THE RAW AND THE COOKED
performance video, colour, sound, 10 min.
In collaboration with Maria Nikiforaki and Chris Wright
Part of Learning from documenta, a visual anthropology project and exhibition on documenta 14, Athens
Taking up Learning from documenta’s framework of institutional critique and collaboration between artists and anthropologists, I and Maria Nikiforaki (visual artists) collaborated with the visual anthropologist Chris Wright (Goldsmiths, University of London) on a video performance piece, in which he is conducting a non-verbal interview with me and Maria.
In the course of the interview, Chris Wright introduces single words and vowels – heavily charged abstract terms and concepts from anthropological studies, and words related to the material world and everyday experience alike – thereby provoking and directing our expressions. A camera is recording my and Maria’s non-verbal responses.
By refraining from verbal communication and instead focusing on our immediate bodily and emotional responses in a rather absurd situation, we wanted to explore and make visible the affective, embodied and sensory ways of knowing and engaging with ideas and concepts; the way certain terms affect us and bring up our personal relationships with them as a meta-commentary; interactive, performative and relational aspects of knowledge and knowledge production and communication, as well as their highly personal and subjective character.
These qualities are characteristic of the arts and the kind of tacit knowledge that is inherent to the artistic work and process but often remain unacknowledged within the traditional academia – it rather tends to see knowledge as objective and detached from the knowing subject, their position in the world and society and their personal and emotional experience. Yet embracing them together with the huge role affects play in any cultural communication is a powerful source of insight we are diving into in this piece.
* The title “The Raw and the Cooked” is borrowed from the book of the same name by Claude Lévi-Strauss (1964).