LRM Performance - Locus : The new Happening

Aperitive-Arte: LRM performance (the new happening) 

"Speaking about LRM performance is speaking of innovation, creative cravings, seeking for new horizons –not only in the field of performance art  but in music, dance and scenography: an intense Art they manage to combine with great skill.

If I say I am a lucky to know their work (and especially to know them) I fall short.  And that's because they are artists capable of building highly creative associations in your mind, of making you properly journey and if this wasn't enough, to open new performative spectra. Where the interacting (happening) attains a new dimension, one which is projected into time to enrich the experiences of us all, their work. 
A work they share with us, and that is priceless .

2013 has been a busy year for them, they give good account in their blog: Their presence in the latest  Room Art Fair with Stove (curated by VeoArte), into the InMediterraneum Festival or when selected for the Stockholm festival Stoff.  So we had an Art-Aperitif with them in which we talk about "true things",  for which I am forever grateful."

You can read the original article (in spanish) here

Interview with  Locus -LRM performance - 
Diana Pebbles, February 2014

2014 is starting and you find yourselves immersed into your new creation, Kowloon, where as you say the title is just a reference.
You once again conjugate light, sounds, movements... any new search related to your previous works ?

Berta : We are currently into research process, testing materials, preparing music, devising actions and we still do not know how will it all end up. Kowloon is just the working title.

David : Researching is mandatory -otherwise it would be repeating. We work by accumulating ideas in notebooks or videos, year after year and then tacking them together and refining. We are thinking and working on white light –which we have avoided until now because of the usual abuse of it– and the brightness of materials, resonance tubes and prevented movement.

- What does Kowloon mean for you ? Is the result opened up ?

Berta : Kowloon is a district of Hong Kong, a quite large residential area separated from the business area of ​​the city. Lately we have been watching many films from the 80s and 90s' Hong Kong  –directors like Fruit Chan in "The Handover Trilogy" or Kar-Wei Wong in "Fallen Angels" or "Chunking Express". We especially enjoy the story of the Walled City, built up without control in an interstitial way.
It's just a "working title"  –we are considering many other possible titles such as "Onkalo", "Yappari", "Gwei Lou", "Shipbreaking Yard", "Angkor" etc..

David : The name is a mere "handle" for our work is not to be narrative, descriptive or conceptual. That has already been abused too much. We like what Taiwanese film director Tsai Ming-Liang says: only by the absence of a narrative a higher level of consciousness is accessed.

Berta : We make every effort so that the result is non-narrative, we want the viewer to make his or her own interpretation –something they actually do. It is very satisfying to find out each person perceived different things after watching our work.

- Performance art today is hotter than ever (or so we are reading ); do you believe that is because of, as many suggest, a need for real surprise and excitement that is sought after by the public?

David : Well, surprise or emotion is the aim of any art form, right? Now, what is true?... we always mess around with the "authenticity", it is a verbal weapon. In my opinion, for art to exist as such it cannot possibly be "real" : the more you try for it to be real, the poorest result you get  –less "surprise and emotion". However, as Duchamp pointed out, it surely works the other way around: we can turn reality into art. To me that is what confuses many people...

Berta : Maybe performance is preferred now because these days  the audience lock themselves compulsively into digital media. At any time or place we can easily access music, film, video art, documentaries, texts, images, etc.. but in the end it is a plain, flatter medium, even a cold one. 
Perhaps the presence of the live component, to observe and listen to the artistic event which is just taking place, the non-reproducible experience is what attracts them. Although they say it is ephemeral –something you can dispute– live art is much more powerful.
For the public to meet other people to witness the creative act in art centers, auditoriums, theaters or cinemas and share their feelings or impressions is also very important. The digital isolates us, making the city a place where we go home from work without stopping to think. Live Art gathers people and helps avoiding that ultra-liberal social model they constantly try to impose us all.

- Is it necessary for performance art to enter the conventional art circuit to "wake it up"  from its possible lethargy ?

Berta : The conventional circuit's is hackneyed in its contents, and as you say, lethargic. The exhibitions and artists are paralyzed, not daring to take risk, there is much fear to step out of the imposed models.

David : Things have to change, that's for sure. Renew or die. There is a very clear crisis of creativity in the West, I do not know if it generates or is generated by negligence, fear, cowardice and some such things. The performance art is no longer something new, and besides I do not think itself alone may cause a change for the better, it might even make it worse, it may well be used to drain the circuit even more of its content.  It's the people - the citizens - who change things, not a specific art form.

Berta : We see art increasingly harsh and tough with its public in recent years.
David : Yes, the old and obvious criticism of the coldness of 50s modernity is still here, reformulated. In the end postmodernism only left   cynicism and opportunism for us.
Berta : Also, citizens must reclaim conventional circuits, especially public exhibition spaces we all paid for.
I think these days' exposures in unconventional spaces (houses, corners, streets ) are carried out not so much because of aesthetic decision but because there's no other way to do things. They may be interesting as art works, but they sadly reveal a lack of access to other spaces, especially public ones, which are huge and constantly empty.
There is something Machiavellian with artists and daunting to the public at these huge venues set up with public money and absolutely lacking of content.
This is no accident, we must reclaim them for the public and the artist.

- …And if it does... does it run the risk of becoming a mere meaningless  spectacle ?

David : it's really no good for the performance to be fashionable, it is the way to override it by turning it into a stereotype - something it already suffers from fifty years after it appeared. We did put that word in on our name for its distinctly interdisciplinary and open character  –which some would deny– as it generically denotes real-time art. But we did not know it would become the buzzword.
In fact, although it selfishly wants to appear "marginalized", performance art is already into the main circuits, officially accepted and many cling to it like at straws. Anyway, we try not to pay much attention to trends: they are dangerous, distracting, manipulative and subjugating.

Berta : Both modernity and postmodernity ended up being totalitarian and repressive. They impose some aesthetic rules and if you don't follow them they'll accuse you of "doing spectacle" and your acess is denied. And the sense of humor that came with postmodernism ended up laughing at everything and everyone and promoting the idea that  working on a piece is no longer worth it.

David : We try to avoid this current wearisome modernity/postmodernity by making a formally dense and complex work. And getting rid of explicit meanings, anecdotal references, sardonic nihilism and easy simplifications... and the most honest thing we can do is to make the toil  behind the work to be present and noticed by the viewer.

Berta : ... yes, and its meaning will always be brought forward by the viewer.
Performance art, like many other art forms, abused certain resources which became commonplace.

David : Also, it's not a question of "meaning". To me it is more like if it becomes predictable, it will loose its ability to cause that "excitement and surprise". But that is  subjective of course. 

Berta : Maybe a work is interesting if it is noticeable the author learned something,  that there is an effort behind it.

David : Yes, probably what matters in the end it is the "quality" - in the sense of " its unusual qualities" of the work - for the struggle and hours spent on thinking and working on it - That's what is left. The rest is gone with the wind.

- Tell us why are the Open Studios so important for you

Berta : We have been doing Open studios at our workspace for some time now and we are very happy, they have been very helpful to let people know about us. Although it is not the same thing as a public event, we like it because it makes us self-sufficient as the conditions of space and time for the work are set by ourselves. It is the place, materials and sound within which it has been created. And it allows direct contact with those we invite over.

- Do you believe those "other ways of looking at it" by the public and for artists to listen to them is necessary to widen the spectrum? ( If I may, in my opinion you create a new type of Happening which is not so much about physical intervention but about a communicative intervention  – a feedback projected in time with the enrichment of the performative work which acquires many tastes, even by artists themselves )

David : Of course, thanks for pointing that out... that's our intention when we are "non-narrative" and avoid anything conceptual: respect people's creating their own story, concept or interpretation of what they see. And sometimes they have to re-account it every moment. Many people ask us before watching it : what 's it about? and we have to tell them: "well, it's for you to decide". And when they finish viewing it, some get puzzled by the fact that you don't explain it to them. They are surprised of you saying " it is what you think it is " 
This requires an effort, it has a risk, it is not easy. Modernity -and media- have accustomed people to expect from you to "sell" them a story, or a concept –to the point that there may well be nothing behind that story, much in the style of "The Emperor's New Clothes". We seek for the opposite: we give you something very dense, but we do not sell explanations: it is your privilege to create them.

- Finally, what aspects should be improved for a better dissemination of live art ?

David : Well, it occurs to us that the best way would be by means of pluralism, variety and naturalness. It is therefore necessary to work to extend the outreach and pluralize the offer.
Both public and private institutions have always been negligent in this respect : promoting or creating audience ghettos, dividing people, locking them into specialized groups and isolating them. They say each sector is so specialized we must refine the goal, but what they achieve  in the end is both the scope and the quality of what they offer is in many cases dreadfully poor –and how are you going to improve anything that way.

Audiences are flattered, or dreaded, manipulated or despised. We must get rid of those ugly prejudices about audiences by taking the risk of listening to and treating them normally. The audience must also learn to be more tranquile. 
We have seen specialists from all arts despising the public- theirs and others' - and even suggesting certain types of public should not be allowed into art fairs. Such nonsense is leading us astray.

The only hint of pluralism we've seen lately is this idea of ​​including music and "live arts" (without defining it too much, otherwise someone may creep in) into museums. No one can deny it has been a great success and helps to broaden the audience. But that's just too little a thing.

Berta : Also in what's offered, in the artists and works chosen, favored and displayed the spectrum has been greatly impoverished because of this last twenty years' very bad habit of closing on only one option and systematically excluding everything else. There is a political subtext in all this, of course. This prevailing homogeneity is really harmful.
Things must change. But we remain confident because there is new people who are very aware of this and will bring about good things.

LRM Performance ( Locus ) - February 2014