POST-VIDEO INTERVIEW: IN CONVERSATION WITH ANDREA SPAZIANI & SCHPANDO FONYO
Tell me Schpando, what kind of egregious ‘selfie’ is this anyway?
I don’t believe in the devil, but the devil believes in me, and my demons have come out for a jaunt. They jut out, over a foggy lake, at dusk, on Georgian Bay around 9pm in August. The light is just ‘so’. There’s no discernible horizon. No separation between lake and sky. All grey, with the jutting out black shadows of silhouette rocks. They are hard to the touch, but soft on the eyes, like the inviting doughy density of old Italian bread, just beneath the crust. I’ve been dipping the edges into brothy grey water, softening, and soothing the hard exterior. My leathery feet will attest to this need. Massage and circulate, and try to see what’s pierced the skin after a long barefoot walk in my own tepid excrement.
So, you’ve placed the camera in the studio, straight on, at a distance, but also up close and personal. I’m seeing a split of some kind, between an external image of yourself, and an interior world. Can you unpack that a little?
Looking through a dirty mirror. Welcome to my hostel lifestyle. Listen, Leonard Cohen said whatever you do, after a certain age, don’t ever look into those close-up magnifying hotel mirrors. I wonder what that looks like, LC. I’m too hot at this point in my life to really understand. GHAD. For reals. So yeah, inner world and outer world, dissociation, and exorcising the shit I’ve always wanted to but never did, until now. And, you know, the camera: the satanic device of capitalism, in perfect unity with the internet video: the spawn of self-crafted, hand-edited performance. Oh, and if you’ve downloaded this video then your webcam has been hacked and I just watched you pick your nose to a Netflix porno montage...
Good old paranoia. Affective attunement on the perpetual brink of catastrophe, loss of public space, voluntarily offering up your private space on Facebook for your own Neo-Liberal performative consumption/ boredom antidote. And now you’re worried that I can see you picking your nose. Had ya there for a sec….
The voice, and the impulse to speak/sound, is mentioned in the introductory text (from Carol Gilligan’s Remembering Iphigenia: Voice, Resonance, and the Talking Cure) and explored through the horn...
The dissociation between inner and outer worlds, or 'My Feelings and Shit', as blown out and re-consumed by my own horn. Yeah, this is a sounding board for unlocking my inner tumult and blowing it into, and out of, my own anatomical resonating chamber.
… and Yeats' poetry?
Yes, Yeats, from The Second Coming. But really it’s all about the third. A necessity for the modern woman I think. A minimum of three rounds and a good old fashioned horn blow. Am I right? What have all those waves of feminist thought gotten us if not for a third blow?
I was about to ask, why sexualize the horn, but I think you might have just answered…
Sonic space, personal space, vaginal space, the bell, blowing into my own bell... These are all high art themes. And the snake that eats itself. What a historical selfie moment really, the Ouroboros. An image, a revolt against, or perhaps FOR, self-sabotage. Choking on it all really. Getting in the way of myself for the sake of what? A good FB post and a proud moment of badass narcissism for a historically Good Girl.
The historically Good Girl, feeling weird about religion, but also moved by it, by the power of it, the chanting, the transfixed fantasy based on starvation-driven-auditory-hallucinations, Kierkegaardian faith, and a bit of mob mentality, oral fixation, errr ‘tradition’, and wanting to understand this spinning top we’re floating on. Ever watch Cosmos? Neil Degrasse Tyson is a hero.
The boxing gloves, the violence. Please discuss your take on aggression.
Look, I’m a lady champion in a world of eat or get eaten, and hopefully eaten out. AHEM. But how can I exist without some sort of self-defense skill? An independent woman has to have the chops to break-off something real hard out there. O Mio Babbino Caro is where it’s at. Sorry poppa, just love me. But shit, such a heartfelt moment of singular love and passion in a polyamorous social Tinder fabrrrik. Ghad. Sorry poppa, but I'm in love… okokokkokokokookk ANNNd I’m not wearing a bra. ALSOOO look aggression still operates as one of the highest forms of discipline. Mind over body, body into the gutter, the epitome of anti-ballet, in an outwardly punishing form. The kick boxer, the gloves, the discipline of it, the peripheral vision, the anguish, the power, the GODDESS of punch-roundhouse-thrash, as it is, an intensity, over time, a BECOMING, into being, into power, into fullness, into madness, into bad art and succinct strategy not unlike the MARKET. But I digress…
Well Schpando, we have to leave it there for this month, but I look forward to seeing your next selfie, and your response to the upcoming Canadian Federal Election.
Elizabeth May, it's too late for you at this point, but msg me. We should talk...
LUCID THOUGHTS/ CRIT GROUP NOTES
This video and interview detail studio research on my ‘egregious selfie’: a personal excavation leading to the production of a character, a voice, and an inhabitation of aggressive, uncomfortable, humourous, sexualized, and deeply personal spaces of myself/ my imagination. In this work, I'm considering space as something to be entered, and not necessarily defined by concrete objects or a frame. I'm asking myself how I can enter the subconscious, and project it outward, and through this projection, also engage the viewer. This space isn't really 'about' anything, but is merely data, or content that has surfaced through following impulses and not holding back.
The French horn (which I played in high school, although my skill level is questionable) is an echo chamber, characterized by the audio clip at the beginning (from a lecture by Carol Gilligan). The horn serves to amplify my desire to speak, and hear my character’s inner chamber of resonance. It is a tool to project my sound space, breath, and blatant insistence on being heard.
At this point, and perhaps the whole time, I’m adamant about not judging what comes out. This cathartic approach to working, and applying the emergent content from my meditation practice (something I made last year, and have been practicing as a 'warm up') to a character profile is a methodology for the live, spontaneous, production of content from the inside out. However, it also reveals something about the stuff that got IN. The spaces, events, and moments I've absorbed can't not be there. This affective entanglement touches on my research re: Deleuze on immanence, Brian Massumi on affective attunement, and Badiou on space as obligatory to dance.
The camera shows two perspectives: the still studio shot, and the close-up, slow-mo, soft representation of memory, fantasy, and self-aggrandizement. I like the tension of these two perspectives, and I'll keep working with them. I also like the contrast between flat, fuzzy images, and bad angles, and those with more depth/pop/life.
The sounds are audio clips I collected over the past few months, some from travel, some related to research, and all reflective of personal, lived (even by fantasy) space.
The costumes help me embody differently, and I will continue to work with them as a method for channeling various attitudes that appeal to Schpando.