Festina Lente 2015 - March 7th : Societe de Curiosities
Festina Lente is an extraordinary sound poetry event series and festival curated by Martin Bakero in Paris. I've had the pleasure to perform there in both 2014 & 2015, and it has really been a pivotal space for me to develop my performance art & sound poetry, and to meet, and collaborate with, a real community of European sound poets, from Maja Jantar to Julien d'Abridgeon.
For 2015, Festina Lente was held at the Societe de Curiosities on the Rue de Cligancourt, and I had the opportunity to finally perform as a duo with Zuzana Husarova. The result was one of my favourite works, entitled Ibunka, it was a fusion of sound poetry, improvised language and anti-dance.
Zuzana is about what I am about. She is forward thinking, discerning, works incredibly hard to develop expertise while always being hungry to learn and grow, and go outside of her comfort zone. Moreover she is funny and humble and a joy to work with. We developed Ibunka conceptually and then, in person, reconstructed it completely, to draw upon my background in grappling martial arts in order to facilitate a physicality in performance that was never violent, never overbearing or threatening, or overemphasising my maleness over her femininity. This is so so hard to achieve, and I believe we did achieve it, creating something playful, playfighting, energetic but still serious and considered. Her technical brilliance underpinned the work, for its first act and I'm sure it'll be the first of many times we work together, in our collective TRYIE, hopefully all over Europe.
I spent a whole week in Paris around this work, in a city I always find inspiration in but am not directly inspired by. It's scene seems ossified to me, hard to penetrate and institutionally divided, like elements of the city itself. It drowns in its own history, theory, beauty and poise. A heartbeat for my personal understanding of the city over these last two visits has been Martin Bakero, the Chilean sound poetry pioneer who curates Festina Lente, the most interesting thing I've been a part of in Paris by some way.
Festina Lente 2014 - March 23rd : Cirque Electrique
My first visit to Festina Lente was held in the Cirque Electrique, Paris, on March 23rd 2014. It was part of the Pantheon of Poets festival, celebrating sound poetry in this festival, and in was in a circus, a massive, freezing, hollowed out big top. One of the most incredible spaces I've ever worked in. My performance explored repetition and reduction, being obsessed at the time with Glenn Gould's humming, and then an attack on materiality, sawing my books in two.