Miss Sofisma de Distracción
An Artistic Statement or the never ending life of a character
An experimental research about Sophism of Distraction
A Master thesis in Physical Theater for Scuola Teatro Dimitri 2013
We, the inhabitants of complex flesh systems, like a drop of oil in water immerse and float, show and hide, search for what we are to then leave it aside. We are two in one, or one in two, or one-hundred-and-one in one. The identical to what we call I, and which we know is present because of its shape; we inhabit this endless body, which once shaped begins to deform. ¿cuanto somos eso que cambia? how much do we involve our whole being into this biological process?
As we resist to death, we have a tendency to hold back ourselves in what we know and in order to fill up the sensation of emptiness that is produced by the impermanence. We use mecanisms that are underlying in our unconscious system. How real are we, if we can so easily stop being? Nobody confirms that remaining is a fact, therefore how much do we need to push our own fantasy: I am to remain through time.
In the work dynamics of our contemporary society we miss the time/space for our self-observation. It is taken away and placed into a practice of survival. For that reason, we must define ourselves while we keep doing practical things. The definition of this I am is a puzzle of behaviour patterns assembled in a character.
The reproduction of family patterns and the phantasy of being another or as others, is an example of a type of contradiction that occurs in our system of mind while we need to keep answering on the present with decisions, confirming the paradigm of I am into concrets acts.
In order to go deeper in this complex system of self comunication, I decided to create a fantasy character of my own self called Miss Sophism of Distraction.
Miss Sophism of Distraction takes her space and time for loneliness, self observation and free playing. Practising to interconnect awareness with unconscious mechanisms; out of this practise complex pattern behaviours that belong to our contemporary society are embodied in physical states and actions under the statement this not me it is a fantasy.
The work of Miss Sophism of Distraction is inserted into the performing arts field, where she has been doing experimental reseach that uses the stage as a platform for embodied taboo topics such as Nudity/maternity/sexuality/pornography/Gender, given a subjective perspective of the reality we are living nowadays.
When I first read the different meanings of Sophism of Distraction, I had many associations with previous experiences I've had in different fields of life. This moved me to develop a theoretical/experimental research about sophism of distraction as a way to do theater. Inspired by the philosophy-performer Jassem Hindi who calls his workshop The concept and the Idiot, and describes it as "the manipulation of concepts - specifically the ones generated by contemporary philosophy", I start to look for my own cromprehension of the term and how to contextualize it in a performative/theatrical context, in order to serve my experimental knowledge.
My early work it was based on spontaneous composition and improvisation, throgh this work I try in many performances to descover deferentes ways to relate with audience in a kind of descoposition of stablished rules of the space.
but after I started to fill the need of explore this transgretion of ruals and ways of behabie in the space bring slowly made me enter in a performative state that search for other kind of transgretion that involve other kind of
Weor in his papers about Sophism of Distraction describes the subconcious as space were all our desires, needs, dirtyness and selfishness live. The term subconcious comes from psychology and psychonanalysis, as stated by Pierret Janet, who argued "that underneath the layers of critical-thought functions of the conscious mind lay a powerful awareness that is called the subconscious mind".
Freud used the word subconcious in his first papers but afterwards he described it as a confused therm. "If someone talks of subconsciousness, I cannot tell whether he means the term topographically – to indicate something lying in the mind beneath consciousness – or qualitatively – to indicate another consciousness, a subterranean one, as it were. He is probably not clear about any of it. The only trustworthy antithesis is between conscious and unconscious."
Weor use the therm subconcious in his papers The Revolution of the Dialectica as the place that contain all badness of our past, he uses this definition to argue and develop a moralist self-help new age literature. So in Weor's papers the subconcious is a "bad place" that ask us for actions, "dirty actions" that we make up as "good", creating sophisms of distraccions that allows us to act in the direction of selfishness. The term subconcious is much more used within the new age communities and in metaphysics, and unconsciousness in psychology and psychiatry.
Weor and Freud have a part in the fact that this "place" - subconsciousness or unconscious - has a negativity connected to it, and both of them are looking for a way to erradicate it.
Considering some comcepts from the buddhist philosophy about mind's mechanisims, (of which I have experience and I talk about it in "The Bio or the Be a Ho"), S. N. Goenka who teach and practice Vipassana meditation, explain in his courses, the practice of meditation as a way to eradicate the mental impurities, a way to erradicate the Saṅkhāra, in sánscrito. Wikipedia's reseach about conditioned things say "Saṅkhāra is often used in this first sense to describe the psychological conditioning (particularly the habit patterns of the unconscious mind) that gives any individual human being his or her unique character and make-up at any given time".
All the authors above analyse the mind's mechanisims looking for the erradication of the patters that cause suffering in the life of human beings.
Coming into the field of theater, Grotowski, one of the big contributors to physical theatre say in one of his books "An actor should know how to assault his own psychic hump with conscious cruelty and reach the spheres that allow him to assault the collective physical humps: images, myths, archetypes, communal dreams. Then, it concerns to the director the task of stimulate this creative process in the actor, in order to confront myth and society, to desecrate both, that is to say to affirm both. The postulate of the actor derives from the postulate of the spiritual life. ""Grotowski (p.52 / Eugenio Barba, Selected Works).
Grotowsky dedicated all his life to write and do a sacred theatre that operated in the collective unconciousness, he wrote in one of his papers Theatre is a question of a gathering which is subordinated to ritual: nothing is represented or shown, but we participate in a ceremonial which releases the collective unconscious. Eugenio Barba the founder of Odin Theatre, was a very important student and friend of Grotowski and developed a vast written and practical work out of this realtions with Grotowski. Barba's wrote in one of his text's about they relationship: "we both are looking for something wich is beyong and that it give value of what we do. Our actions have no value in themselves. We both felt very acutely. But for him there is something higher beyond the world we know. He has always believed. For me, he knows I do not believe in it. My way to transcend this reality is action, action yoga: karma yoga" (p.127 / Eugenio Barba, Selected Works).
I had read Barba's books and specially the letters in between Barba and Grotowski and they had a big influence in the beginning of my career, "the Sacred theatre" as Grotovski called it was something I perceived in my first theatre lesson and stayed with me until now days. This knowledge have became truth, a determination: this is what I live for, this is what I do. So, theater shape my life, reinventing everything. The meaning of "sacred" it have gave me space to the experimental knolegch, experimental in the sense of living, in the sense of reinvent de life I am in to, every day. Been intinerant of my self, trying to move every point that is trying to become fixed in me as: I am...
Regarding my theater/performance experience, wich comes from the earliest times of a Grotowskian/Barba's legacy, I have seen my artistical practice, as a way to dig into my "mental hump", Saṅkhāra and "selfishness", opening up phatrons of behiebor, umbrals of been, fouding new ways of interpretate my self. This attack to the mind's mechanisims, is what I call sophisms of distraction.
I have been practicing to attack my mind in many ways, undertanding this as part of my work, and through that land into the reality I am in. I have followed the work of people who are interested on mind's mechanism/art, as Alejandro Jodorovsky, Sabine Jamet and the most actual and influence on my current work, David Zambrano, who is probably the least interested in this mechanism in the self but who teach and practice a contundent and powerfull practical philosophy that pass through me with out "questioning it" as we could define as a "experimental knowledge". David's pedagogy is strongly based on observation of the basic actions of the body, as walking, stopping, running and a rule game that sets a common understanding. Vipassanas meditations apply this observation to the physical sensations in stillness position, and also establishing a group of rules that help the concentration of the development of the thecnique. All the experiences I had in the research of mind mechanisms, create a sensation of art/fertility regarding to accept what I am, as I go. Thus "being" is an event that needs to be uploaded constantly, and my way of doing it, is in the field of performing arts.
In my artistic work I practice different ways of tricking this mind mechanism in a way that the process of creation becames a posibility to pull out and place it in to the space, fantasies, aversitions, needs, and more. At the same time I have been looking for an artistic process that access into many different layers, and states with playfullness and pleasure, giving space to the "distracction" in order to express freely superficial needs, giving satisfaction to the ego, permet the abstraction and anarchy of being something, and at the same time guiding the caracther to express in to the space. I identify with a text is in the performance "Doña flores..." played byJulie Varsley and directed by Barba; "the character is a tendency, a tendency to exist, just like those particles, that leap and dance in an atom, a character is something that lies in between, the idea of an event, and the event itself.
I practice many excercise from the artist I like them work, and with whom I have shared experiences that have influenced my personal life and through that transformed my artwork. I believe that through the doing things find they own method. But there is so much to do, It depends very much on the time I am living in, but what is sure is that I need to be alone (even if I am with others, be "alone"), In a empty space that will speak by them self. I try to extend my self until the extreme. I concentrate on finding the limits of what i am doing or living in, before naming it. In other to function in a society we need rules that establishes a communication. One aproximation of the way I use the Sofism of distractions in my work is to leave space to the "things unknown" rule by them self.