She’s only doing this: drawing scores
Task: configuring chalk, wall, body
Standing close and face to face with the wall, start and end each (out)line and (back)line
at this position and place which becomes the centre of the drawing. At eye-level draw a line away from this centre, freely choosing where to go and when to stop. Draw a second line under and parallel to the first line, following the line back to the centre. Repeat this process – always a free (out)line away from centre – a parallel (back)line under the (out)line back to the centre.
Her eye and body stay close with the line that is being drawn – and she gives no attention to what has gone and what is coming. When meeting an existing line head-on, she decides to refine the score and to break off the current line and to continue on the other side of the already existing line.
Lines always go under existing lines. The drawing is documented by a camera on the other side of the space. After any certain amount of time, the performer stops and the drawing remains until washed from the wall with water and sponge.
I became fascinated with this task and with the focus of attention on the line emerging, on the growth of the drawing as an organic system. The task initially came from a decision to work vertically on the wall rather than on the floor and to explore the idea of face-to-face confrontation body-wall and the visual possibilities that open when standing and drawing.
I kept close to the wall and kept attention on the reciprocal pressure between body and surface through the contact point of the chalk. As though all my understanding of my body moving in space-time in that moment could be focussed through this small contact point. It became important to have this level of attention and care in how the line was drawn, that there was a close physical proximity between drawing action and drawing outcome. Keeping things simple and direct, with a clear constraint, resisting a playful dancerly timing. I continuously connected the drawing action to my breathing in a way that they were simply both there and moving through each other. This supported a a sense of ”real time”, of ongoing time, of duration.
Alternating between a free (out)line to an exact-as-possible (back)line became increasingly interesting in how my experience of speed and time was affected. (Out)line was smooth, free, spontaneous and directional, whereas the (back)line needed precision and patience and an unerring commitment to the task. The restriction created however other possibilities in its slowing down of time there was more time (space?) to notice details of line, breath, weight, pressure, spine, wall.