In June, I attended a workshop entitled ‘Slower than Slow’ with Eva Karczag in Budapest, Hungary. On the second day, Wednesday 28 June we used our feet to contact each other in a sequential production. We created a kinetic sculpture with our moving bodies which I named Clock.
Slower than slow!
For me, the second day of the workshop was the first day as fittingly perhaps, my train journey from Oxford ‘ran behind’, ‘was delayed’, ‘was too long’, ‘too slow’ and I missed the first day. But being present was all that mattered. Presence. Being. Here. I am here. Happy to be here.
Eva Karczag who teaches and leads the Slower than slow workshop, is proud to be 73 years she says. The workshop is about slowing down: making time, taking time, slower than slow. For each of us, and for Eva, it has taken the whole of our lives to be here at this moment in time. So much time. Lived time; lived experience.
The morning begins with our introductions and re-introductions to each other. A few of us arrived today, or yesterday afternoon. Finally, we are all here. We divide into small groups of four or five people, recall yesterdays class and examine our understandings. Re-assembling into one big group, we begin.
What do you see?
Obediently, we follow Eva’s instruction, absorbed in the detail and our relations to the floor, the movement and each other. It occupies us completely. This exercise, does it have a name? Probably not. Hence, I will name it. It becomes a thing; a concept. You see, I created a concept: conceptual art. A kinetic sculpture, and embodied sculpture.
These are the words I wrote in my notebook at the time [and which I comment upon using square brackets!:
We lie in a circle on the floor; heads pointing to the centre.
Eva lies with us and then sits up; and gives contact to feet of one person in circle using feet or hands.
She moves onto next [person] and then another.
Person who was lying next to Eva then sits [up] and administers foot contact [ and manipulation to the person next to them. Indeed, there is only one person next to them as the other side became void as there is a sequence of movement. The previous person -lying on your left, sat up and gave you foot contact!]
Gradually, the foot-givers [those massaging feet!] move, travelling around, person to person [receiving foot massage and lying on ground].
When Eva reaches the end of the lying people, she lies and joins the circle [of lying people] – what’s left – segment, to receive the foot contact too.
It’s like a clock. But also I think of zipping and unzipping of DNA – how the line of bodies, lays, up, moves. The circle progress/dance/movement takes hours …
Hissing breath is encouraged by Eva as we lie. [while exhaling, use the out-breath to make a hissing noise with the tongue and teeth]
We can turn onto our side; our back; our front; put knees up while lying on our back with feet on ground in CONSTRUCTIVE REST [Andre Bernard’s Constructive Rest – see below].