ARCHITECT OF SELF DESTRUCTION
Choreographed by Abhilash Ningappa
“Architect of Self Destruction” talks about an experience of movement. It’s about space and self in the same space. The self and space can never separate. In the process of destruction, the space and the self is bound to be destroyed. We will trace the process of destruction through evolution, social system of traditions and movement experiences. We look at destruction and self-destruction as an experience of breaking systems.”
Destruction is a process akin to our perception of progress and development. Every movement is a projection stemming from the action of either destroying or creating. Change happens by denying certain things, and how does one change things- by letting them occur naturally during the process of creation or come upon something completely new. Even as the adage goes- about living inside the box or outside the box; let’s break that box.Destruction creates space. A movement or action, which describes destruction, is used as a metaphor in order to understand destruction. When bodies collide or touch in a certain situation with the intention of breaking things; like anger or stress, a space gets created in order to create an absence or emptiness which you may need to fill with new information and a new approach. Change always occurs in a circle and comes back to where everything starts and with destruction you can keep yourself away undoes this cycle of renewal and revisiting a point on the infinity of things. Somewhere in the back of our minds, we know that creation and growth must be accompanied by destruction and decline. Destruction is often associated (and conflated) with evil. More troubling — it is often associated with pain, even if there is no evil intent involved.
Self-destructive behavior is a widely used phrase that conceptualizes certain kinds of destructive acts as belonging to the self and space around oneself. Destruction isn’t this messy simply because we are unkind or evil. Destruction is fundamentally messy, and keeping it gentle takes a lot of work. Let’s look at Jenga as a Metaphor to explain why destruction is never linear. The game of Jenga illustrates why it is so hard to keep destruction to linear- dismantlement forms. Once one throws in an element of creation in parallel (removing blocks and stacking them on top to make the tower higher), one is constrained. If one had the luxury of time, they could un-stack all the blocks carefully, and restack them in a taller, “hollow” configuration with only 2 bricks per layer. That’s graceful reconstruction. The world rarely allows us to do this. We must reconstruct the tower while deconstructing it, and eventually the growth creates the kind of brittle complexity where further attempts at growth cause collapse.
Destruction is a practice to make one stronger through movement art practice. Movement evokes physical changes, which are conducive to growth. Not always performatory but about feeling the movement physically as a bodily experience. Destroying conventional ways of moving or creating movement creates a new movement experience. Destruction of this viscous cycle is the only way forward. In a group of performers that are experiencing a stressful situation is bound to lead to destruction that in turn leads to creation.
Destruction is a process as well as a creation. In a more practical sense destruction is used in order to understand space in the form of emptiness, freedom through movement research. During the performance work we work on methods, which triggers emotions, a game or scores where the task is planned and we discuss various aspects of destruction and result. Physical experience is the output and observation. A structured destruction leads into creation of the performance work.