A Beginner’s Guide to Psychic Archiving
by Kate Lepper
Performed on site in Finland by: Nastja Rönkkö, Anna Bunting-Branch
And via digital link from Quebec, Canada by: Kate Lepper
“objectify Pronunciation: /ɒbˈdʒɛktɪfʌɪ/
verb (objectifies, objectifying, objectified)
1 express (something abstract) in a concrete form:
good poetry objectifies feeling
2 degrade to the status of a mere object:
a deeply sexist attitude that objectifies women*”
A Beginner’s Guide to Psychic Archiving is an experimental new work developed for Performance Compost, a festival of Live Art at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. Performance Compost aims to create a living museum including lectures, installations and a blog, addressing such questions as: how can performance art be documented? Can documents from previous performances be used as material for new ones? What kind of documents can be used to create a performance and what is the role of those documents in the performance? How can the boundary between fact and fiction be blurred in a performance?
A Beginner’s Guide to Psychic Archiving playfully suggests that the problem of recording the meaningful moment in any live art work (as in any art interaction no matter how ‘autonomous’) is akin to the impossibility of capturing concretely the experience of being in ones body. This problem becomes politicised when attributes of an ‘object’ are defined and stacked in a value hierarchy determined by a knowledge producing elite, and not according to the ‘object’s’ own determination.
In response to themes of exhibitionism, narcissism and objectification within performative practice and feminist theory, A Beginners Guide to Psychic Archiving intends to free each performer from the politics of the ‘Gaze’, to occupy attention away from critical self-consciousness, confront the values of ‘spectacle’ and create problems for conservative strategies of knowledge production and dissemination.
Using the lexicon of mind-body techniques, everyday objects, art conservation, office presentations and memory, A Beginners Guide to Psychic Archiving suggests that the site of meaning is always on the move between material and sensation, between self and other, and, between the known and the unknowable.
Consisting of eight Psychic Archiving Exercises beginning every half hour, this is a practical instructional on how to record memories of famous women performance artists in Object Archives.
Schedule of Exercises:
- The Ono-Export Performance Charades
- Orlan’s Plastic Surgery series (1979-93) & The Crystalline Structure of Soil
- Marina Abramovic’s Art Must be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975) & A Scent Remnant
- Ana Mendieta’s Ocean Bird Wash-up (1974) & A Data Silhouette
- Jo Spence’s A Picture of Health (1982-6) & A Shape-Colour Essence
- Adrian Piper’s The Mythic Being (1973) & The Memory of Water
- Carollee Schneeman’s Interior Scroll – The Cave (1975) & An Air Drive
- Pippilotti Rist’s Pickelporno (1992) & A Salad Legacy