Exercise 9: Goodvibes

Director: Txomin Badiola

Venue: Gallery 2.1

Anyone who types in Alas poor Yorick on YouTube, will have the opportunity to enjoy the same text performed by actors of such disparity as Olivier, Jacobi, Burton, Branagh, Gibson, Tennant, Klein and others. It is truly surprising that, despite these performances by such competent actors, we are not fully able to imagine what Shakespeare thought, or what is more, felt, when faced with the idea of the death of someone close. The fact that a single text can include an entire range of feelings, many of them contradictory, each emanating from its different expressions, carries a number of implications. On the one hand, that the duality between form and content has no basis and therefore, we should more accurately refer to forms of content and forms of expression. Shakespeare’s text is for the actor a form for the content, which becomes a form of expression through the actor’s embodiment, exploring the form’s capacity to explode without shattering. On the other hand it implies that even though that first form is to Shakespeare a form of expression, it doesn’t mean that he is necessarily expressing anything like a content –his opinion on the subject– but rather something that, being primarily a form, is subjectivising and potentially destabilising to an “I” that is perhaps over-idealised.

This exercise uses the pretext of Hamlet’s monologue Alas poor Yorick and its more or less irreverent resource to the skull and the idea of the memento mori. Goodvibes, in turn, is a grouping of objects, images and texts present in the exhibition regarding that idea of the vanitas in its most grotesque depiction.

Using this pretext as a point of departure, we have written the lyrics to a song based on the references mentioned. The lyrics were given to artist Inazio Escudero, an external participant invited for the occasion, for him to create the score and performative features of the music. The guest’s role will go beyond this in that he will be given a considerable responsibility —almost antiheroic— within a situation he will have limited control over.

This exercise proposes the creation of a video recording of the song’s performance. Proforma participants will be involved both in the recording, submitting themselves to strictly measured movements, and in the performance itself, using certain suggestions by the guest as a guideline. This performance will take place using some elements of Goodvibes as a backdrop, based on a choreography of the cameras, defined by the nature of the gaze each of these objects intrinsically possesses.

From the interaction amongst the performance of the song, the placement of the objects and the camera’s performance, a set of conclusions will be distilled regarding these aspects, as well as the reformulation of the very ideas of the vanitas and memento mori.






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