Video Still by Jane Wang 3/1/2012
I performed for Bob on Thursday, using the artist statement he wrote in 2009 as my transcription text, his words breathing in my hands. The mirrored reflection of his image in the glass, appearing to me in reverse, felt compelling as I sat with him in slience.
This Moment: Missives from Another World
Looking through the photographic archives of Mobius, Inc., I am sometimes struck with the thought: “Why is s/he doing that?” It's not that I don't know, but it's almost as if, divorcing myself from the specific knowledge, if I had not been there, if I had not seen this before, looking at this still image I would ask that question: “What are they doing and why are they doing it?”
I do not believe this is a particularly new thought to anyone familiar with performance art in general. I believe most knowledgeable observers view the work with the belief that the performers are compelled to perform these actions, present these images; they are compelled to douse themselves with all manner of liquids, create (often) disturbing images, repeat a set of actions to exhaustion, test themselves and their audiences in myriad ways. It's most important to see the work with as open a mind as possible; after all, the performers have real reasons as to why they insist on showing you what they do, why they need to communicate. You may or may not ever really know these reasons; analysis and/or criticism is most often reserved for later, more detached discussion, if it happens at all.
The images herein can be said to constitute missives from another world, a world where communication occurs using all means possible, using languages real and imagined, invented, wielding symbols, images, actions or simply props, to convey compelling messages... These photographs are clearly not the messages themselves; the moments I have captured represent shadows, impressions, fragments of these messages. Taken together, it might even be possible to weave a narrative of the inhabitants of this other world, elaborations as to why they carry fish around so carefully, why they destroy potted plants with such vigor, why they coat themselves from head to toe in colors, why they toss their musical instruments off cliffs, or use them upside-down. I'm not certain I can write that story, but I do know I'll continue to be there, to look in, to see what I can see...
-Bob Raymond, Summer 2009