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One by One by One with Inky Lee

in: Stream Live Art Writing | Fall 2021

SM: What happened on stage during the piece?
IL: Motions, memories, sensations happened during the piece.

SM: How did you see this happening on stage?
IL: I saw a body moving.
A body and the way it moves...

SM: What happened in the audience during the piece?
IL: The audience seemed quietly focused.

SM: How did you feel while watching?
IL: I felt sentimental for a moment in the beginning, then absorbed and curious, contemplative of certain images I was seeing at times. At the end, I felt some joy.

SM: How did the performer feel while being watched?
IL: The performer seemed internally focused, precise, collected, revealed and not revealed at the same time.

SM: Was the performer alone on stage?
IL: The performer’s body was a single body on stage with moving sounds and lights.

SM: What changed during the performance?
IL: The performer’s body started undergoing a slow transformation.

SM: Can you describe the transformation?
IL: It was as though a magnifying glass had been fixated on various parts of the performer’s body, revealing it obsessively, in alien ways. Some movements —of muscles, bones, joints—were emphasised. Every contraction and release became visible, and each shape or transition seemed to have been carried out in rigor and precision. The black t-shirt and the trainer shorts that the per- former was wearing in the beginning were gradually moved away to reveal more flesh, but still cover the «private» parts - the t-shirt covered the per- former’s whole head, hiding their face, and the shorts were pulled down low enough to see the buttocks, but high enough to cover the penis.

Morphing in bizarre and refreshing ways, the body transformed into something else, a specimen under examination and dissection.

SM: What stayed the same during the performance?
IL: The quiet focus in the audience remained the same.
The research focus of the performer seemed to stay unwavering and deep- ened throughout the performance.

SM: In what space – imaginary or real – did the performance take place?
IL: It started at Studio 1 at Uferstudios in Wedding. Then, it went to the desert for a moment, and back to Studio 1. At one short moment though, it opened up to the world news.

SM: In what time – past, present, future; concrete or abstract – did the performance take place?
IL: For me, it took place in the past and the present.

SM: Is the piece contemporary? If so, in what sense?
IL: I would say the piece is contemporary in that it speaks to a contemporary audience.

It dealt with the theme, «normative body». The concept and the expec- tation of a «normative body» changes through different times, and the per- formance was made in line with the current concept of a «normative body», which contributes to it being a contemporary piece.

SM: Is the piece timeless? If so, in what sense?
IL: I think it is timeless because we all have a body as a human, and the piece researched about the body, which will continue to be the shared basis of our lives as humans.

SM: Did the performance remind you of something?
IL: In the beginning, I was reminded of a close friend who would often shake vig- orously as part of their creative process, much like the performer on stage. My friend was tall, lean, fair-skinned with no tattoos, a queer and a dancer.
The other moment came when the performer suddenly faced the audi- ence (which was somewhat shocking, since prior to this moment, the per- former had not once faced us directly) and sat on the floor with legs bent, black t-shirt covering their face. The light turned red and moved across the stage as the performer flexed their muscles to rise slightly on their knees as they raised their arms. At this moment, I found myself confronted with vague images of violence that I’ve encountered in the news.

SM: Did you connect with the body on stage? If so, how?
IL: I didn’t. The body onstage was being moved in such calculated ways that it started to feel more like a foreign object than a human body. The performer explored various possibilities of presenting their specific body parts and their body as a whole, without ever revealing their face. This facelessness had an alienating effect, turning the body into something even more inhuman, and therefore difficult to relate to.

SM: How did the piece end?
IL: The piece ended on a consciously straying note.
It became more «human» in glimpses, because, for the first time, pop- song like sound came in, and the performer moved in more smooth and circu- lar ways, which was contrasting from the edgy and precise movements and shapes that had been explored in the rest of the performance.

SM: How did the piece begin?
IL: The piece began with a person with a «nice» (tall, lean, fit, fair skin, etc.) and «normative» body standing on stage with their back to us. This body, however, contained so many stories that I did not know about, and these stories made the performer (who was also the creator of the piece) want to dismantle the expectations of how their body should move and be. They began to shake vio- lently with their eyes closed, and the meticulous dismantling began to slowly unfold in front of my eyes.

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