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Monday, March 3, 2014

QUESTIONSTHAT I ASKED NICOLAS DUMIT ESTEVEZ


RECENTLY YOU WENT TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WHERE YOU WERE BORN TO PERFORM.  WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO DO THIS?
 
HAVE YOU PERFORMED THERE BEFORE?
 
WERE YOU COMFORTABLE PERFORMING IN YOUR HOME TOWN?  WHY? THEY SAY YOU CANT GO HOME AGAIN. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT TO BE TRUE?
 
WERE YOUR FAMILIES THERE INPUTTING YOUR WORK IN ANY WAY?
 
DID YOU GO THERE WITH AN IDEA? AN INVITATION BY OTHERES TO PERFORM THERE? WHAT WERE YOUR SOURCE INSPIRATIONS?
 
FROM OTHER CONVERSATIONS WE HAVE HAD, YOU TALK ABOUT THE CONVERGENCE OF RITUALS IN YOUR COUNTRY. HOW DID THE CARRIBEAN RITUALS INFORM YOUR IDEAS, YOUR CONCEPTS, YOUR OUTCOME?  CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE OVERLAPS BETWEEN RITUAL AND PERFORMANCE?
 
 
CERTAIN CULTURES ARE  TOTALLY PERFORMATIVE. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN I WAS IN INDIA, I FELT LIKE I WAS IN A 24-7 HAPPENING FROM THE 70'S. A LOVE AND LIFE FEST OF DRAMA AND EVEN SOMETIMES TRAUMA! MAYBE I WOULD NOT FEEL AS  DIONISIANISTICALLY PERFORMATIVE IN FINLAND! OR I WOULD NOT EXPECT RESULTS THAT ARE AS COLORFUL AND EXTREMELY EXPRESSIVE AS I WOULD IN MEXICO OR THE CARRIBEAN. YOU WALKED INTO A STAGE-SET, A SET-UP FOR ACTION TO HAPPEN, WHICH MAKES FOR A DIFFERENT SCENARIO. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT?
 
THE INTERNET HAS KILLED THE CONCEPT OF AUDIENCE. WE ARE ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL  PERFORMANCE ARTISTS NOW. WE ALL DO FLASH MOBS AND SELFIES AND YOU TUBES AND WEDDING/ENGAGEMENT EXTRAVAGANZAS. IT IS EXPECTED THAT WE PERFORM AT BIRTHS AND EVEN PERFORM OUR OWN DEATHS! THE REAL IS NOT SO MUCH CELEBRATED BUT NARCISSISTICALLY PORNED. AS A RESULT, THERE IS NO LONGER A WIDE-EYES, GRATUITOUS, ADORING, FAWNING AUDIENCE BUT A CONFIGURATION OF CO-PRODUCERS, C-DIRECTORS AND CO-PERFORMERS WHO OFTEN KNOW OUR OWN WORK AS WELL OR BETTER THAN WE DO!!!!THEY HAVE BEEN INDOCTRINATED BY THE MEDIA AND THEIR PERMISSION-GIVING CULTURE HAS REHEARSED THEM FOR YEARS....SO WHEN "WE" COME TO TOWN, WATCH OUT AND MOVE OVER...AND LET THEM DO THE JOB. (AND EVENTUALLY WE WILLBE PAYING THEM WHEN THEY REALIZE THAT THEY ARE US!) DID YOU EXPERIENCE AN ALREADY FORMED GROUP OF CO-CREATORS WHEN YOU WERE THERE?
 
 
IN SOME CULTURES, THEIR LIFE IS SO AESTHETICALLY ON-VIEW, THAT THEY HAVE CONCEPTUALLY DONE AWAY WITH THE NEED FOR A MUSEUM, GALLERY, ALTERNATIVE SPACE.  THEY ALREADY "PERFORM" AT HOME, IN THE BEDROOM, ON THE BEACH IN A WAY THAT MAKES THE GALLERY APPEAR TO HAVE CONTRACTED MAUSOLEUM-ITIS!  WHO NEEDS THAT?  WHEN YOU WERE THERE IN THE CARRIBEAN, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE IDEA OF "MUSEUM"? HAS "CARNIVAL" KILLED THE NEED FOR MUSEUMS?
 
 
 WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE THERE DURING THE EVENT? YOU SAID YOU GATHERED AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF PLASTIC STUFF.  I HAVE WORKED WITH YOU BEFORE AND YOU ARE A CONSUMMATE DESIGNER OF REALITY AND OF INSTALLATION AND OF MOOD.  IS THAT WHAT YOU DID THERE? EXPLORE YOUR ROLE AND HOW DID IT CHANGE OVER TIME, THAT IS, HOW DID YOUR COLLABORATORS CHANGE YOU AND YOU THEM?
 
IN OUR PREVIOUS CONVERSATION YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW DANGEROUS THE AREA WAS. WAS DANGER IN THE PERFORMANCE ITSELF? IN A WAY, IT BECOMES  PERFORMANCE WHEN DANGER ENTERS THE PICTURE. BEFORE THAT IT IS DECORATION? I REMEMBER WHEN WE WERE IN THE BRONX DOING THE HOPE PERFORMANCE, WE STUMBLED INTO SOME DANGEROUS SITUATION AND I WAS SO AMAZED AT YOUR COOL AROUND BIG, EXPLOSIVE OUTBURSTS!  YOU ARE SUCH A COOL, QUITE GUY AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, NICOLAS AS  CHRIS BURDEN ARRIVED ON THE SCENE IN FRONT OF MY EYES!  CAN YOU TALK  ABOUT THE DAGER YOU FELT DURING THE CARRIBEAN PERFORMANCE?
 
 
MY NEWEST BOOK IS TITLED, YOU TOO ARE A PERFORMANCE ARTIST AND IS ABOUT THE DEATH OF PERFORMANCE AS A GENRE THAT IS MISUNDERSTOOD OR STRANGE OR AVANT GARDE. MY IDEA IS THAT UNPERFORMING IS THE TASK OF THE PERFORMANCE ARTIST BECAUSE THE MASSES ARE NOW DOING OUR WORK. WE HAVE TO BACK OFF, BACK OUT, DIRECT THEM, ALLOW THEM. WE HAVE TO FIND A NEW WAY TO SOLVE THE RIDDLES OF DARK AND LIGHT. DID YOU FIND THAT THE PEOPLE YOU WORKED WITH WERE WANTING YOU TO PERFORM?  DIRECT? GET LOST?
 
WHY DID YOU DO THIS IN A CLOSED OFF SPACE, WHEN THE CARNIVAL DOES THEIR "RITUAL" IN FULL VIEW OF EVERYTHING. WHAT HAPPENED THAT MADE IT NEED TO BE INSIDE AND IN A SACRED SPACE LIKE A CHURCH?
 
MASKS ARE A UNIVERSAL TOOL FOR TRANSFORMATION, ALCHEMY, CHANGE, RITUAL, SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS AND TRICKERY. FOR OVER 40 YEARS I HAVE USED THE MASKS OF MY ABILITY TO BECOME ANOTHER AS A WAY TO UNDERSTAND MY PERSONAL DEMONS AND PERSONALITY DISORDERS. WHAT HAPPEND WITH YOU THERE IN THIS CULTURE OF MASK-EXPERTS?
 
 
 WHAT NOW NICOLAS? ARE YOU GOING TO SET UP A CHURCH THERE? OR STAY THERE AS A MANDELA-LIKE HERO TO ORGANIZE THESE PEOPLE INTO CREATIVE HEALERS? WHAT'S YOUR VISION FOR YOUR FUTURE?
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT  YOUR GUIDES AND WHAT SPECIFICALLY THEY TAUGHT YOU THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO PULL OUT OF YOUR TOOL-BOX FOR THIS LATEST PIECE?
 
I HOPE YOU ARE RESTING????AND NOT JUDGING, RIGHT?  PROMISE ME YOU WILL DO BOTH.
 
 

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