exit Japón, enter transformation
November 1, 2008

sayonara Japón, I am flying away. have I changed? have I been transformed?  I am flying away, and when flying away I always wonder about change.

me, I like to be changed, I want it. but it is also disorienting. I like to be disoriented, but that can be tiring. and I don’t want to save my energy, I don’t want to save anything, but sometimes after change, after disorientation, after tiredness, sometimes I also feel sad. maybe being changed implies parting with oneself, one other self, one of selves.

performance research: for 2 months I’ve constantly been meeting new people and observing myself deal with that situation, observing myself present myself, observing which part of myself I allow to surface first. eventually, all of oneself or a lot of oneself is exposed. there’s no doubt about that. fortunately it’s not possible to hide. we know each other better now. though in meeting, in communication, it’s not possible to hide, one can pretty much choose an order, and try to coreograph the way one gets known. pretty much. and since in the meantime one gets changed anyway, then maybe we are safe from being completely known…

it’s obvious that I am not interested in being fully graspable. I want to be multiple, somewhat too big, and at the same time as open as possible. I want to have to be explored and I want to facilitate the trip.

in these 2 months I’ve constantly been meeting people. I feel those meetings (can, will, have) inform(ed) my ideas on performativity. Robert Steijn’s workshops come to my mind when I think that in choosing the way one presents oneself one tries to define the relation one will have with one’s audience. the way one presents oneself is the way to build up a (new) relationship. the way one builds up relationships is a way to build up oneself.

though it’s quite an inspiring reflective practice, the thing is that I also get very stimulated by it. in these 2 months I’ve constantly been meeting people, and it probably means I was constantly being changed. now I am flying away, and I feel a bit sad, and I wonder if I’m sad about parting with my old self or about nothing in particular. or maybe I’m just sad about parting with all the gorgeous people I’ve met in these 2 months.

thank you for everything.

October 31, 2008

last night on earth. tomorrow morning I leave Matsuo and Rie’s appartment for the airport, tomorrow mornign surprisingly early for flying at 1 pm. but apparently I need quite some time to get to Ueno train station and catch a train that will take me to Narita. and then, apparently, I am supposed to be there 2 hs before my flight. and on top of that, I want to have breakfast with my hosts, my new family. so much for sleeping over. I will have to get up around 8.

today was a bit of a strange day. yesterday, also, and the past few days. and, actually, the whole last week was also a bit strange. but today I reached the emotional peak, the peak of sadness, and the peak of feeling welcome and extremely happy to be here. today I was considering to stay here, to not show up at the airport, to drop everything and start a new life in Tokyo. ha… well that’s an idea that I’ve been considering for a while, and this trip seemed like the perfect occasion – but to be honest, I didn’t consider the idea very seriously. I just felt very sad this afternoon.

at this point, I want to be back in my appartment. no matter how welcome I’ve felt in the houses of my friends I miss being in my own place. but today it seemed a bit difficult to imagine being back in Amsterdam… what will I do there? or maybe I should refrase: today it seemed a bit difficult to imagine not being in Tokyo.

and then I went out. or, first, I visited Nick and Virginia, my first hosts in Tokyo (very classical form, finishing where one started). Nick and I will do a video project together out of materials from my performance and rehearsals, and we met to exchange tapes and talk, and to say goodbye. I hadn’t seen them for a couple of weeks, but they were a very important support upon my arrival to Metoroporis. I went out, I visited Nick and Virginia, and then visited briefly the Instituto Cervantes which is a potential space for potential future performances in Tokyo. I went out and visited Nick and Virginia, and Cervantes, and then came back home (I feel a bit embarrased and a bit proud of calling Matsuo and Rie’s appartment ‘home’), and spent the afternoon chatting with Rie, listening to music and drinking tea. and then I went out once more, incredibly nervous and sad, headed for my last appointment, a social activity with the dancers from the Ochanomizu Dance Club to give some closure (a concept I need to discuss further in another post, I think) to our work together. in other words: a dinner. and so we had dinner (Japanese style once more: some eating, a lot of drinking), and then went out together. I insisted on going dancing somewhere but it didn’t work, and we ended up doing Puricura – a very popular entertainment form that consists in taking group pictures inside a booth, and then adding some digital effects, and getting some prints… and after the Puricura we visited (yes, one more time) a Karaoke place. which was fun, though I have the feeling that Karaoke is something that works better with more time and alcohol. in any case the evening was a lot of fun and I got some very nice souvenirs (including my share of the Puricura prints).

now I’m trying to write about today, and I feel like there isn’t really much to say. I just need to express my sadness, to share it, to insist on how sad my sadness is today. it’s a very simple sadness, anyways, no big deal. I went out today, and went out again, I met with many people to say goodbye, and came back and had a cup of tea with Matsuo and Rie. now I’m feeling even sadder than in the afternoon.

I lay in bed and it’s not so easy to decide to sleep. beyond all the fantastic artistic experiences and fantastic networking opportunities, the most intense thing about this trip has been the ammount of love that I’ve experienced. it’s been brutal. like Tokyo. I am overdosed, and maybe that’s why I don’t want to go to sleep. it’s definitely why I am like I’m writing today… maybe. I’ve met so many people and I’ve been given so much love here that at times is almost difficult to deal with…

I don’t know what to write anymore, I am tired, and I have to wake up early. I don’t think I will manage to give better form to this post in the coming 5 minutes. so let’s leave it here. I think there is a lot and it is very eloquent, even in its unclarity or specially in its unclarity. thank you for reading, and thanks for being around.

anticipated melancholic note
October 8, 2008

I have been thinking that I will miss Tokyo when I leave. I think I’ve fallen a bit in love with this city. true to myself, I would much rather live here than just visit… I feel a little bit sad about it, but at the same time it feels quite nice. the day I arrived here I wrote that I was doubting of my original motivations to come to Japan. but during this trip I felt very touched by this city and by the people I’ve met. or by many of them, at least, wether Japanese or not. and it doesn’t mean that in the end my expectations or desires were fulfilled or something like that… I’m actually still very unclear about what they were (my desires and expectations). the cool thing is I don’t care much about them now, if I ever did. I’m just happy to feel happy about my stay here and not to need anything else. when I arrived and I felt skeptical about my own fantasies. I guess I was scared of encountering some sort of disappointment. but  things turned out in a really positive way, so that in the end I don’t even need to wonder about that. just enjoy the sadness of missing something that I still didn’t part with.