Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In – 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Feature - 06 Jul 2018

Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In

Watching Sharon Hayes and Evan Ifekoya pay homage to the late artist at Camden Arts Centre and remembering his ‘structured anarchy’

By Emily Roysdon and Steven Warwick

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Ian White, Trauerspiel, 2012, performance documentation, Hebbel-am-Ufer, Berlin, 2012. Courtesy: the estate of Ian White; photograph: Nina Hoffmann

The Room We're In 

Emily Roysdon is an artist and writer living in Stockholm, Sweden.

I just had to go onto my balcony and talk to myself out loud. The last time I wrote about Ian’s work was for his obituary and each false start here has been about Ian, or me or me and Ian. It’s always an exercise to divorce the artist from the work they themselves performed, especially if it’s your dear friend dead whose body wrote and made the work. But when I went to see the performances at Camden Arts Centre on 2 May it was two other artists who were performing the scripts of Ian White.

I arrived knowing this was a question about re-performance, with an emphasis on the scripts and scores and subsequently the choices of the artists invited to work with the material. I arrived as a friend, as a knowing and initiated spectator. I hadn’t yet seen the exhibition, but I knew I would be seeing images of Ian, just around the corner. The exhibition raised these questions of documentation, archive and re-performance. They were explicit and palpable as is demanded by a posthumous exhibition, by performance practice itself and by Ian’s practice in particular that took these conditions into the frame of the work.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Sharon Hayes performing Ian White’s Ibiza: A Reading for The Flicker, 2008, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2018. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre, London

I arrived and sat in the front row, as I tend to do, but in this case, it was also that I felt it would be too much to take the whole room into the frame had I sat in the rear. All the people, friends and friends of friends, whom I last saw at Ian’s memorial, now congregating to see Ian’s work live for the first time since his death. But as soon as the event began and Sharon Hayes took her place in the chair at the front of the room, I felt I should have given her a little more psychic space. Hayes, being well accustomed to performing in midtown Manhattan and public spaces all around, didn’t flinch at the proximity or the task of Ibiza.

Of the two performances that evening, Ibiza: A Reading for The Flicker (2008), performed by Hayes and Black Flags (2009), performed by Evan Ifekoya, I had previously seen Ian perform Ibiza on two occasions. These two works are in a trilogy, with a third, titled Democracy (2009–10), which I had also seen twice. (I commissioned Democracy for an exhibition, ‘Ecstatic Resistance’, at Grand Arts, Kansas City, in 2009.) Of the trilogy, Ian said: ‘Each performance initially assumes the format of a lecture from which it then radically deviates. In the process multiple vectors between authority and subjectivity are simultaneously figured via the recounting of sexual encounters, Tony Conrad’s seminal 1966 film, conceptual theatricality, PowerPoint, Tate Modern’s “interpretation” policy, the BBC World Service, Queen Elizabeth I, “dance”, gesture, still and moving images, love, hope, despair and friendship.’

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Sharon Hayes performing Ian White’s Ibiza: A Reading for The Flicker, 2008, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2018. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre, London

Ian was an artist, writer, curator in whom I trusted to have wrought the aesthetic, formal, social and political resonance of each detail of what he was offering and how. Not to be always right, but rigorous, and asking for rigour in return. So, from my front and centre spot, when I noticed that Hayes’s chair faced the audience, as opposed to Ian’s chair having been askew to the desk, triangulating the audience, I read that detail as Hayes turning towards us. A direct occupation of Ian’s script offered, fully-frontal, to this audience five years after his death.

Hayes made another noticeable intervention, one that many in the audience could understand as a layering of her method and area of interest into this encounter with Ian’s work. She had a single headphone in her ear attached to a player. I understood that she was listening to a recording of Ian’s cadence as he had performed the work. In Hayes’s lingo, this is to ‘re-speak’, a political gesture that in this case resonates intimately as well. The pauses, breaths between the lines and rhythmic kicking of the beer bottle at their feet.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Sharon Hayes performing Ian White’s Ibiza: A Reading for The Flicker, 2008, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2018. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre, London

The choreographed bottle-kicking punctuated a titillating narrative of sexual misadventure that Ian/Hayes read, blocked by the sight and sound of The Flicker. The narrative gives way to a litany of no’s à la Grinder preferences/prejudices (‘no twinks, no total tops, no femmes, no bois, no straight acting, no blacks, fats, fems or asians, sorry does nothing for me…’), and then to Yvonne Rainer’s 1965 No Manifesto (‘no to spectacle/ no to virtuosity… / no to moving or being moved’). Ultimately, quoting Ian, it’s ‘not Ibiza, but the room we’re in’, and Hayes’s ability to occupy the role so soundly delivered this dedicated audience to Ibiza: A Reading for The Flicker: the work, not the fantasy or memory of another room.

The second performance was by Evan Ifekoya, who took on the Black Flags script. Ifekoya didn’t know Ian personally, they were asked as an adjacent practitioner, someone who works between moving image, performance and education in a similar manner that Ian had.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Evan Ifekoya performing Ian White’s Black Flags, 2009, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2018. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre

Black Flags is largely constructed out of a conversation Ian had with the Director of Interpretation at the Tate Modern in which he digs into the details of wall labels. Over the course of approximately 25 minutes, the performance layers droning sounds and a video of a man in track pants who is soon pinching his nipples and grinding the floor in a black hood as Ifekoya reads overhead projections of text, exchanging pronouns, deviating from the written to ‘she’, the character. The main body of the script is loaded with heavy lines like ‘they hang in the balance between the anxieties of interference and the demands of legibility. Between desire, need and duty’, and ‘authority can be measured and has physical properties.’ These sentences, written out from the wall labels interview, speak directly of institutional power and the body that confronts it, and the more I watched Ifekoya’s version of Black Flags, the more I thought this was the crux of their engagement. The spoken text is coupled with slides of a notebook, pages spread open with what I imagine to be Ifekoya’s hands, of abstract black drawings dividing up the space of the page, the lines of the notebook just visible beneath the black. These are Ian’s drawings and they are in a display case in the gallery adjacent to the performance room. Other slides appear, and I understand these to be Ifekoya’s intervention. They are pages, fingers spreading open, of an Octavia Butler book. This gesture, this addition, seems to me to be asking for further resonance of ‘black’, the feminist sci-fi power of Butler’s extensive brilliant oeuvre interjected into the black squares of a lined notebook drawn into abstraction, which is not a flag. I think of the epochal political difference between now and 2009 when this work was made. I think of Adrienne Edwards’s work on blackness in abstraction. And I think of how identity is teased and fragmented, obliterated and returned, throughout both of these performances.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Evan Ifekoya performing Ian White’s Black Flags, 2009, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2018. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre

Ifekoya didn’t sit in the face of the wind machine, upfront, as the script suggests, but moved between different seats in the audience, alternately being seen or heard. Hayes, who knew Ian, knew this work, sat up front, and listened in to Ian’s own voice as she re-enlivened it that evening. I appreciate that Ifekoya was brave and irreverent enough to search for their own route into the work, just as I am that Hayes could be so frontal. An unwavering principle of Ian’s was in making sure there was a choice, and I’m not saying too much if I claim to know that he would have wanted both artists to take liberties and make new space within the work, for this time, the room we’re in.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Ian White, Trauerspiel, 2012, performance documentation, Hebbel-am-Ufer, Berlin, 2012. Courtesy: the estate of Ian White; photograph: Nina Hoffmann

A Choice in the Matter
Steven Warwick is an artist, musician and writer from England, living and working in Berlin. 

I first met Ian White in Berlin. I was doing a musical performance in the foyer space of Kino Arsenal, during the ‘Poor Man’s Expression’ show in 2011, in which White participated. During his performance-reading A Life, and Time: Alfred Leslie’s letter to Frank O´Hara + Roland Barthes on Racine (2011), an electric fan was turned on, blowing his lecture notes everywhere as he spoke from a Britney Spears head mic. It was absurd yet captivating and I was instantly taken by his structured anarchy.

As I entered ‘Any Frame is a Thrown Voice’ – White’s posthumous retrospective at Camden Arts Centre (curated by Kirsty Bell and Mike Sperlinger) – I was curious to see how his practice, rooted in the live moment, would function as an exhibition. The works here consist of solo and collaborative performances made between 2002 and 2012, before his 2013 death. Slides, video and recordings of spoken words and gestures were initially used in his live works as a form of expanded cinema, and here they function as an activation of the archive. White was interested in removing any definitiveness to his pieces, preferring an approach of ‘repetition and failure’, constantly morphing to allow the body of work to yield multiple readings, to queer itself.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

‘Any Frame is a Thrown Voice’, 2018, installation view, Camden Arts Centre. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre, London; photograph: Mark Blower

Upstairs at Camden Arts Centre, a large, red theatrical curtain – originally used in Marriage á la mode et cor Anglais (2007) – hangs, sculpturally, as a free-floating border. Placed beside this is 6 things we couldn’t do, but can do now (2004/18). For this work, White and collaborator Jimmy Robert studied Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A (1966) and reproduced it utilizing flags (perhaps a reference to Rainer’s 1970 piece, Trio A With Flags). Here it is placed next to censored diaries with black ink blocks from Black Flags (2009), hung grid-like on the wall. All are objects that define and restrict movement, which resonates today politically.

Democracy (2009–10) is a live performance ‘about not having a choice, obviously’ using radio and a PowerPoint presentation. It is installed with four monitors showing different iterations of the piece, with slides projected on the wall and the BBC World Service played then, as now, live. It’s interesting to think about what would have been on the news broadcast when it was first shown, as I listen to reports of the British government’s latest iteration of Brexit proposals. White shows images of Elizabeth I and the 16th century garden at Kenilworth built by Robert Dudley with labyrinthine paths towards a phallic fountain, in an attempt to seduce her. He posits the garden (which had recently re-opened in 2009) as an order of mystery, possibility and trap. For White, ‘the garden stands for a system of power... a spiteful fabric and we are still in it ...’ – which can just as easily collapse like Robert Morris’s Column did in 1961.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

‘Any Frame is a Thrown Voice’, 2018, installation view, Camden Arts Centre. Courtesy: Camden Arts Centre, London; photograph: Mark Blower

Morris is a pertinent point of reference for White, given the artist's fluidity between performance, sculpture and writing, and also the 1974 photo of Morris in sadomasochistic fetish gear, shot by Rosalind Krauss. During the piece (performed in various iterations between 2009–10) White stands mainly on one leg, gradually defrocks himself, with one denim jean leg dragging the trousers outside towards the exit, whilst image and sound continue, the audience awkwardly wondering if the performance has yet ended or not.

Trauerspiel (2012) and The Neon Gainsborough (2002) – described by White as ‘Gainsborough's paintings as a slideshow read as psychotic as read by a gay hysteric’ – also provide an expanded take on a cinematic moment to facilitate an alternate reading of a situation. They evoke the theatricality and anti-taxonomical sensibility of Jack Smith, an artist who would constantly re-edit their work, or even the anarchical public interventions of Leigh Bowery. White’s work was often bursting at the seams with art historical references: an anarchic pedagogy which made sense in the context of White’s previous teaching and curating posts at Lux film archive, and the Horse Hospital London.

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Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039

Ian White and Jimmy Robert, 6 things we couldn’t do, but can do now, 2004/18, performance documentation, ‘Art Now’, Tate Britain, London, 2004. Courtesy: the estate of Ian White; photograph: Sheila Burnett

The Neon Gainsborough is one work which can easily function on its own as an installation, with timed lamps that beam onto blown-up pages from Transsexual-Transvestite News substituting the human turning them on, a slide projector of paintings and a VHS counter reading (‘This “fashionable pose” was copied from Watteau’, etc.), in accentuated Chaucerian English. Trauerspiel, one of White’s last works, was part of a commission from Kino Arsenal’s Living Archive, in which the artist selected five 16mm films from the archive and used the event to interrupt the film screening event with actions such as a naked man knitting, text scripts and a choreography. White’s oeuvre was and is one of constant change and possibility. The exhibition does not attempt to reify the pieces. It certainly does not feel stuffy but remains true to White’s intentions to re-read and refashion itself.

Once in 2011, I was out and about in Berlin after an opening, catching up with a friend and asked how their recent show in Vienna had gone. Ian butted in very loudly in his East London accent: ‘IT MEANS NOOOOTHIIING TO MEEEEE’ and started to snigger before pronouncing a bend of the wrist. My friend was very annoyed, and I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. It is this anarchic sensibility which thankfully manages to live on in the show, activating a gesture to unfold in the moment.

Main image: Ian White, Trauerspiel, 2012, performance documentation, Hebbel-am-Ufer, Berlin, 2012. Courtesy: the estate of Ian White; photograph: Nina Hoffmann

Emily Roysdon

Emily Roysdon is an artist and writer living in Stockholm, Sweden.

Steven Warwick

Steven Warwick is an artist, musician and writer from the UK, living and working in Berlin, Germany.

Feature
Ian White
Camden Arts Centre
London
Kirsty Bell
Mike Sperlinger
Sharon Hayes
Evan Ifekoya
Emily Roysdon
Steven Warwick
Performance
Jimmy Robert


特色- 06 JUL 2018表演Ian White:一个选择的事情或房间我们和039;重新观看Sharon Hayes和Evan Ifekoya对已故艺术家在卡姆登艺术中心的敬意,并记住他的“结构化无政府状态”。由Emily Roysdon和史提芬沃里克IWY88TRAURSPILEL.JPG WPA6021602IMG伊恩白,Trauerspiel,2012,性能文档,Hebbel am Ufer,柏林,2012。礼貌:Ian White的庄园;照片:Nina Hoffmann,我们在斯德哥尔摩的房间是Emily Roysdon和瑞典的艺术家和作家。我不得不走到阳台上大声地对自己说话。我最后一次写伊恩的作品是为了他的讣告,这里的每一个错误的开始都是关于伊恩,或者我,或者我和伊恩。把艺术家和他们自己的作品分开是一种练习,特别是如果你的朋友死了,他们的身体写下了作品。但当我5月2日去看卡姆登艺术中心的演出时,还有另外两位艺术家在表演Ian White的剧本。我知道这是一个关于再表演的问题,重点是剧本和分数,随后是被邀请与材料一起工作的艺术家的选择。我作为一个朋友来到这里,作为一个认识和开始的旁观者。我还没有看过展览,但我知道我会看到伊恩的照片,就在拐角处。展览会提出了这些问题的文件,归档和重新履行。他们是明确的和可触摸的,正如一个遗迹展览所要求的,通过表演实践本身和伊恩的实践,特别是把这些条件纳入工作的框架。海因斯,Performing Ian White: A Choice in the Matter or The Room We're In - 表演Ian White:在物质或房间中的选择我们和039 SARON Ian White执行Ian White的伊比萨:一个闪烁的阅读,2008,卡姆登艺术中心,伦敦,2018。礼貌:伦敦卡姆登艺术中心,我到达,坐在前排,因为我倾向于这样做,但在这种情况下,我也觉得太多了,如果我坐在后面,把整个房间都放进框架。我上次在伊恩纪念馆看到的所有的朋友、朋友和朋友们聚集在一起,看到伊恩的作品从他死后第一次出现。但是一旦活动开始,Sharon Hayes坐在房间前面的椅子上,我觉得我应该给她多一点心灵的空间。海因斯已经习惯了在曼哈顿市中心和公共空间周围表演,在伊比萨的任务或任务上没有畏缩。在今晚的两个表演中,伊比萨:海因斯和黑旗(2009)表演的闪烁(2008),由Evan Ifekoya表演,我以前看到伊恩在两次演出伊比萨。这两部作品是一部三部曲,有第三个标题为“民主”(2009—10),我也曾看过两次。(我委托民主的一个展览,《狂喜的抵抗》,在2009堪萨斯城的Grand Asvices,)的三部曲中,伊恩说:“每一个表演最初都假定一个讲座的格式,然后从根本上偏离它。在这个过程中,权威性和主观性之间的多重向量同时通过对性遭遇的叙述,Tony Conrad的开创性的1966部电影,概念剧场性,PowerPoint,泰特现代的“解释”政策,英国广播公司世界服务,伊丽莎白女王I,D。“,手势,静止和动人的图像,爱,希望,绝望和友谊。”Sharon Hayes,Ian White,伊比萨,伦敦,2008,卡姆登艺术中心,2018。礼貌:卡姆登艺术中心,London Ian是一个艺术家,作家,策展人,在其中我相信已经完成了审美,正式,社会和政治共振的每一个细节,他所提供的,以及如何。不总是对的,而是严格的,并要求严格的回报。所以,从我的前面和中间点,当我注意到海因斯的椅子面对观众,而不是伊恩的椅子歪歪斜斜地走向桌子,把观众三角化,我读到海因斯向我们转向的细节。五年后,伊恩的剧本被直接占据了观众的视野。海因斯又做了一次明显的干预,观众中的许多人都能把她的方法和感兴趣的区域理解为与伊恩的作品相遇。她有一个耳机戴在耳朵上。我知道她在听伊恩的节奏录音。在海因斯的术语中,这是“重新说话”,一种政治姿态,在这种情况下,也会产生共鸣。暂停,呼吸之间的线和节奏踢啤酒瓶在他们的脚。海因斯,伊比萨,Ian White,伦敦,2018,2008,卡姆登艺术中心。礼貌:卡姆登艺术中心,伦敦,编舞的瓶子踢打断了一个令人兴奋的故事性的不幸事故,伊恩/海因斯阅读,挡住了视线和闪烁的声音。这篇叙述给了一个毫无意义的人的偏好/偏见(“没有双击,没有完全的顶峰,没有女人,没有博斯,没有直率的表演,没有黑人,胖子,FEMS或亚洲人,对不起,我什么也做不了……”,然后到Yvonne Rainer的1965个宣言(“不”到“奇观”/“不”到“处女”。对移动或被移动)最后,引用伊恩的话,“这不是伊比萨,而是我们所处的空间”,海因斯能够把这个角色扮演得如此完美,把这个献身于伊比萨的读者献给:闪烁的阅读:工作,而不是幻想或记忆的另一个房间。第二场演出是由Evan Ifekoya执导的。伊菲科亚没有亲自认识伊恩,他们被要求作为一个相邻的实践者,一个在运动形象、表演和教育之间工作的人,与伊恩有着相似的方式。Evan Ifekoya,执行Ian White的黑旗,2009,卡姆登艺术中心,伦敦,2018。礼貌:卡姆登艺术中心的黑旗主要是由伊恩与泰特现代人解释的对话组成的,他在其中挖掘了墙上标签的细节。在大约25分钟的过程中,表演层嗡嗡作响的声音和一个男子在跑道裤的视频,他很快捏他的乳头和研磨地板在一个黑罩,因为IFEKOYA阅读文本的顶投影,交换代词,偏离书写到“她”,人物。剧本的主体装满了沉重的台词,比如“他们在干扰的焦虑和可读性的要求之间保持平衡。”在欲望、需要和责任之间,“权威可以被测量并具有物理属性。”这些从墙上标签采访中写出来的句子,直截了当地讲述了机构权力和面对它的身体,我越是注意到Ifekoya对黑旗的看法,我就越是如此。我认为这是他们订婚的关键。口语文本与笔记本电脑的幻灯片结合,用我想象中的Ifekoya的手展开的页面,抽象的黑色图画分割了页面的空间,笔记本的线条在黑色的下方可见。这些是伊恩的画,它们陈列在靠近表演室的画廊的陈列柜里。其他幻灯片出现了,我理解这些是Ifekoya的干预。它们是一页,手指展开,一本Octavia Butler的书。这一姿态,这一加法,在我看来,是要求进一步的“黑色”的共鸣,女权主义的科幻力量的巴特勒广泛的辉煌的作品插入到一个内衬笔记本的黑色正方形,被抽象化,这不是一个标志。我想到了现在和2009年间这项工作的时代政治差异。我想到了Adrienne Edwards对抽象的黑暗的工作。我认为,在这两种表演中,身份是如何被戏弄和分裂、湮灭和归还的。Evan Ifekoya,执行Ian White的黑色旗帜,2009,卡姆登艺术中心,伦敦,2018。礼貌:卡姆登艺术中心Ifokya没有坐在风机面前,正如剧本所暗示的那样,但是在观众的不同座位之间移动,交替地被看到或听到。海因斯认识伊恩,她知道这项工作,坐在前面,听着伊恩自己的声音,她那天晚上活跃起来了。我很欣赏Ifekoya是勇敢的和不敬的,足以寻找自己的路线进入工作,正如我一样,海因斯可以如此正面。伊恩的一个坚定不移的原则是确保有一个选择,如果我声称知道他会希望两位艺术家都能自由地在作品中创造新的空间,那么,我就不会说太多了,因为这一次,我们所处的房间。Ian White,WPAP602602IMG,2012,性能文档,Hebbel am Ufer,柏林,2012。礼貌:Ian White的庄园;照片:Nina Hoffmann在这件事上的选择:WPAP60300 3BR Steven Warwick是一位艺术家、音乐家和作家,来自英国,在柏林工作和生活。我第一次在柏林遇见Ian White。我在Kioo阿森纳的大厅里做音乐表演,在2011的《穷人的表情》节目中,怀特参加了。在他阅读《生活与时间》的过程中,Alfred Leslie给拉辛(2011)的弗兰克·奥哈拉+罗兰·巴特的信,一个电扇打开了,他从小甜甜的头顶麦克风说起到处吹嘘他的讲稿。这是荒谬但迷人的,我立刻被他的


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