Anger in a Blank Space

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MA candidate Kat Brown performs Anger in a Blank Space, a show of nine durational performances that explores anger as a force of reconciliation between embodiment
and alienation.

11/17, 3-9 pm – Anger in a Blank Space #1
11/18, 12-6 pm – Anger in a Blank Space #2
11/19, 10 am-4 pm – Anger in a Blank Space #3
11/21, 2-8 pm – Anger in a Blank Space #4
11/22, 2-8 pm – Anger in a Blank Space #5
11/23, 9 am-3 pm – Anger in a Blank Space #6
11/28, 2-8 pm – Greyscale
11/29, 10am-12pm, 2-4pm, 6-10pm – 1,000 Ways to Fall Apart
11/30, 10am-12pm, 2-4pm, 6-10pm – The Third White Dress

Anger in a Blank Space is a solo show comprised of nine individual performances, each six hours in length, the show is the product of somatic research I’ve been completing for the past two years. The first series of six performances is entitled “Anger in a Blank Space” while the remaining three performances are entitled “Greyscale,” “1,000 Ways to Fall Apart,” and “The Third White Dress.” While each performance is individually complete, the performance series also acts as research for a theoretical project in which I compare the body in long duration performance art to the body in somatic dance.

In the first six performances, “Anger in a Blank Space,” I take the gallery tradition and, through dance, place the interior body inside of it. The specific choreography is simple, highly repetitive, and based on material that has come through my movement work with somatic improvisation. I am utilizing the idea of the minimalist art object because of the way it relates to the gallery, and because of the idea that simplicity allows for instantaneous wholeness.

Additionally, the repetitive nature of the work is significant because it allows for the innate tension of flow to be embodied; repetition highlights the overflow of time. The use of “blank space” furthers this tension because flow implies a certain level of containment. To overflow is to go beyond the prescribed container. A blank space is void of meaning and context, but overflowing with potential. I’m hoping that through the negotiating force of anger, and through utilizing this tension of space as a conscious container for the performance work, rather than having it present only as a subtext, I will be able to create a performative body that is perceptive and therefore somatic.

The somatic body is distinguished primarily through its relationship to perception and is an internally focused, perceptive body. This can be at odds with the idea of the performative body, or the body in performance, which is entangled with reception and is external in its relationship to subjectivity. In these pieces, I explore the possibility that the tension between the internal and external subjectivity can be reconciled through long duration performance because the use of time changes, for both the performer and the audience, the relationship to the performer’s body.

For the final three performances–“Greyscale,” “1,000 Ways to Fall Apart” and “The Third White Dress,”—I seek to create a more decisive container for the performance work. Each of these three pieces place the body in relationship to something external. “Greyscale” takes up themes of gravity, force, and consent through the use of weighted balls. “1,000 Ways to Fall Apart” involves falling down and standing back up again 1,000 times. For “The Third White Dress,” I will lay in stillness for six hours while a stream of water drips on my torso. Each of these pieces place the body in a specific and distinct relationship to action. They are externalizing questions about consent in dance and movement because the require the body to integrate the force of the external as it acts upon the body.

Through this show I hope to come to an embodied understanding of how the somatic and the performative can be integrated and to find a new understanding of how time is embodied.

— Kat Brown
The performances are free and open to the public.

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