Writing as a messy practice

[This is an excerpt transcribed from the interview to Elisa Sbaragli and Sara Sguotti: you can find the video interview here]

Giovanni: Somehow writing is a kind of confusing technological prosthesis of what I am in terms of my practice. And actually, for me what’s a bit embarrassing about my writing is that it is really confusing. When I have to make it less confusing, trying to protect the confused character that I am, it’s a very complex process. I have the feeling that what I perceive as the ‘outside world’ has a certain difficulty in understanding the nature of the messiness. I feel a tendency to have understandable ideas and concepts, in the sense of ‘closeness’ and ‘directed’ we understood at the beginning of your question. And so, it’s interesting for me to try to figure out how my writing gets lost and misplaced as time goes by. When I’m in a dance process, I always write a lot at first, then at some point I get lost in the process and I can no longer write and even describe what I am experiencing. Maybe because I am so internally involved with the process that it’s hard for me to establish that practice of going out and trying to translate that specific thing into writing, as you said. During my writing process I have been interested in describing people’s positions, for some time now. I borrowed this practice from my supervisor Ben [Spatz]. I’m interested in seeing where everyone positions themselves. Everyone, even the director, the technician, etc., and how over time these positions change. This is without necessarily drawing conclusions. It also helps me a lot to remember afterwards the experience I had.

Sara: A kind of Social Dreaming. [“Social Dreaming is a way of working with dreams where the focus is on the dream and not the dreamer, where dreams are shared amongst people who come together solely for this purpose. With Social Dreaming, the meaning of a dream is about the broader world in which one lives. In a Social Dreaming event, participants are invited to offer their dreams and, through association, explore the possible social meanings contained within them.” from https://www.tc.columbia.edu/media/departments/ol/social-organizational-psychology/Social-Dreaming-Matrix_anniversary-event.pdf accessed 22 April 2022]

Giovanni: And then I really like to write a lot about how I feel when I start and how I feel later and what it was like. With respect to the topic of determination, I am, on the contrary, a mess fetishist, and I am really curious about and interested in Elisa’s practice. 

Sara: Me too!

Elisa: I keep the folders but only in order to have an apparent sense of order. What I find inside is actually pure chaos. It’s like in my everyday life, at some point I have to tidy up my house. The time comes around to put everything in its place. I usually do it at the end of it all. I have heaps of notes scattered around the house, notebooks, papers and post-its. Then the show takes place, this thing that you called ‘death’ happens, and after this moment everything changes completely for me. With respect to the concept of writing as a form of determination, in the end it is actually me who determines everything. 

Sara: The only thing I am sorry about in terms of my writing is that I am currently throwing so many things away, that instead you Elisa end up keeping. Why am I throwing them away? Maybe because when I find them, I don’t understand them anymore and I say to myself: “But what the hell did I write?”. For me, practice is so much on the inside that on many occasions the outside loses value when I bring it outside.

Elisa: in my case it is rather the opposite. So many things come from ‘outside’, for example from books, from studying, from my own writing, and my work through writing is a project in order to digest everything. Nowadays, before I go into the rehearsal room, I need to feel full of information, even if then in reality maybe those things no longer exist or, in some cases, they are transformed into something else. Maybe I don’t even remember it, but I need to have a kind of map that I then take into the rehearsal room in order to try to bring it to life. Maybe there are times that intuition creeps in and that intuition then makes me focus on other things. However, in general let’s say that flow is created through the text being read, written and discussed. For me, this is fundamental.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *