direct link: White Petal
After recording a few ad-lib voiceovers, and being unable to leave this project alone, finally I wrote something along the lines that I'd hoped for. Which was a discussion of relationship, reminiscent of Annie in Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall (1977)' or Cristina in his 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008),' or like a Wong Kar Wai character who simply can't commit, simply can't, like York in 'Days of Being Wild (1990).' The character Birkin's description of relationship in D.H. Lawrence's 'Women in Love (1920)' before he marries, along with Lawrence's writings of the sexual electricity between people was an influence. There's a little Germaine Greer here too, I think ('Female Eunuch (1970).' And all those women who became nuns during the centuries so they could gain an education and could write, paint, compose outside of the confines of marriage and having 16 children. Some of us dance to our own music. (Said with the grin of a Cheshire Cat.)
Don't forget that 'Faded opulence. Over-the-edge-of. Yet floral abundance. The flowers are the stars—beauty, that edge of fading.'
See also Erica Jong's article, 'Is Sex Passé?'
People seem generally to prefer no poetry voiceover with one of my creative movement/yoga dance videos, so I have, instead, written something that is more of a narrative, that has enough of a story and a philosophy, but is I hope embodied in the movement of the woman who's on the edge of.
I wrote a story that I hope is captivating, whether you agree with the point of view or not. There is a push/pull here. The flowers are like a visual refrain, a chorus throughout the piece. The beauty of flowers, the garden, the hidden utopia of Eden within the garden, the garden of sensuality that draws us in and then becomes a way to control women, the way matrimony can be. The text written (after waiting weeks for it to emerge) to discuss something far more serious - women's creativity, and for my generation at least, it remains problematic. Eros, creativity, a life force, arising out of eros (the body, passion), I believe an artist needs this. A woman's muse is not entirely the same inspirational configuration as a man's, and surely each is again differently configured across generations, cultures, ethnicities, sexual preferences, life experience.
In the video footage, experimenting... always learning! Trying this and that with the clip. Having fun, and it shows in the humour of the piece.
There are sections to this video: doubles (video itself a type of mirror or reflection of the world), single, layering, shifts in colour and style as the yoga dance continues.
Who are we? Repetitions of ourselves. Our memories create us in our fragmentary identities. I fold into who I was or who I will become. Uncertainty is confusing. People flee from my uncertainty.
Look into a dissolving mirror
bones, skin, neurons
This poem is not neat as intact
petal veins, mysterious as garden
The poem writes,
rises from ruminations, dried
flowers on my spine
Danced, videoed, edited by Brenda Clews; background music by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors, from an old favourite, Initiation: gabrielleroth.com/
The words spoken in White Petal:
I live in the city in a small apartment - a doorway and shelves covered with fabric. I want to see myself dance before it is too late.
As I dance through the years I reflect on who I am. Every incarnation of love in my life remains with me and carries me to the next immersion, the next wave.
I don't seem to have lost any of the great loves of my life, yet I am a woman who prefers to remain alone. I am a recluse, a very private person, master of myself.
I've been married twice. The first time, a five year relationship in total; the second time, fifteen years, but we had children. Both times, that feeling, imprisoned, denied. Not them, but the nature of legal union. Owned. Like being throttled; my creative and intellectual freedom threatened. It was a struggle to stay and I kept ending things, unable to find my footing, my self in the annihilation of coupledom.
Was I there to be a foil to his light, to support him in his work and dreams? Did I feel this nurturing love reciprocated? Each time, I'm not sure why, I began to die, and I need to blossom.
Women blossom in their creativity.
Some of us find deep comfort in the continuity of nuptial relationships. Others find themselves choked out in the garden of marriage.
I am not a relationship type. I love, and love deeply, but go in fear of being caught, being hitched.
Every incarnation of love in my life remains with me, carries me to the next immersion.
I am sensual, but have spent vast stretches of my life alone.
When you touch the Tantric nerve, sweet pleasure moans. Do you remember?
It's like a saxophone and you wonder if everyone can hear it. The music, sinewy lightning.
Once the pleasure grabs you, the nerve pounds in your blossoming. Helpless, this vortex. Sink, this magnet's circuitry is on. The cells murmur.
Grind, lubricate. Thrust. Push yourself into infinity. Lose yourself in the moment; lose all moments.
I find it hard to dance with anyone else. My rhythms never quite fit, my movements an outer expression of an inner drama being realized through the dance. I dance for my muse.
My muse captivates me endlessly. My muse is demanding. My muse insists without respite until I do. My muse drags me into this dance and makes me write these words of my life. My muse keeps me half-hidden while revealing a vision in my art. I endlessly seek what moves inspiration into artistic form.
I seek the pulse, the core of mystery, the orgasm of the flower.
My life is a vision, of loneliness, love, dry deserts and blossoming oases. My drum is tribal and I dance shamanically with my gliding, writhing, undulating body of passion.
Each of those boxes is a video layer -
to give you an idea of the complexity of the construction of the piece.