ALYTUS JOURNEY FROM MYSELF TO MYSELF
- Written by Martin Zet
The title is disappointment, because it is true. When last days I heard critical voices saying things like repetition – when speaking about the structure of Psychic Strike Biennial I realized I must write something about my experience with vibrations around Alytaus Dailés Mokykla – which I have participated, hopefully co-created and witnessed for last 18 years. The word “co-created” please read in the non-appropriative sense. Somehow I felt being part of many things happening there on various levels.
The title is a failure – but the only way I am able to write of it is from the position of myself – that means in the text there will be many ”I”s. What happened to me is that repeatedly coming to Alytus caused development in opposite direction – trying to suppress ”I” in myself and also the ambition of my role in the event. When Mario came to me this year with the printed program asking if I could show him there when is my turn (probably as the gentle way to learn how to call me) I was excited to see there was not my name mentioned in the text. So fantastic! I was so thankful to Redas to invite me even when knowing I cannot make any concrete contribution. In this logic I also didn’t want to write anything after – any report or text like this. To reduce the amount of words around, or if not to reduce, not to increase. So – also writing this reflection is a contradiction.
I was asked what I think about repeating structure of this event not only by Asim – who has been the key person of the last years but also by Fabio, who was here for the first time. That shows that it became a topic. And also Redas spoke about the same. Does it mean that the event reached its fulfilment and from now on it could only petrify into repetitive rituals?
Is this signal to finish?
I don’t know. Finishing is ok. But I want to try to see why this development could become unpleasant to some participants. And why on the other hand it was so breaking surprising for me. Let’s skip other things before and focus on the biennials – which have happened last 12 years. In the beginning it was gathering of artists – mostly friends – with the aim to create or present their/our artworks. It was also fantastic. But the discussions then – especially towards the end of the event – were becoming technical – mostly about solving the production problems: how, where, when and what is needed to let each of us shine. Then the focus shifted to socio political critical alternatives – other options or essential changes – with activist potential of action. I identified with the direction, but hated the words we used – most of them for me totally devaluated by fake applying during the communist times in my country: worker, comrade, class …etc. But we didn’t find better words to use. I felt stuck. No words to express what I/we wanted to express. But also – I felt being more part of “we”, not so much guarding and promoting the individual position. In fact I was looking for occasions to merge with the opinions of the others (which was really not easy). Last biennial was a tipping point for me. First time besides pleasures of unsuccessful looking for definitions I experienced becoming part of the jam session in a broader sense without critical thinking of what was happening, what we were doing, if it was new, repetitive, well looking/sounding, what quality, …etc. I know – in general nothing new – but for me – who was brought up in individualistic – self controlled manner – something unbelievable. And when this year we turned to cover name: revolutionary animism – which fortunately at the end nobody – including Ben – its inventor – had no idea what it could mean – and unstable words gave space to not so consistent clay – and with exception of few attempts by Katya and Yulik from Belarus , where one can still read the society using classic expressions: worker, class struggle …etc. with no political songs and any slogans – and only mood, wish for something else – which probably everybody would describe differently – lead us to well disharmonise for few moments, I felt that there was much less confusion than before – at least in myself – and even in supra-posed 3 sided football it was easy to quickly accommodate - yes, indeed, this might be an excuse and reason not to prolong – to finish. So for finishing I find only egoistic, self-projective, self-centric arguments. No way to create the front, the party, to unify powers for action, at least not at this time, in this constellation, with this bunch of different minds. This in my opinion is also why this shift can be unpleasant to some revolutionary minds from us. For me leaving the verbal world was a surprising experience and a big relief. Thanks Redas.
If paradoxically go back to the age of slogans I would suggest:
NON VERBAL SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT GURUS!
But also this writing is dealing with words and their charge and on this level I offer to change the better sounding: UNITE! It doesn’t matter if it relates to Workers of all Countries, Los Artistas or something else, into: MEET! But it doesn’t have to be structured into two years period, neither related to exact place – Alytus, nor based on anything special and until the urgent need for action* nor on specific idea. Walking – making sound with no words looped to some original moments when in the very first marching one of the slogans was something in the sense that someone’s grandma likes to eat yogurt.
LET’S MEET AGAIN!
Martin, in Libusin, a day after returning home, after sleeping 13 hours and during the sleep composing this text – apologise for not really re-read, not corrected formulations.
* which now is for example situation how refugees are treated in the Czech Republic – but fortunately some people already started attempts to change it…