The Performance Club

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This article was written on 25 Apr 2013, and is filed under Guest Writers.

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All I see…

 

Vicky Shick and Jon Kinzel in Shick's "Everything You See" at Danspace Project.

Vicky Shick and Jon Kinzel in Shick’s “Everything You See” at Danspace Project.

by Christine Shan Shan Hou

 

 

 

When we drift we dream: such awakenings demand presence or awareness of being on the other side.

 

 

 

 

In Everything You See, there is a thought to form, a decision to scatter as a means of making a whole, integrated space.

 

 

 

 

Imagine a diorama with a front and backside. They are meeting for the first time.

 

 

 

 

The women lounge on their sides looking at us from outer space.

 

 

 

 

Because they are looking at me, I feel far away, like the sea or the sun. From this vantage point, I see that some bodies are to be left alone.

 

 

 

 

There is nothing wrong with being alone, like there is nothing wrong with a dancer wearing a tutu made of plastic wrap. When she walks, she crinkles.

 

 

Olsi Gjeci and  Laurel Tentindo

Olsi Gjeci and Laurel Tentindo

 

 

Newton’s cradle is reenacted with a pair of arms. Energy is transferred from one arm to the other in a single clap.

 

 

 

 

An alien appears with her hand clamped over her forehead like a claw. Her name is Vicky Shick.

 

 

 

 

A table rotates on a girl’s hand in space, specifically outer space.

 

 

 

 

Group dynamics in a costume party are often fervid & relevant: girls gossiping at a slumber party, children running around the schoolyard in a predictable yet exciting game of tag.

 

 

 

 

When the children are fatigued, they rest, leaning on each other or the parts of a church.

 

 

 

 

Leaning is never forever as waiting is a natural state of being, subjective, of course.

 

 

 

 

I name each body after each planet, including Pluto. Then there’s Vicky Shick.

 

 

 

 

Is naming a form of distraction? Do I prefer one side of the diorama to the other? Do I prefer one drama queen to another?

 

 

 

Behind a curtain, girls look at boys being boys. The curtain is sheer grey fabric, tree bark texture.

 

 

 

 

One cannot see through a tree, just as one cannot see through an act of intimacy. The phrase “different but equal” does not apply.

 

 

 

 

There are several girls shining incandescently, producing a drifting sensation.

 

 

 

 

Seeing dictates pleasure. Pleasure is not always clean.

 

 

 

Christine Shan Shan Hou is a poet, artist, and critic living in Brooklyn, New York.

6 Comments

  1. Siobhan
    April 26, 2013

    For some reason I read this backwards first, and then forwards, and both directions were very satisfying.

  2. Christine
    April 26, 2013

    thanks, Siobhan!

  3. claudia
    April 26, 2013

    I love the spacing in this piece, what it allows – it makes sense that you’d read it backward and forward.

  4. Christine
    April 26, 2013

    the space is for breathing

  5. Barbara Kilpatrick
    April 26, 2013

    Reading your prose made me feel as though you are the fourth collaborator in this work. How sublime! 

  6. Christine
    April 26, 2013

    Thank you, Barbara! That is quite the compliment, especially coming from you!

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