How many corpses are enough for good quality research?
Performance documentation, LapSody 2015, Festival and Conference of Live Art and Performance Studies, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland.
Photo: Anti Ahonen.
Numbers in red are cut out and carefully placed on the floor in a circle.
The order of the numbers is altered by whistling and crawling on the floor.
This work is a response to Ewa Partum’s active poetry work (1971–73).
Ewa Partum works with letters instead of numbers. During the action, there was crawling, whistling and thinking of the of numbers not just as numbers. At moments, the numbers became the women and men I had seen in the images of violence from Mexico. They also became a big and changeable spot of blood; the numbers stopped making sense to perform and embrace a creative empathetic process.
The meaning of this artistic practice is conveyed by the title of the work,
How many corpses are enough for quality research?
In academic research and in creating policies, numbers are very important. The documentation is not an accurate account of what is in the performer’s mind and her body, but the title is a direct critique of quantitative methods of research and the inability to use information graphics to convey human tragedies, the release of pain and the embodiments of empathetic processes.