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Juan Dominguez

- Good morning

- Hi

- Sorry to propose this interview so early, I know you don’t wake up early

- It’s ok. My mind will be slower but we will manage.

- Ok. Can we start?

- Sure

- This first question maybe sounds critical to you but I think that your answer can drive us to a major point of your work.

- Shoot it!

- Do you consider yourself funny?

- More than critical, it sounds like ha ha … let’s presuppose that I am funny. It is true that I use humour, and if I use it, it is because I have a sense of …so I guess I am funny because I see what my humour produces but I know that I am not funny for everybody. I have suffered from this my entire life. A part of my humour is quite brutal and creates a lot of embarrassing moments for both, the giver and the receiver. When this happen I feel so sad…he he. No, really, it is not funny and destroys me because I always use humour for enjoyment not the opposite. I am also very bad at making jokes, but this is always a good test. It helps me know where and how to invest.

- Where does your humour come from?

I guess that’s partly natural but not only; I mean it doesn’t come from nowhere. I am using humour as a strategy: to survive when I was young, to be stronger later, to seduce later on, clearly always to transform reality but lately in the last 10 years, I use it as a tool for working, during the process and as a result. I am also use it for work since I am a professional, working for others. But this humour is proposed naturally as part of the way my communication function. So there is not an intentionality of getting something from being funny, I am simply funny or not. The only thing I work on is, what this humour produces, I cannot not get consciousness of the production when i use it. I also come from a culture that uses irony in a very cynical way and this sometimes can be not generative, just the opposite. So I have to be aware and in control of this production.

- Are you afraid of not being taken seriously by people?

- I know it is risky, but through humour many levels of communication can be proposed and perceived. We could think that it is a tool for consciousness. Anyways, I simply cannot help enjoying, and if I enjoy what I do there is a moment when you die laughing. I am not looking for humour but if it appears I’m not the one who will dismiss it. You just gave me an idea; maybe I should try to do a piece based on comedy. Maybe I should try to really go far and try to be as funny as I can, extremely funny, more than ever. I think I am going to try it. But in 2011. I have first to finish the other 3 pieces I have in mind right now.

- Now that you talk about the present and before you start to fantasize about the future, I would like to enter your actual project. You are working on a subjective relation between language and body, and you are using linguistics as a source, right?

- Right

- Can you introduce the project a bit? By the way, how is it called?

- The research project is called “from…to…” and the piece I will make out of this research doesn’t have a name. It will be titled with a drawing in blue colour. Briefly I can say that in the last few years and more concretely since 2002, I cancelled out the body as focus of the expression. There was a need of finding a more balanced communication with the spectators. And the body in dance was, for me, only graspable in a state of body idealization. Starting to do my own work I couldn’t continue the dynamics I was involved in, and passed to another more reflexive, more conceptual one. For that, but without leaving the interest in transformation and the use of transversality in between fiction and reality, I started to work with written language proposing through it an image that spectators can create. So there is a responsibility that is shared in the production of the expression. Language was also in that moment a more sharable channel for this expression. When I got the commission to do this research “from…to…” I thought that through the study of linguistics I could have more tools to develop this shared expression. On another hand, my body has lately become relevant as a map of my identity. I felt the necessity of placing the body in a situation where there is no borders but in a recipe of which we know the borders; language.

- Is it answering your question?

- Let me ask you more so that we can get little by little to the point.

- Not a problem

- You have been working with different languages, in different countries and cultures, and also working on different aspects of linguistics, and as material you work with verbs of movement. It sounds huge. I will not ask you to summarise the research but has the piece more from somewhere?

- If I understand well the question, you want to know what I will use for the piece out the research.

- Yes

- Well, before developing some ideas I got out of the research that really implicate the relationship between language and body, I want to work on an expression that doesn’t mean anything on a language level, but that comes from language. So I am using structures and logics from language but I am not using words. I want to provoke an experience for performers and spectators that goes over language. Language seems to open our understanding but also to cancel out other possibilities I am looking for. I want to suspend the moment that appears between sensation and perception. So before representation. That’s why there will not be language as such but an experience that can be lately discussed.

- In this experience you are talking about what the elements will be?

- I am working with the body and the physicality the kind of communication needs. I am using sound but in a way that communicates states in which we can surf. But experiencing.

- Can you be more specific?

- Not really…wait I try… If you have to experience the danger of crossing a street, you will not cross the street 2 minutes before a car is passing. You will wait as much as you can in order to feel the danger. Let me think if this is a useful example. What I mean is that the experience has to be intense enough and accessible enough or possible enough. I think there is a state where you are so busy experiencing that you don’t have time to think or if yes then you cannot stop to reflect. And language always allows and even pushes you to think farther, to make sense, to get results. I don’t want effectiveness. I want to situate the expression in a state of suspension. Maybe I am more into what the body is than into what the body can do. Or more into the process of meaning attribution than implying meaning to the signs. Let me shout for a few seconds!

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhu.

While I was shouting I said something but you didn’t realise right?

- No

- I do it again iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhu.

Hah! It is not really that, lets think in a rhythm, the one from blue Danube, “lalalalala pum pum pum pum lalalalala pum pum pum pum” and try to move slowly, as slow as you can. What kind of experience is that? You feel like doing something else but you impose yourself another rhythm. Hah! It is not that, what happens if we speak slowly, very slow? We have another experience of… Ask me another question, I am lost.

- You have talked before about sound, and now sound is in the air, maybe this helps you to come back.

- No it doesn’t help. Try another one.

- Ok change topic. You have mentioned that maybe you are more into what the body is than into what the body can do. I am going to enumerate chronologically a list of body states you said you went through or you were interested in: the anatomy of the body, the formatted body that has free decisions within a system, the body as an object, the absence of the body, the imagined body/the imagined situation. Why to come back to the body, a body abandoned on purpose?

- Well for a while this virtual experience was great, gave me more freedom. But after a while you cannot stay there, other wise you lose activism. Maybe intellectually there is activism but you lose dynamics, you lose balance. Now I need both activism, but not the subjective and single one, it should be shared.

- What is or where is the language’s physicality? Can you transform its analysis into activism?

- Ffuuuuuffffffffff…through its study I can understand better how we perceive, how we represent, how we communicate, and after I link these aspects with the idea of before language and after language. Probably I am looking for a space in between the before and after language. It is a space where you don’t need to breathe, where you don’t need to measure, where you only need to disperse yourself. While you disperse you don’t need to represent, you simple are.

- Beautiful, I want to live there, although I can’t imagine how it looks…

- It doesn’t look like… Let’s change this is too mystical, we need to get also dirty. A dirty mysticism. He He.

- You told me before the interview that you are working on giving physicality to the sound and sound to the action.

- If you say so…

- Can you explain it?

- Well I am working with non-verbal communication aspects. They include among others the sounds we produce in order to support the verbal communication. I am giving to these sounds the supremacy of the communication and trying to propose them as a physical space, a space through where you can surf and a space that of course will affect you. If you go work in the morning and you meet in the entrance of the building where you work a little boy crying, you will have a kind of reaction to it. But if when you come out of work and you see another little boy also crying, or better, the same than in the morning or better, a whole family including the little boy from the morning, you reaction will be different. Imagine if you stay the 8 hours of your work watching them, it is not anymore about why they cry, that’s probably clear (money), it is about what the whole configuration produces. This example was good, right?

- I don’t know if it was good or not but interesting.

- This reminds me of the story you told me about the pullover. You were looking at a pullover of yours during the 45 minutes that your washing machine’s short program lasts while washing it. Yes but it was crazy I invented a series of stories that happened to the pullover that was leaving on a planet that turns on itself so fast that you cannot walk, you are bumping all the time. And after about a sub aquatic life. Forget about it. These are stories for not sleeping.

- I come back again to a previous thought: what is activated or what is the activism you want to propose with this project?

- I am thinking the physicality of the sound and giving sound to the body, instead of carrying on thinking shape and meaning, I am going to the essence of language. Taking a certain semantic degree changing priorities, with the intention of waking up the instincts, the lower ones. Looking for another balance between mind and body. So the activism is different as its priorities are different. Listening, enjoyment, sharing, deterritorialization, no space and time measure, they are experiencing it and the identities are pealed, they remain alive meat to feel the pure air, the purity of love. My god, can you stop me, don’t allow me to talk so much please.

- To finish I would like to ask you about the methodology you are using to grasp this expression you are looking for.

- There is not a specific one. The methodology is built at the same time we work. Probably when we are done we will be able to see what kind of methodology was used. We are before the beginning. There is no methodology there. Although, there, methodologies are wild hungry animals that will devour you if they hear you breathe.