I’m in foggy forest at this time.

I think necessity of finding something like a compass.

I’d like to attach fictional dimension to this work.

so I have to notice things that could not be.

– Kiguchi


27th January, 2013

Today I had the studio for the whole day. Ira, Andrew, Rebecca and the adorable VP took off to Tokyo for a days outing and I imagine Kiguchi was somewhere elsewhere being busy. Before I arrived I entertained myself along the way.

I’ve now taken to filming small excerpts in the streets of Yokohama as I am considering building an abstract narrative that could link part of the performance… the part where i don’t perform. One of my earlier questions was to consider how might the performance engage or disengage without my entire presence holding the light. I have limited experience in the art of editing and film making so the outcome could be a little brutal but I’m open for the beating.

I have decided to take the challenge and use the whole of the studio the two halves dividing the action, dividing the audience and to work with a third perspective of he/she who sees the better part of both. I’m uncertain at this point of a resolution and to the exact purpose of the third person however over the course of the next week I hope this becomes clearer.

My default mechanism to move first and develop a vocabulary of physical images has been restricted by my imposing a different mode of building a structure. I have been deliberately attempting to create scenes that move through the space creating moments of absence and presence within fixed time frames with a vague sense of how I might dance and interact. This led me to writing the beginnings of a narrative for a short story that is filtered with elements of this Japanese experience part in facts and in myths. The discovery of a demon scarecrow lurking in the black box made my day.

At lunch Seth and I met up for a coffee. I’m grateful for his curiosity and insights, his questions occasionally left hanging in the air unanswered but with thoughtful provocation

Matthew Morris

rehearsal and improvisation – demon scarecrow


On Monday we had our second meeting to discuss the rules we have been given. As we talked about the rule ‘You also are here’, Seth mentioned that in relation to me this rule had been intended to be about being present in my body, about perhaps being a bit less cerebral, about letting my ‘mammalian self’ lead. This has been on my mind (I know, the irony…) a lot since. I usually begin a project with a concept, making a piece of work knowing what it will be about. It doesn’t follow a linear narrative necessarily, but I have a topic or theme that material is generated in response to and, to some extent, refers back to. My first solo show was a piece about fear, for example, and the piece I am currently developing (outside of this residency) is about ageing.

So how does one begin making a performance in a way that is less cerebral? Or more specifically, how do I (over-thinker, conceptual-worker)?

I do make work that is visual, but usually always start with writing exercises and generating text. So I set myself a challenge to work primarily to generate images and physical material. I improvise and I film myself. I play a sort of free association with images and gestures I am making in the space.

I decide to use available sources (the book I am reading, the essay I downloaded before we left London, the objects I have to hand) as stimuli and tools and let them feed into the work. There is a pleasing immediacy to this. Attack!

I play a sort of free association with images on paper, when I cannot find images in the space. I spend an hour listening to music and sketching in response to the music, in response to yesterday’s ideas, in response to the images that are already gathering themselves together like a pack.

I try not to worry about meaning or ‘about’. This is hard for me. I get ‘about-anxiety’. Often in a process I will at some point get rid of material because it doesn’t have enough relevance to the theme of the show, or doesn’t say the right thing. I think this is necessary, of course, but I like the idea of this process now being about making space for those things. Allowing them to be for their own sake, at least for now.

Ira Brand


A perspective of the performance space today that tickles me mad with excitement

Matthew Morris


13th January, 2013

A late post but the first writing for R&R

So far I have contained my curiosity and sat with the Rules unopened for a couple of days. I’m neither anxious nor expectant of what lies within them however I have wanted to observe my patience and listen for the moment to respond. At present there are two parts of my curiosity, the first being how will I be guided by the Rules that are given and to follow them to release me into my practice at the given moment. And secondly am I bold or brave enough to challenge them to braking point, to stretch and bend them so as to exercise my boundaries and interrogate their purpose. My only hope is that I honor and contribute bountifully as those who have experienced R&R in the past.

I was excited a few weeks ago when I asked Seth a question relating to the studio space in Yokohama and his reply was ‘one of the rules may be to not work in a studio or familiar place of practice’. I was immediately hooked!

I’m nearing the end of a summer vacation here in South Africa where loosely my mind and body has lain in a soft haze of eternal blue skies and horizons and the call of exotic birds awaken me from sleep every morning. It is the same as any other morning today however a step closer to my return to the Northern Hemisphere and R&R. Today I will open the electronic envelope and read the rules.

WOW!!!! I love the immediacy that struck me upon reading the few words and then I laughed. The seeming simplicity of the action it evokes is powerful and I want to get up and dance NOW. I think the rules will resonate within me for a while so I am happy for the time to arrive.

Matthew Morris