They’re just feelings…. Some thoughts, feelings and references on/about Lily’s Thought and Feeling center. http:// www.lilyjen.com /?section=intervention-practice. 12:23, “My Quiet World”. David Hammons , “ Bliz -aard Ball Sale” (1983).
Some thoughts, feelings and references on/about Lily’s Thought and Feeling center.
Do you succeed in doing this with an audience who is willing to genuinely engage the experience as a transcendent one? Often it seems as though in the documentation people are either too skeptical to partake or perhaps to naïve in their participation to arrive at its implications? How do you measure this success, or is it the failure that you are more interested in? the ability for it to produce misinterpretations- this is more risky? And is there a perfect candidate for the project?
How much should they know and be invested in you, and in art ?
Or, is success measured by the establishment of an empathetic relationship regardless,
This then becomes a question about documentation: How do you chose which exchanges are interesting or worth presenting? your power is suddenly too overt- Perhaps the discussion can be about documentation.
There are a few ways Lily is documenting already:The website: lilyjen.com
The proposed solo show
The video seen last week in class
The writing about the work, I have been quoting.
“I’ve got this jar of money, a ton of forms and receipts, some excel documents with all the information on the forms for easy access, pamphlets, text messages and emails Exchanged between customers who are checking in to track their releases or ask questions, video and audio taken on the scene, a letter and a twenty dollar bill in an envelope from someone who cares about me, friends who visit me then and again. But hidden inside all this is the essence of the piece, the moment that this all pivots around the very real and very serious psychological process of letting go of something for good, through a purely mental effort. The logic around it is very simple, have faith and just do it."
“Yes I have been conflating myself and my character in this piece. I constructed the machine, wrote the
pamphlet. I created all these structures for this young character to live within. But they are walls of an
empty room. I haven’t spent enough time reflecting upon, and editing the character in this piece. A lot of
the people who have encountered me during the performance have encountered me. I do really want to
provide the service and I also do need to wear a facade, both to protect myself from personal attack and
to keep myself focused on the business aspect of the piece. Which is so strange because I don’t think the
work exists to make money or reach huge audiences, right? But I do feel a responsibility to audiences who
walk by showing a vague interest, even if I am deeply entrenched in a conversation with someone else.”
Lily poses these questions to herself-
I am interested in the character construction and its easily collapsing into her own character…Is the means of protection a valid one? Is it lazy to play yourself? Or is it interesting that the player/actor and self are in dialogue, often interchangeable- as in many professions in the service-based economy there is a script and then often a slip…This goes back to:
how does this function out of her need as a person/artist?
“It reminds me of what I realized today that one of my greatest strengths lies in my ability to make people worry about me. Why is that I want that, because it is an expression of care? Am I just glamorizing a cry for “help?” Grow up, Lily, grow up, it’s not that...”
As my “work” and “process” become increasingly indistinguishable from “life,” I wonder what, then, becomes work in this paradigm? If work is subsumed under “life,” albeit perhaps with (an extra) layer of performativity, what becomes the counterpart of “life?” Bear with me, I know this is a simplified way of viewing life, but where does the toil and dread belong? Because it doesn’t disappear, of course. Does it leak into life at spontaneous intervals? Does it tinge happiness with a barely opaque stain, making everything bittersweet?
In a sense it is this bittersweet poetics which it seems you would like to introduce into your work, or as work for the hours in which you function as a service person for public empathy.
But the question for me is:
Can empathetic relations be produced under the conditions of capitalism which you describe as the experience of Kennedy Plaza? And then how do we capture these experiences, materialize them and share them? Or is their dispersion, making them more like circulating currency? Do they merely not exist outside themselves, like a TinoSeghal piece which must remain immaterial?