There is nothing about the letters y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f – or the sound jo’r-self – that magically connects them to what is disclosed in it as a word, an apparatus with internally fixed parts; only their actual ongoing use in such circumstances, in reliably recognisable and normatively accountable ways, can account for their discursive significance. More thoughts like these by Karen Barad. Difference matters. What differs ist what matters. Material makes a difference. Material matters.
This video is the result of a fashion collection that was called “Get Rid of Yourself”. Borrowing it’s title from Bernadette Corporation’s video from 2003, it, somewhat paradoxically, aimed also at being as reference free as possible. As a work within the context of fashion, where reference matters as a powerful tool and a hollow gesture at once, the impulse is an evasive one and it admits trying to be smart. It wants to be a coherent system in itself, an apparatus in garments, each of which took shape from typography to spell get rid of your self. The sentence lends itself to multiple interpretations which are not meant to be reduced to one alone: escapist lingo, but accepting full responsibility. Visual legibility was less important than the fact that each garment was assigned variable meaning, like letters in a language. They matter and make meaning within a coherent system: here as a sentence of continuous duration. A loop. The handprinted body suits and knitted garments materialise a language of temporarily fixed parts, and they are extended by the gestures and movements of the bodies that are wearing them.
Trying to explain, and a bit of theory.
Once we have understood that to be a one we must be a many what we will need is a sensorium for past, present and all future states of being, where time and space can collapse into situated agency. Wary of holism, we are needy for connection. More thoughts like these by Donna Haraway. Virtual reality matters to me as a tool – carefully called apparatus – for inspecting the present and its puzzles. Virtual reality is analogous to material reality, mattering as a room of thought as we become aware of difference:
If the clothes are hardly outfits, how we move is hardly dance and this kind of video is hardly a film – all are only fragments of reality. Same difference. Fragmented and broken, contradictory by nature, that is how we are currently learning to accept ourselves in our affective agency. Agential realism makes me constantly contradict myself: I fill my head with reference that excites me and theories of posthuman perfomativity sound good because they connect to a structure of why this matters to me, and yet: all the words leave me unsatisfied, here, forced and brief.
Making them matter.
360-stereoscopic VR video
With: Ayumi Paul, Anna Regner, Amelie Wittenberg, Hrefna Hörn Leifsdóttir, Ilit Azoulay, Jascha Kreft, Jella Dehn, Laura Stellacci, Mattia Stellacci, Maurin Dietrich, Merle Dammhayn, Sarah Rosengarten
CGI : Zwi Zausch
Choreography: Jella Dehn & Laura Stellacci
Music by: Jan Matthé
Technical support and special!! thanks to:
Christoph Manz (UdK) & Sarina Giffhorn