This Performance begins to answer the question "Can you have a performance with no body present," in this first answer to the question the camera--essentially the audience's eye is turned outward through a window, away from the artist, who in this first tentative step is still mostly present through a reflection, spoken description and presence behind the camera.
As the Queen of Hearts attempted to teach a Modernist Alice--when Alice haughtily opined that one could not actually believe the impossible . "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen , "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Alice just hadn't had the proper practice, growing up in Victorian England as she did--but in the 100+ years since then, we have all had that practice. Modernism with its heavy reliance on "truth," the manifesto, the "universal," the phallus, masculinity, God, hegemony and so many "isms" "it would make a shy, bald, Buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder," turned very quickly into absurdism, nihilism and went absolutely berserk when they discovered that God had died somewhere on the way to the forum. ix
This was replaced by a football field of vying positions all questioning the supreme hegemony/ies, until it became necessary to bring out the phallus and take away the toys of identity before this post-modernist "play-time" could get out of hand and become a polymorphously perverse, identity orgy. Little did anyone know that when the phallus finally did blow that it would not be a fun, sexual or liberating event (I mean, Freud must have had a sense of that, though-- right?). -Instead, it erupted into a terrified/terrifying, manic, paranoid, madness--at least so it seems--these really are early days so far.
Historically, even when post-modernism sought to deconstruct things, it was still with the faith that what would arise was some sort of deeper truth, even when that truth was ironic, or presented ironically, the result was still filled with hope and faith. There was still the idea that if you took the truth to the top of the mountain and shouted it to the people, that everyone would recognize it, act accordingly and do the right thing. Before this, the funny thing was that in the modern era, this same mountain was the space from which you received, interfaced and interacted with the "Kierkegaardian God " of Enlightenment, then tried to figure out how much of that truth you could keep in your unworthy, little head. Well, nowadays--that mountain has been blown up and strip-mined for the last bits of helium on the planet, no one believes in truth today. Even if you did receive any wisdom from the experience, as soon as you tweeted it you would get a thousand people all coming from so many different points of view that the original "truth" would be completely lost. Then scientists would tell you that we probably live in a giant hologram anyway, so what is the point?
Perhaps this really is the Age of Nefarious--the culmination of DADA and the completion of its agenda. It is an era where reality has met "the Real" head on, and the only ones with any faith are the ones that are trying like crazy not to go completely, irreducibly insane. Luckily, however, this is all just theory and has no real basis in reality--Right? Right. Maybe. Because if it did, then that would be absolute madness, right? Right.
Just Being: Dematerialized (Can you have a performance with no body present) #1