nameless hour, 2014

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“Barbara”, 2014, a sound recording: 5 min and series of drawings: 6 pieces, 21×29,7 cm
“Yvonne”, 2014, series of b/w photographs: 5 pieces, 65×43,3 cm
“Nameless”, 2014, an experimental film in three parts: 10 min; 4 min; 3 min. 30 sec.
In collaboration with LGBT community: Elena Dapkūnaitė, Gabrielė Labanauskaitė, Virginija Popovaitė, Ieva Turevičiūtė and Eglė Visockė.

In order to allow the hand, the body, and the mind to migrate, several participants in the project invite the audience to play one of the tactile games that are performed in women’s self-defence training (not practised in Lithuania). The game of psychological warm-up and the building up of mutual trust, which is played in closed women’s circles, is transferred in this project to the space of the art project. The spectators are led by hand slowly and gently around the space with their eyes closed (“Two of Us”, 2014, performance).

In ‘Nameless Hour’, the hand dances, it draws the trajectory of memory/thought, and embodies a sound wave. The coordinates of the moving hand unite different parts of this contemporary art project. It is a collision between the present and the past, a stretch of time, when illusory and physical space become fused and modified. During this hour, the fate of a film’s character is changed in the project (it contains references to the 1948 crime drama “Sorry, Wrong Number”, directed by Anatole Litvak); or the coordinates of Yvonne Rainer’s hand movements are extended in photographs (a look back to the 1966 avant-garde film “Hand Movie”), and the palms dance in the interactive performance with the spectators (Two of Us, 2014).

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Do the main character in the 1948 crime drama Sorry, Wrong Number and the action performed by Yvonne Rainer in the 1966 avant-garde film Hand Movie have anything in common?

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The character played by Barbara Stanwyck in “Sorry, Wrong Number” is confined to her bed. She is imprisoned in her bedroom, with no chance of escaping, and is eventually killed. In “Hand Movie”, her first avant-garde film, Yvonne Rainer performs a hand dance in front of the camera while in a hospital bed recovering from an operation. Yet Barbara Stanwyck’s character suffers from a psychosomatic illness, and does not have the strength to get herself out of the situation; while Yvonne Rainer finds a solution: even if the legs cannot move, a hand can dance.

In this art project, a moving/dancing hand becomes a means for changing the script of the film “Sorry, Wrong Number” in an attempt to place the life of the character in the “nameless hour”, a stretch of time in which the character can escape her sad fate. Inčiūraitė copies the hand movements of the character in the film “Sorry, Wrong Number” from the monitor to paper: the trajectory of gestures drawn by a disabled woman turns into the coordinates for a game on a basketball court by the participants in the project. Marker strokes follow only hand movements that are performed by the film’s protagonist while she is listening to a telephone conversation, accidentally overheard because of a faulty connection, up to the moment when she learns that at an agreed hour a woman will be killed, who, as the character later finds out, is herself.

The participants in the art project (members of the Lithuanian LGBT basketball team) repeat in turn the combinations of the character’s movements on the floor of the basketball court, doing a warm-up with a ball. Later, the basketball players begin to play a spontaneous game, straying from the rules of the ‘game’ in the film. The work “Barbara” (2014) presents the soundtrack of the girls’ game and the trajectory of the hand movements of the character in the film, which is repeated/animated on a basketball court, and divided on several sheets of paper into small segments of time.

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The motif of the hand also appears in another work. The participants in the project try to extend not only the plot of a crime drama, but also the minimalist dance of Yvonne Rainer’s hand with gestures of their own in the series of photographs “Yvonne” (2014).

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The video-installation “Nameless” (2014) is exhibited alongside. The participants tried to collect their own experiences as material for this work, by naming certain locations, situations, books and smells, etc, which they wish to erase from their own memory. The videos show visual comments on their own intimate experiences.

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These are three video-projections showing different environments and situations, which seem to randomly enter into a mutual dialogue. For example, a dog from one projection appears to be looking longingly at another projection, in which a page from a diary is being monotonously copied. This page has geometric decoration, of which the details are repeated in other frames: the mesh of a fence, paving slabs, rows of seats, etc. These are rhythmic structures that are present in our repetitive daily rituals, which find themselves in the field of patriarchal power and panoptical control. A pendant with an image of Mao Tse Tung, the authoritarian leader of the People’s Republic of China, that belongs to one of the participants in the project, discovered in her bathroom, could be considered one of the “symbols of imprisonment”. How can one liberate oneself from these ritualised structures imprisoning us in daily life, which inhibit becoming and change? Perhaps it could be the “disorder” of daily life revealed in the scenes beside these rhythmic structures (cracks, holes, rubbish scattered in the sand, a torn tape or a decaying speed control bump) regressing elements of the environment that create chaos and provoke the possibility for a different reorganisation.

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In their book “Cinema 2: The Time-Image” (1985), Deleuze and Guattari say that we see the world composed of series and sequences, not homogeneous, rather dispersive, without consequent order. One element drops out from its sequence and appears in another sequence of elements, and through its relation with them it seems strong, wonderful and complicated. Inčiūraitė thinks it is because of the inconsistency or discrepancy of sequences and series that a specific sense of uncertainty emerges. Talking about her experiences, one of the project participants wrote: “My attention was attracted by an unusual smell. It was the smell of sand dust that had descended on my arms, legs, neck and other uncovered parts of the body. It was somewhat dull and viscous, obliterating other receptors. It was a smell that stuck to the skin and left the sensation of earth in your lungs. Not humid black soil, but time-resistant grains of sand that in the long run remain the only bond between decomposing human activity and human attempts to resist oblivion and the sense of the present. The fresh fluttering of wind enlivens the grains of sand, gives them strength to absorb existence, to tear it from the frame of time and transfer it to where space is absent.”

Artist also tried to transfer Yvonne Rainer’s minimalist hand dance manifesting mundaneness and the fate of Barbara Stanwyck’s character to the ‘nameless’ hour. Inčiūraitė points out that during this nameless hour, we can, at least for a short while, question the semblances of meanings modelled by the world’s series and sequences, reject the strict definitions of our identities, and liberate social relations from the hierarchised “imprisoning” order.

Photographs by Evgenia Levin and Kristina Inčiūraitė