- Exposing the Rite 

YEAR: 2009 + 2010  MATERIAL: Dv-PAL on dvd 
DUR: 26 mins

Vo-ca-bu-la-ry - exposing the Rite is a film based on the documentation of a performance held as part of the installation Vo-ca-bu-la-ry in September 2009. Filmed by two cameras some things transformed the performance in a hypnotic way.
Vo-ca-bu-la-ry as a whole deals with the breaking down of language. My aim is to dissect its elements and create a rite around this. The rite represents a manifesto over my interest of a certain primitive expression as a kind of source to all human communication, a ”language” in which we all can be ”expressed”. An expression that comes out of instinct and I think it functions as a kind of subconscious universal ”bank” of consciousness.

The idea with the performance part was to underline this specific state outside the linguistic language and to do so I created a blind, Troll-like, grotto character, which would represent a kind of slush of undesignated consciousness and primal creativity. The performance builds up around frameworks of various vocabularies, such as contemporary art, theater and performance with their inherent tradition and history, creating transformations between these.

During my preparations I was thinking a lot about how I could move the spectator to a state of origin in the midst of today’s leading popular culture with it’s codes and hierarchy. I was thinking of Brecht and his way of breaking up the storytelling and invite the spectator to become part of the performance. And I was thinking of Artaud’s performances where he apparently almost set himself on fire and Grotowskis becoming by physicality. How could I lead my spectators between fact and fiction, between a now and a then? How could I incorporate the question of reality, as a space between fact and fiction? What is reality? Had I only known what later would happen to me. Had I through my character provoced this end or was this produced by the power of the rite itself?

The film shows the staged performance, and how that contains it’s dramatically build up, where nobody knows what will happen next but still agrees to a certain ”performance-art-frame”. But what happens is that I towards the end and final of the piece fall down, or rather - my character - falls headlong down and hit the stone floor. I could have died from that fall. I’m also falling with my character and my whole vocabulary gets scattered beyond control. All I kept thinking was which power of unconsciousness came to provoke this happening? Was it happening for real or was it an extension of our expectations?

Åsa Cederqvist, September 2010