with pek pek
01/2021 – 02/2021
https://vimeo.com/499545152 (password: withpekpek)
Performance and editing by Korallia Stergides
Cinematography by Milo Van Giap
Sound mixing and editing by Yiannis Christofides
For access to the performance, please send your postal address (if in Cyprus) or express your interest (if abroad) at firstname.lastname@example.org until 17 January 2021. You will receive a relevant code, indicative instructions on the best possible conditions of participation and practice of the instructions, and a present from the artist. It is our goal to also present the work in conditions other than those of being alone together.
Korallia Stergides’ practice focuses on offering audiences experiences which help us to reimagine the intimacies between the human and other species, in the process highlighting alternative economies of care for our shared homes and ecosystems. Personal narratives are often weaved into instructions for the audience that lead to applied actions, creating heightened embodied intensities. Formworks is invested in offering environments for collaboration and participation by challenging the established politics of production and spectatorship. A discussion thus began on how to design an environment that amplifies connectedness and interdependence, where no one is excluded from participating on equal terms.
The promise of participatory works to create a however lasting sense of togetherness has not diminished despite the worldwide pandemic and the anxiety that comes from being together, in however controlled environments. This led us to reflect on how this could be an opportunity to push the notions of performance and participation beyond the confines of physical presence, by working across the mediums of performance, video and sound. Faced with the issue of the performance’s form at the age of the ubiquitous digital distribution of presences, how could we still challenge the conditions of passive spectatorship and avoid presenting a video for home consumption that would read as documentation of a reality that happened elsewhere and at another time?
During the first lockdown, Stergides started to be more attentive to the sounds of nature, which, because of the sudden quietness of the city, started to enter her home. Every morning, the sounds of the dawn chorus would meet the rising sun and enter her bedroom through the window, illuminating the reproductions of well known paintings on the wall facing her bed. The light and the chorus of birds mating charted the passage from night to day, from being asleep to waking up: that time of vulnerability, when the body is trying to make sense of the environment that it finds itself thrown into. A recited stream of consciousness leads to the unlocking of memories and word play, with pek pek, following processes for becoming within pools of post human intimacies. A feeling of immersion-as-immobility, enhanced by the sudden mandatory restriction of movement and physical contact, made the travelling wavelengths of the sonic all the more important to Stergides’ experiments with notions of liquid subjectivity and ‘sound’ memory.
These restrictions led to an as if sudden realisation, that if you remove physical contact from a kiss you are still left with the memory of a sound, of wetness washing over the temporal textures of now-time, and the affect of a longing for caring. The work developed with distance in situ and with the eyes closed. This led her to take on the attributes of a sound machine, recording by ear and finding strategies of reproducing the sounds of birds that reminded her so much of the canned sounds of kisses we grow up with in popular culture. Stergides short circuited the effort of reconciling the impossibility of being listened to while we listen, in a set of instructions that can make a sonic apparatus out of anyone. In the process, we are encouraged to play with the unexpected malleability of the voice and attempt a search for new frequencies, where we seek to care for the orphan otherness of possible futures.