Steven Rhall | Blog

Embedded into, this Tumblr blog also roams freely.

Ephemeral images. Some writing. Idea repository.

I live in Melbourne on the land of the Kulin Nation.

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Those who pin the blame for ‘celebrity culture’ on some character defect in modern people are missing the point. The real cause of celebrity culture isn’t narcissistic shallowness, it is a deficit of kindness in our political and economic arrangements.

from a piece entitled I Want to be Famous! (was unable to locate the name of the author)

I know there are all kinds of explanations for the selfie craze, half of them trying to - somewhat desperately - explain how selfless are not about narcissism. Maybe this piece points us into the real direction where all those selfless are coming from: A society where everyone wants to be famous is also one where, for a variety of essentially political reasons, being ordinary has failed to deliver the degree of respect necessary to satisfy natural appetites for dignity.” (another quote from the piece)

(via photographsonthebrain)

Concerning the ‘performance event’, the document/s which often make record – through their nature as document – become disembodied from the ‘truth’ of ‘the direct encounter.’
Here the document is fiction.

In thinking of this truth and, the direct encounter of body on environment and/or other bodies, I come to think about both pain and the marking of the body. 

The mark is document of encounter between body and other but, can pain form part of the performance?

When pain continues beyond the encounter - one might think about the encounter / pain relationship in two ways.. 

One. Pain following the encounter is document. It is fictitious record of the direct encounter which is now lost, ephemeral. Alternatively, pain is the performance in process, happening live for the body. Here though the encounter – which has passed now passed into history – is only a memory. A fiction. As the touch ceases, or the glance is broken, the encounter can only be fictitious - immediately.  

Thinking about Abramovic’s ’The Artist is Present’, I also think about the beginning and end of a performance. As creator of the work, it is assumed that a ’start’ is chosen (or set as per previously considered parameters) as is also an ‘end’ (ditto parameters) – Abramovic defines this as the artist. The ‘duration’ of the performance, for both the invited participant and audience perspective, is not identical.

Here the obvious factor within this relationship is our own experience, our perspective – unique to ourselves. ‘Difference’ is increased further through ‘distance.’ To the non-participating audience (from those in the space to the rest of the world) perhaps everything of the performance is fiction. Yes they might be watching, but the encounter has already passed.

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