May 24 2014
O’Harra’s “I am Bleeding All Over the Place…” is a protracted performance in the form of a series of studies on directing. The New Museum presents the first three of nine studies that comprise this two-year project. Each iteration takes a variety of forms: Some will be clearly scripted, scored, and rehearsed to perfection, while others will be developed or literally “written” in front of an audience. This examination of the director’s role through different encounters argues that bodies are never neutral. “I am Bleeding All Over the Place” proposes a kind of theater where each person operates as both reader and maker, and where the potency of a performance happens in the experiential, emotional, and phenomenological gaps produced by the encounter of bodies. Each study assumes the form of a public encounter.
A conversation on a few topics relevant to actors, playwrights, directors, and artists, including gender, the everyday, and the extraordinary problem of “conflict removed“*
In 1947, Tennessee Williams wrote in an essay, “The heart of man, his body and his brain, are forged in a white hot furnace for the purpose of conflict…and that with the conflict removed, the man is a sword cutting daisies….” Written in response to the legitimation and accolades that came with the explosive success of A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams’s assertion points to the pervasive value of conflict: conflict as necessary for cultural production and conflict as a dramatic vehicle. O’Harra’s current project, “I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in Directing, or Nine Encounters Between Me and You,” works in active resistance to such valorization. It offers, instead, an exploration of conflict that remains unannounced and, as such, creates new spaces or forms for the emotional, social, or political tension that exists in the so-called everyday or quotidian. This panel, made up of Sadie Benning, Erin Courtney, Moyra Davey, John Jesurun, and Kate Valk, and moderated by O’Harra, follows the first three studies of O’Harra’s project “I am Bleeding All Over the Place.” This group of artists comes together to address how their work (both solo and collaborative) engages tension inside of the everyday, the relationship of gender to the rendering of conflict, and the materialization of both conflict announced and unannounced in contemporary theater and art.