footage and Dwoskin’s thoughtful voice-over to arrive at a scrupulous anatomy of pain (encompassing disease, dental work and sadomasochism). The interviews range from those who suffer from chronic pain to those who find pleasure in wilfully inflicting pain.” (Dennis Lim, director of Film at Lincoln Centre NYC)
Stephen Dwoskin’s experimental film records in a single continuous shot a woman’s face before, during and after orgasm.
A static camera records, in one single continuous shot, a woman’s face before, during and after orgasm. The act of looking and the limits of the film frame are highlighted in this intimate sexual episode with Tina Fraser. Stephen Dwoskin presents a powerful, personal moment while maintaining a distance and resisting the viewer being subsumed into the action on screen.
Stephen Dwoskin was a highly regarded underground filmmaker who had moved from New York to London and helped to found the London Filmmakers’ Co-op in 1966. His extremely striking work quickly received critical attention and he made several feature-length works through the 1970s with support from German television and the BFI. He continued with both personal and essayistic films and documentaries, and in the 1990s began shooting on handheld video. He made collage films and explored his family’s home movies as he reflected on age, sexuality and the passing of different generations.