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PDA #3 : Play Dead
Just Looking For Attention, Hasselt, Belgium

​This, then, is the object of individuating attention, for which our aesthetic experiences provide both a scale model and a full-size trial, an opportunity for practical exercise and for critical reflection. Knowing how to choose our alienations and our enthralments, knowing how to establish vacuoles of silence capable of protecting us from the incessant communication that overloads us with crushing information, knowing how to inhabit the switches between hyper-focusing and hypo-focusing – this is what aesthetic experiences (musical, cinematic, theatrical, literary or video-gaming) can help us do with our attention, since attention is always just as much something that we do (by ourselves) as something that we pay (to another). Yves Citton, The Ecology of Attention Sometimes your contribution is to remove yourself, to offer yourself for effacement. Don’t disappear, but become invisible. Show up by not showing up. In the impasse, self-effacement is solidarity. Jess Linz & Anna Sakor, Becoming–Minor Play Dead is a performance during which I'm attempting to perform my own death. Playing dead is a natural survival mechanism, put in place to protect ones' life and safety : animals adopt postures of absolute immobility, hiding their vitality in order to escape danger by simulating death. In our western cultures death is a taboo, and a subject of fascination – since World War 2 and hitting the apex with the Gulf War in 1990- 1, mediatized images of mass extinction have become banalized. But the death of us, deaths of people around us still remain seen as a failure – a failure to perform productivity, reflecting the gamification of our lives. Lacking any tools to handle an incessant fear of death and the consequent need to make a life 'worth living', I impersonate my own death in order to hide in this limbo of being and non-being, haunting the non-place that is the appartment of the off-space on Koning Alberstraat. This limbo is reflective of a stance towards time : the impossibility of a future project and the haunting of the past, akin to a repetition compulsion – but also the need to recede and allow for a breakdown in the order of things. This space of inbetweenness has to function as a vacuole of silence - or non[1]communication where nothing needs to be said – as a strike or a retreat, a premature entering the space of death or a preemptive burnout. Turning into a specter, a spirit embodied, I also aim to be questioning scopophilia and the need for fullness, throwing myself at an impasse. Having no material for the performance of a female body dying, I have collected as a starting point images from movies where female actresses are put to their deaths by male killers : Psycho, American Psycho, The House that Jack Built – reenacting those hypervisible deaths until I find the perfect posture. As soon as the visitors enter the space I fall on whatever is at hand, therefore extending a collective invitation to reconsider death and ones' relationship to it, to loss, absence and silence, as well as an opportunity to play with the scopic expectations of the viewer – and to negotiate my own breathplay in the process.

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