On the 4th March 2012, I created a project titled ‘True Love Waits’ with participants at, and as part of, Tempting Failure – a new live art platform curated by artist, Thomas John Bacon.
True Love Waits
I wanted to go back to some of the earlier work I engaged in as part of my research, but to also find a way of bringing in other people as collaborators; to make something together. My ‘play’ work is intuitive, responsive and improvisational, but it is also drawn from the practices and training that dwell within my muscles, joints and bones, what Erica Stanton describes as a movement heritage or somatic experience (2011). This project was driven by a desire to know something about other people’s somatic experience, through the agency of a non-verbal encounter – actions, behaviours and feelings.
I became fascinated by Luce Irigaray’s conception of philosophy as a wisdom of love, rather than a love of wisdom. Asserting that the nature of knowledge, reality and existence – those topics of philosophical enquiry – are better explored as dynamics of love.
I set up a salt circle, using ordinary domestic salt, which served as an arena for play. I also included information cards for participants (see picture above) explaining that they were invited to come outside and play with me, but that this encounter should involve no verbal dialogue between us. The card also explained that the play did not need to be confined within the salt circle, but that this was a starting point.
In practice the salt circle created a competitive space and invited the kind of possessive ownership I was trying to avoid, which meant that the movement was improvised, but it was being created in a space that sometimes demanded an aggressive physical dialogue. The movement tended to lean towards communicative or illustrative actions. I realised the importance of avoiding spectacle and the need to avoid formats that encourage competitive play.