project image
Kerwin Williamson
COMPULSION­ATTAQUE

first performed on January 4, 2014
Performance Panoply Laboratory, Brooklyn, NY
performed six times in 2014

ANAIS HERAUD

Germany


lab@anaisheraud.com
anaisheraud.com

COMPULSION­ATTAQUE
ANAIS HERAUD

As the audience enters the gallery, I bring five long and heavy packages into the space with the help of the organizer. They have the shape of a human body and are wrapped in black plastic bags tied up with rope.

(…)

The audience is invited to go outside in the street where I’m maintaining an iron bar horizontally between my stomach and a road sign. Five strips of white fabric are hanging on the iron bar. They are held down by the weight of small pieces of gray clay attached to their ends. The word “Compulsion” is on each strip which swings slowly with the movement of my body. I gently bring down the whole apparatus to the floor. The words on the fabric slowly deform into a heap.

(…)

We re­enter the space. Out of a block of gray clay and soil, I build small cubes until they look like paving stones. I throw them over the heads of the audience and they crash into and stick to the wall behind them. I repeat that action several times and invite the audience to throw these objects as well. I open plastic bags that contain snow (it is snowing outside) which has kept the imprint of the packaging. With black spray­paint, I write on each pile of snow the word “Attack.” It melts slowly.

(…)

compulsion...compulsion...compulsion...ATTAQUE 

This performance is part of a broader research called “Compulsion­Attaque.” I am interested here in investigating the complexity of the effects that go through my body in situations of tension during demonstrations. I am interested in focusing on the shared experience of inner revolt: the intimate, the personal, the first creative impulse or desire for change.

I have started to research widely on forms of revolt and how it finds expression in language. I collect banners, flags, memories and pictures of demonstrations that I have been involved in or which were documented. These elements become the materials which I will react to during the live act.

How can feelings such as constraint or compulsion be physically experienced and take form in the sensible world? How does one put voice and words into action? How can I relate the individual feeling to the shared action and to a possible artistic gesture?