Archive for the ‘Exercise 16: MaquinaL (Family Plot)’ Category

Exercise 16: MaquinaL (Family Plot)

27 February 2010

Director: Txomin Badiola

Venue: Proforma Studio

When we hear of certain traumatic issues, painful circumstances, things that happened in a family that were never really resolved, and how they reappear over successive generations, completely unnoticed as if they were a genetic disease, it is hard to suppress a condescending smirk of scepticism. The concept of a genetic memory that affects behaviour beyond physiology or training is hard to swallow.

When a therapy like family constellations is developed, which attempts to cure current afflictions based on the assumption of the above, no one gives it the time of day.

Family constellations take on an individual problem in the form of a social representation, embodied in a group of strangers. It has to do with ritual, with channelling energies and states of tension that are released through an exceptional dramatisation based on spatial relations and formal configurations. Regardless of the lack of rigour of its theoretical basis, the shaping of a ritual through the assumption of symbolic positions within a performance has a certain value in of itself, on the level of both an individual and a collective experience.

The exercise strives to draw parallels between the legend of Laocoön and topics more closely related to private problems, using family constellation rituals conducted by a professional to attain a spatial-temporal representation of this connection. The legend can reveal archetypal elements (its players, actions, versions, authors, influences, texts, related literary works, sculptural works, etc.) and translate them into a sort of family story (parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, conflicts, secrets, betrayals, blame, sins, etc.). In order to do this, therapist Iam Agorria shall be the facilitator, working from the experimental perspective that the exercise requires.

All the volunteers are provided with a story and are asked to delve into themselves to find something that anchors this story to events in their own lives. This should culminate in a question or a request that involves themselves and the story provided. On the basis of these questions, successive constellations will be set into motion on each volunteer’s request. Each time a role is designated: father, mother, eldest son, youngest son, uncle, grandmother, etc., the participant in question will be the bearer of signs, texts and images, wearing them in such a way that they serve as vanishing lines for the constellation itself.

In this exercise, body dynamics are more important than content. The recording of the exercise will attempt to divert attention from the nature of the event, de-territorialising it, sending it into ambiguous places, toward spaces of crossed references; a world in suspension. The filming should never attempt to document a constellation, but rather to gather the images it generates. One camera shall focus its attention only on body-related microevents, another will focus on movements, and another (for example) on groupings. The aim of the recordings is to create material that is not immediately recognisable as coming from a family constellation.