Component 5/7 from the performative cycle ACTIVE VOICE Exhibition by Maria José Arjona May 23-June 22, 2012 Sound design by Shawn Greenlee Videographer: Agata Domanska
The Kiss is an exhibition mapping a system uniting two bodies. It is a gesture, magnified by the use of sound, emerging from the action of kissing and intensified by the working presence of the performer’s body.
Throughout the space each element is woven by simple associations between body (present and absent), sound, and various materials which are all used to reveal the nature of this binding gesture: the kiss. The exhibition does not display one privileged moment of the kiss – rather, it dislocates it through its many representations, thereby underlining an aural intensity which evokes the possibility of an image of kissing within each spectator.
The exhibition could also be thought of as a microscope slide where some of the components of kissing are extracted and isolated in order to better understand them. It is not a rendering, it is not a choreographed sequence, it doesn’t function within linear time. But it proves the force contained in a simple gesture (kissing) simultaneously giving it a voice and an expanded corporeality.>/p>
The audio element is integral to the piece, much more essential than simply serving as a “soundtrack.” On the video “Strap”, the association between a plastic strap used to connect two cables, and the sound it produces when closed is linked with the sound of a kiss. Both sounds are connected by an image where the actual gesture of sending a kiss is recorded while simultaneously two hands close a plastic strap. These two parallel actions, shown digitally, are reflected into the space in the form an object created by the plastic straps.
“The Kiss” (long durational performance), a breathing system where the performer’s body becomes the intersection enabling the entire organism to work, reveals the intricate rhythm between lungs, fluids and muscles while kissing. The body is the kiss: the plane of action created by it. This intersecting plane finds its translation into sound via the repetitive action of inflating and deflating two huge latex balloons.
“Muted”, the second video in the installation, refers to childhood memories of wondering what kissing might feel like; the embracing aspect of it, is associated with the binding function of the straps, the sound carried by the cables interconnecting the speakers, the kisses sent and the edited sound produced by a couple kissing (from where the actual sound emerges)…all of them fluid extensions of the kiss into the space.
Sound as fluid, sound as connector, sound as image, sound as memory, sound, body, sound…time suspended in and by a gesture…also a sound…a minimal voice.
Special thanks to Heather and Tony Podesta, Andre Lepecki, all the staff at Location One, Julian Navarro, Laura Lona and Anita Beckers.