Paper Walk Paper Talk XIII Seethed-Placid

Text by George Themistokleous about Dagmar I. Glausnitzer-Smith, Live Performance Cyprus 2017

A garment held up by a branch,  hovers along the centre of the gallery space. The artist, holding a cane, with a flashlight attached to her head and wearing a raincoat scans the ground. As the overhanging garment slightly dangles the body magnetically responds to its movement. Shedding the raincoat, the body becomes immersed within the hanging garment. Messages unfold from the garment as bodies ( body of fabric, a body of flesh. A body of meaning) interact; this follows with the artist unrolling a large sheet of paper, piercing through it, (with hands and feet) then a rolled up crumbling action and the artist flees into the darkened streets of Nicosia nightfall. (then throwing it away).

As one skin is shed and superseded by another, my understanding reaches an impasse.

A cleavage is formed in my perceptual experience of the event. This cleavage occurs at the momentary interstice between what is conceived and what is imagined or presented.[1] As my cognitive faculties fail (me), they are overwhelmed by the unexpected juxtaposition of bodies. Conventional forms - objects - are purged of their signifying status, shifting any pre-conceived expectancy out-of-focus. Any sense of a sensory-motor functioning is outstripped from all sides; response to action dissolves. The vicissitudes of the space-in-between bodies absorbs me. The image is ‘without metaphor, [it] brings out the thing in itself…’[2] Any notion of centre dissipates, what is set in motion are vectors of possibilities. Am I at the centre of my perceptual framing? If my perceptual framing is unhinged, then I no longer retain from the image what is of interest to me. Instead my perception is encapsulated from all sides – it becomes immersed in an image, an image that only retrospectively becomes formulated as an ‘image of thought’. In the interstices, a relation field of intensive space marks a liminal zone. What is grasped through the paradoxical reversal of perception on itself, is a glimmer of the un-thought… what is concealed from thought yet returns to it…

[1] Jean-Francois Lyotard, ‘The Sublime and the Avant-Garde’ in The Inhuman (Cambridge: The Polity Press, 1991 [1988]): 98

[2] Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time Image, translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta  (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013 [1985]): 21.