Text 15 – To Leap


‘To Leap’ proposes leaping  –  saltation  –  as performing’s necessary and defining move. The leap’s aim (its identifying drive and purpose) is to take the performer away from the machinery of representation and general aestheticisation. It attempts to make towards that ‘outside’ where it has already projected and gathered Art’s Body.

It performs this while acknowledging, of course, that there is no Body-as-such but only a boundaryless open collection ‘over there’ that it has itself assembled as its own desired destination. This is the Body towards which performing’s saltation casts itself off.

Unequivocal and explicit support for this text’s proposition is garnered from a variety of performers including, Rimbaud, Beckett, Brodsky, Rilke and Picasso.

Performing’s fragmented syntactic of leaping is opened out through consulting Celan’s ‘Meridian’ essay. The focus is on the movement of performing’s aligning and connecting of elements, materials, and medium-specific languaging processes  –  the idiosyncratic one-off syntax peculiar to each gest that assembles an almost-language.

Performing’s leap into its wandering trajectory is characterised as an ‘anabasis’  –  an up-country journey of out-and-return. A drawing and sculpture by Twombly are explored to show how ‘anabasis’ and its associations point up specific qualities of performing’s movement. Anabasis and decreation are intertwined in performing’s fragmented aligning leaps that stray endlessly beyond the local thresholds hemming in the commonsense world of everyday life.

Passing by way of Prynne’s poetics the discussion concludes with a consideration of the relations between memory, technoscience, and poiesis as they bear on performing’s contemporary condition (its responsibility for its own survival). Such a poiesis is offered as necessarily committed to confronting and trying to disclose the current plight of our creaturely pleistocenian heritage.