The art of crossing over / by Alkistis

I will be performing and giving a presentation at the Trans-States conference at the University of Northampton on 9th and 10th September. The organisers describe it as ‘a transdisciplinary conference that will explore representations in contemporary visual culture of boundary crossing, liminality and queerification with specific reference to occultism, mysticism, shamanism and other esoteric and spiritual practices.’

I will perform ARAX, a dance inspired by Colette Peignot, also known as Laure, the lover of Georges Bataille and a leading member of the secret society Acéphale. I have written about the context of this work in Arax – Scorning bridges.

The presentation, entitled ‘Where the daimon dwells: A chorography of the space between,’ will explore the liminality of performer and performance space, and their relationship in presencing the invisible reality – the other, sacred or daimonic.

In his final extant letter, written on 24th February 1948, Artaud resolved to devote himself to:

a theatre of blood
a theatre which with each performance will have done something
bodily to the one who performs as well as the one who comes to see others perform
but actually
the actors are not performing
they are doing.
The theatre is in reality the genesis of creation.

Performance potentially generates a space for materialisation, for transformation and for the dissolving of boundaries. Movement itself engenders this transfigured space, and makes it visible to the eye and tangible to the senses. In this presentation I will trace the relation of this interstitial space with the dancing body, grounded in an aesthetics and kinetics of the interval. I will discuss the techniques of trance and transformation as a method of presencing the other, in space and in the body; and chor(e)ography as an art of crossing the threshold, where the daimon dwells.

The full conference line-up – academics, independent scholars, practitioners, artists and performers – can be seen on the conference website: Trans-States: The Art of Crossing Over, where tickets are also available.