Archery is an ancient practice, that hasn’t lost its fascination all over the world, being a meditation technique in Japan (Kyudo), an Olympic discipline, a hunting technique for example in Mongolia or Brazil, or a kid’s toy. In Greek mythology amazons, female warriors, used archery to defend their ma- triarchal territories. I am very much fascinated by these myths and I feel their drive inside of me.
In the performance shapeshifter I am shooting arrows to a wall that shatter when they hit the surface. The roles of actors in this performance are swapped: The arrows are the performers, that go through the process of transformation and shifting shapes. Me, I am the arrow’s tool, to facilitate the process. Nevertheless, the flight of the arrow manifests the inner work of the shooter. The preparation re- quires a state of meditation and an alignment with the inner self, as it is an intuitive action.
The process of transformation is physically the transformation of energy: The arrow receives potential energy when I draw it, it has kinetic energy embodied during the flight and it releases chemical energy, sound and heat when it hits the wall and shatters. Energy cannot be produced nor destroyed. The sum of it remains always the same, but the distribution between different types of energy varies. The performance makes reference to global warming where energy, in the form of oil and gas, that used to be stored in the ground for millions of years is burned, which is an act of transformation of energy. As a consequence, the composition of the gases in the atmosphere changes. This leads to a new equilibrium in the world, with a huge impact on mankind as temperature changes have a cascading impact on the natural living environment. During the performance the audience is experiencing this violent act of the arrow’s explosion, that shows the severity of the climate’s irreversible trajectory. Mantra- like the repetitive movements and sound of the performance reflect the political debate about this topic and the memory that the clock is ticking.
The performance remains as an installation with traces on the wall. Artistically shooting this installation is in reference to Niki de Saint Phalle’s Shooting Paintings.
Photography: Colin Raynal (video stills)