I will miss you / Regression series”, live sound action premiered at Future of Imagination 10, International Performance Art Festival [November 2015, SG].
* Links with photo documentation of I Will Miss You series: Pineapple Lab Arts & Performance Hub [Manila, Jan 2017] / La Expositiva [Granada, Feb 2017].
Walking around the room with a mic, I play with the possibilities for sounds that occur when the mic is used incorrectly while repeating the sentence “I will miss you”. In the center of the space, an installation of bags of rubbish – collected in the streets around the venue of the performance – piled atop one another, creating an environment of sound and smell that pushes the edge of tolerance. From this initial idea, the performance is open to the unexpected.
This work tries with its hallucinatory structure to break the linear time conception, described by French feminist thinker Julia Kristeva as “the father’s time”. This refers to the patriarchal linear concept of time that we have inhabited, with its sense of history, destiny and economic progress, as opposed to the unconscious ‘unified field’, where time is marked by repetition and the subject regresses into a realm where nothing is differentiated.
Review excerpts by Jennie Klein (Associate Professor of Art History at Ohio University):
“One of the slogans of the second wave feminist movement in the west was “the personal is political.” By invoking the personal, feminist artists hoped to stress that their most private experiences were structured by patriarchal ideology. The subjective experience of women was thus influenced by the cultural milieu in which they operated, one in which they were always second-class citizens, confined and shaped by the expectations of gendered behavior. The three performances on Day 4 by Farah Ong, Yeh TzuChi and Marta Moreno Munoz all address the issue of feminine subjectivity and identity, although in very different ways.
The Spanish artist Marta Moreno Muñoz has focused, according to her statement, “predominantly on ‘feminine’ subjectivity, dissolution of the ego and the notion of pre-oedipal nostalgia in response to a patriarchal and undesirable reality.” Moreno Muñoz’s performance I Will Miss You was by far the most experimental of the evening, employing sound, touch, and smell in order to shift the perceptions of the audience away from the visual and towards the haptic. This is not to imply that Moreno Muñoz ignored the aesthetic aspects of the piece. In fact, the performance space was carefully coordinated into shades of gray and black as was the artist, who has gone so far as to tattoo her forearms in a shade of grey. The monochromatic presentation forced the audience to concentrate on the other sensory experiences that were assaulting them. All the while, Moreno Muñoz walked around the room repeating the sentence “I will miss you,” a statement that invokes both desire and loss, particularly in the sense of psychic trauma. In the performance, Moreno Muñoz is engaging with a feminine, even maternal subjectivity that has been theorized by Julia Kristeva and more recently Bracha Ettinger. While Kristeva and Ettinger have very different notions of what the language and representation of maternal subjectivity might be, as well as the point at which it originates, both are very interested, as is Moreno Muñoz, in the language of the womb, or the exchange between the mother and the unborn child, which has a language or system of representations that for Kristeva is pre-symbolic (she terms it the semiotic) and for Ettinger is symbolic and joined with patriarchal language but not recognized as proceeded that language (matrixial). Both Kristeva and Ettinger view this language as being best expressed through representations other than words. Moreno Muñoz thus created an environment of sound that was at times quite painful, vibrations that shook the room and could be felt within the body, and smells that pushed the edge of tolerance. Walking around the room with a mic, Moreno Muñoz played with the possibilities for sounds that occurred when the mic was used incorrectly. In the center of the space, an installation of bags of street rubbish were piled atop one another– Moreno Muñoz climbed over these bags, releasing their scent to the audience who was assaulted by the performance. Both Kristeva and Ettinger, but particularly Ettinger, have argued for a shift in consciousness through an invocation of maternal/matrixial/feminine language. Certainly Moreno Muñoz is intended to push this consciousness upon her audience with her refusal to allow her performance to reside in the realm of the visual—and patriarchal”.
Photo documentation by Jemima Yong [Future of Imagination 10, SG].
**With the support of Movility Grant / Beca de Movilidad del Programa AC/E para la Internacionalización de la Cultura Española (PICE), Acción Cultural Española: www.accioncultural.es