DIAPHONER with

Iain Baxter& & Anatoli Vlassov

Here, Iain Baxter&man proposes words of his thoughts to Anatoli Vlassov. Words come from the mouth of one artist to land in the glottis of the other. A flesh of words that swallows and puts us in motion.

The diaphone is a noisemaking device best known for its use as a foghorn: It can produce deep, powerful tones, able to carry a long distance, and warn ships of their proximity to land or rocky outcrops that threaten the vessel. It feels like a Sam Sheppard play, and if you don't know what a Sam Sheppard play feels like, it feels like this. Then we need ask who's performing in this white box?

In 2019 Iain Baxter& received the Order of Canada as an acknowledgment of his work as Canada’s preeminent conceptual artist.  He’s more than that; Iain embodies the next upgrade to conceptual postmodernism, saving that movement from the dust heap of history. Sometimes I think his conceptual label is too simple for a man whose work encompasses so many media.

 

Anatoli Vlassov is a Russian artist currently pursuing a doctorate at the Sorbonne in France. Many have wanted to show what goes on inside the artist, but Anatoli swallowed an endoscopy camera whose images were broadcast on a screen, to give the audience a video from the inside as the dancer performs in front of a public. Anatoli’s main attribute is a genius at revitalizing performance, dance, and vocalization, by uniting modes of performance in unexpected ways.

 

We live in a time often referred to as “the deplorable state of contemporary art”, a statement somewhat at odds with the serious advertising and marketing that accompanies all and every exhibition today.This calls for a short run through art history, best seen in the late Denis Dutton’s YouTube video “The Art Instinct, a Darwinian Theory of Beauty”.  Aesthetic taste, argues Denis Dutton, is an evolutionary trait, and is shaped by natural selection. It’s not, as most contemporary art criticism and academic theory would have it, ‘socially constructed.’ The human appreciation for art is innate, and certain artistic values carry across cultures. It seems an aesthetic perception ensured the survival of the perceiver’s genes. What does that mean for the entire discipline of art history? Dutton argues, with forceful logic and hard evidence, that art criticism needs to be premised on an understanding of evolution, not on abstract ‘theory’.

At a New York museum panel discussion on diminishing public interest in contemporary art, Robert Storr, then MOMA curator, said “in the 1960s the art world moved from the Cedar Tavern to the seminar room.”  Intellect is highly prized in academia, but the age-old foundations of art in non-verbal languages, not so much.  Every concept has its day, rises to the height of its wave then descends, making room for the next.  Anatoli Vlassov and Iain Baxter& signal the next wave, the future of art. It was a mistake to discard the non-verbal languages that science shows are the foundations of art.  Iain and Anatoli show how multiple media can be incorporated into an art that is more meaningful than the offerings of the past.

Of course such disturbance comes at a price, including shock, for example, two straight men kissing in front of an audience, breaking expectations. When bypassing the norms we expand our paradigms.  Anatoli Vlassov brings the breath of sound, the hum of feelings and the howl of emotions into the body of the dancer, something best explained in his statement below.  Iain Baxter& pushes irreverence almost to the point of a social insult, but his work expands the definition of any media he touches, just like Anatoli.  Both artists are complex enough that one recommends looking at their other works online. I have asked both artists to write a note to accompany this video, here’s their reply:

__________

Iain Baxter&

 

My exhibition at the Sorbonne in Paris in Nov. 2018 & which the dance became part of was titled The POWER of &.

 

I only live in the moment & I lived through our dance as if it were a ZEN KOAN ( or my new name for ZEN KOAN'S - " ZEN KO&'S"}

& also I am always masturbating life as my way to live in & through LIFE as ART & ART as LIFE. & I am always trying to live my life according to my (the &MAN's) phrase that i coined  in 2010.namely "MASTURBATING LIFE MAKES ART ". & therefore it could be said that life itself is the "D&CE", the &MAN's new word…. so masturbate it well.

IAIN BAXTER& the &MAN

__________

Anatoli Vlassov

 

DIAPHONER is an interactive performance, where the audience is invited to enter  with an artist into dialogue in which the sound of words is as important as their senses, just as the movement of the body is as significant as the weight of the words. Sometimes, I use the base of such kind of dialogue for some public encounters with different people who interest me either by their work or either by their human qualities. In 2017 my Phd director Yann Toma organized a spontaneous meeting between a Canadian artist, Iain Baxter&, during his visit to the University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and myself.

 

PLAY - The word arrives on me very quickly, hits me against my chest and falls as soon on the ground, dematerialized. It's as if it had no mass, no weight, no sense. Just a formal container, an air in vibration, a meaningless signifying. In fact it’s a convention. A convention to start the game. Now, I need to feel the person in front of me more closely. Physically. For the reason that this word, which he excreted from his mouth, take shape and enter inside of me. Words starts to come out of my mouth - WELL, YOU CAN BE CLOSER

 

What I just transcribed with this text formatted in italic characters is what I experience when I practice Phonesia, a performative practice for the speaking dancers that I develope since 2012 and that allows to question the structural links between gesture and speech and to act on them. Placing myself in the continuity of Antonin Artaud and his concept of «declamation», where the register of the voice is seen as a moving and «animated» activity, I consider here not only voice, but also words and gestures as active and mobile flows.

 

PLAY - It’s the same word « play » which, having climbed back from the ground, has crossed my body and is typing now in the door of my mouth - PP PPp PpPP PPP PPP - With its first consonant the word pushes the exit of my oratorial hole and ends by exploding the leaps of my oral wall. Charged by its own signified, the word « play » wants to play now in a new space-time that is created between me and Iain. Between our leaps, between our mouths. Juste before the French kiss. Iain answers me. We tunes.

 

Between the senses and the sensations Phonesia creates an utopian body consisting of a network of what I call « sens-ation », an intertwining, where a signification can change its substance by transmuting into a sensation and screw-to-it. Sens-ations weaves an imaginary network that allows to enlarge and to shrink multiple passages so that a transmutation between meaning and sensations can be made. I call this body of sens-ation the corpArléité (bodySpeak). This new neologism integrate itself to the history of concepts, such as body and corporeality but while increasing it through the notion of language. Thus, the corpArléité no longer deals only with a body as a place of experience or as a moving experience of a dancer, but as a moving experience of a speaking dancer. In this sens the corpArléité is the encounter place where words and gestures, meaning and sensations meets and transforms from one to other.

 

INFORMATION - The gesture of spacing is superimposing with the etymological meaning of the word "information" which means "to give a form to" causes me a strong sensation of loss and separation that activates convulsions of my stomach and grinds the signified in several words-sounds - INSIDE iN iN iN INFORM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN IIIIIINNNNFFFFFFFOORRRRMMMAAAAI IIIIINFFFFFFORRRRMMMMM - this words-sounds blend with my breath, grafting by syllable on my inspires and expires. They grips, by their sound, in circulations of the air, coming in and out from my respiratory channels - INSA hmmm FOR huuuum MA uuuuu CHHH hm HN hmmm - N - pfffffffffffffffffffooo - a new pneumatic word appears - FORM

 

In corpArléité the speaking dancer become a gathering place where he is no longer alone. He find himself in the presence of two other entities inside of him: dance and language. They are are not only moving and animated flow which crosses a human being, as I mentioned above, but they are moreover forms of life which, in the sense of the philosopher Georgio Agamben, are not specifically biological or zoological forms, but alive, as any form that have a power to bring into play the living itself. The corpArléité is an anthropo-logo-somatic ecosystem where the human, the language and the dance forms a network of exchange and interdependence, of energy and powers, allowing the life holding and the evolution of what we call living. Therefore, the practitioner of Phonesia does not appear in corpArléité as a single author but as a co-creator of his act of enunciation with two other forms of life that nest together with him. He misalign himself from the anthropocentric posture to experience a tripartite encounter between himself, dance and language. He become then this utopian time-space where he puts into power and play the very life of his relationship to the world. Where the audible and the visible rub and cross each other, move closer and farther away, provoke shocks and hiatuses, create logo-somatic events, coagulates together, alive.

 

 

 

                                           Performance by Anatoli Vlassov, his father, and a horse.

 

 

 

 

Presentations by Anatoli Vlassov in November and December in Canada:

 

PHONÉ-SCOPIE

Film by Anatoli Vlassov

Hybrid Regards International Meetings

November 21st from 9pm to 11pm

The Wilder - Dance Space 1435 Bleury Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2H7, Canada

https://tangentedanse.ca/evenement/rirh-2019/

 

PHONESIA LOGORRHEIC FILMED

Workshop by Anatoli Vlassov

Hybrid Regards International Meetings

November 22 from 10am to 11am

The Wilder - Dance Space 1435 Bleury Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2H7, Canada

https://tangentedanse.ca/evenement/rirh-2019/

 

PHONÉ-COPIE + DIAPHONER

Film + Participatory Conference-Performance by and with Anatoli Vlassov

Moderator: Erin Manning

Hybrid Regards International Meetings

November 23 from 14:30 to 16:30

The Wilder - Dance Space 1435 Bleury Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2H7, Canada

https://tangentedanse.ca/evenement/rirh-2019/

 

DIAPHONER

Participatory Conference-Performance by and with Anatoli Vlassov

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY

Milieux - Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Arts and New Media

Walk in LePARC - Resource room 11.705

November 26 from 15h to 17h

1515 Sainte-Catherine Street W. EV Building, 11.455 Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 2W1

https://milieux.concordia.ca/events/

 

PHONESIC PERFORMAGRAPHY

Collaboration between Miklos Legrady and Anatoli Vlassov

November 27 from 11am to 1pm

Hill at Fletcher's Field, Angel Statue, Av du Parc, Montreal, QC H2W 1S8, Canada

http://www.mikloslegrady.com/

 

PHONESIA

Workshop by Anatoli Vlassov

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY

Environments - Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Arts and New Media

Walk in LePARC - Resource room 11.705

November 28 from 15h to 17h

1515 Sainte-Catherine Street W. EV Building, 11.455 Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 2W1

https://milieux.concordia.ca/events/

 

PHONESIA

Workshop by Anatoli Vlassov

UNIVERSITY UQAM

Department of Dance and Tribune 840

November 29 from 9h to 11h

UQAM | Dance Pavilion Local K11-50

840 rue Cherrier, Montreal

https://danse.uqam.ca/general/29-novembre-tribune-840-no-45/

 

DIAPHONER

Participatory Conference-Performance by and with Anatoli Vlassov

UNIVERSITY UQAM

Department of Dance and Tribune 840

November 29 from 14h to 18h

UQAM | Local Dance Lodge K-1150840 Cherrier Street, Montreal

https://danse.uqam.ca/general/29-novembre-tribune-840-no-45/

 

FILMED PHONESIA

Research Residence of Anatoli Vlassov

SALON 58 / Hybrid Mandolin

November 30 to December 8

58 Marsoui River Road, Quebec (CA) G0E 1S0

http://www.mandolinehybride.com/salon58/#toggle-id-3

 

DIAPHONER

Participatory Conference-Performance by and with Anatoli Vlassov

SALON 58 / Hybrid Mandolin

December 7th at 7pm

58 Marsoui River Road, Quebec (CA) G0E 1S0

http://www.mandolinehybride.com/salon58/#toggle-id-3