New Year’s Day 2022: Be Like Water!

New Year’s Day 2022: Be Like Water!

Wishing you a smooth, loving & healthy flow in 2022 despite the complexities we are all going through these days. 

     So, onward into the new year & on January 1st, I performed a new Karstic Action: Be Like Water (video below) for the Poetry Project’s 48th Annual New Year’s day Marathon. My three minute performance was live streamed at around 7:30PM EST. The piece is dedicated to artist Betsy Damon.  Back in October I was privileged to perform a sound scape I created for her performance Listen, Respect, Revere presented at La Mama Gallery during her solo show PASSAGES: RITES AND RITUALS curated by Monika Fabijanska. Betsy’s radical performance practice from the 70s & her relentless worldwide eco-activism inspires, energizes, & prompts action. Hence the Karstic-Action Be Like Water, a performance precipitated by the proximity of great water in my close environment. I have lived on the shore of Shatemuc since 2007 (in Bayridge, Brooklyn) & before that on the shores of Mahicanituck (Albany, NY 1992-2007). Different names for the same river, whether it is the Mohican’s name upstream or the Lenape’s name downstream, the meaning remains the same: “the river that flows two ways,” — thus not just a river, but a tidal estuary, an arm of the sea where salty seawater meets fresh water running off the land. Today we call her Hudson River, after the English navigator Henry Hudson who in 1609 sailed the “Halve Maen (Half Moon),” a Dutch East India Company three-masted flyboat, upstream to Pem-po-tu-wuth-ut or Sche-negh-ta-da, today Albany, NY

     These waters, these lands had long been navigated & populated by native peoples— for at least 10 000 years. But what is left of the 9500 years of these rich & complex layers of life, history, culture? Karstic-Action Be Like Water was broadcast from my studio in Bay Ridge — in the southwest of Brooklyn, located on a terminal moraine created by receding glaciers around 13,000 years ago along the Verrazano Narrows. This land belonged to the Lenape people & there is local evidence of their dwelling here since 4500 BC. The Lenape belong to the Algonquin civilization & spoke Munsee. Given their predominantly oral culture, early written documents are rarely accurate as they come to us from the first colonizers who knew neither their culture nor their language. Like the other Natives, the Lenape have been dispossessed, displaced, practically exterminated. The colonizers also usurped & changed the names of rivers, valleys & mountains which in their languages had held important geographical & linguistic information. From the beginning on the European infiltration started to obliterate the ecological equilibrium of their sustainable land- & water-based environment. Before Henry Hudson, the Florentine Giovanni de Verrazano visited the narrows in 1524, sent by the French king, François 1er. A Brooklyn Eagle article from 1911 reports that graves have been found on the Bliss Estate, or what’s now called Owl’s Head Park. “This is known as Indian Mound, for here Indian relics and bones have been found.” This mound —part of the moraine mentioned above, is my neighborhood park & I visit it almost everyday when I am in Bay Ridge. 

     Karstic Action: Be Like Water is the distillate of the geological, historical, environmental information I acquired over the years, succussed into a 3-minute performance. This work is in the lineage of the KARSTIC-Actions Paintings open-ended series of live performances I started in 2011. They explore proprioception (sense of body position) & kinesthesia (sense of body movement), as meeting points between painting, poetry, voice, music, ecology, geology, history. “Karstic” refers to the geological phenomena of dissolution & transformation at work in the formation of superficial or underground limestone topographies. By a similar principle of infiltration, language transforms into poem, breath into song and colored chalk become pastel into marks on paper or canvas. Always “in/quest of” equilibrium through an ecological consciousness in the literal meaning of that term: greek οἶκος / oîkos/ house, household, dwelling & λόγος / lógos/ discourse, thus science of dwelling. 

     The sound track was pre-recorded (recording & mixing courtesy of Miles Joris-Peyrafitte) to allow me to focus on the physical performance aspect. The text is an assemblage of the “Mahicanituck” song written for the performance “The Bi-Continental Chowder” in the early 2000s & of a second part written over the past week. The background of the live painting is a sheet of paper used as a floor covering & saved from a 2015 action painting. The pigments were a mixture of chewed charcoals burned in the fireplace of our house in my native Pyrenees, pure calcium carbonate (calcite), Ercolano red,  terre verte Brentonico, Chefchaouen blue, French clay,   bauxite de Tourves, sand from the Narrows; all mixed with water & applied with the feet while in headstand (Salamba Sirsasana II). 

 

 
 
Sound file:

 

Text:

Be Like Water
for Betsy Damon on New Year’s day 2022

Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
from lake Tear of the Clouds
she flows & grows
& grows & flows
to meet the Atlantic Ocean at the Verrazano Narrows
Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
they call you Hudson today
we cannot drink your water anymore
we cannot eat your fish or oysters anymore
we cannot swim from your shores anymore
but Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
I feel your flow
I feel your flow
I hope less
feel flow
hope less
feel flow
feel flow
my hydrological cycle
primeval waters
primordial oysters
salty waters
fresh waters
with the bonobos following the Congo trail
waking wading dwelling from canopy to water 
defying that water was “ubered” by an asteroid or comet
but steamed out 4.3 billions years ago
hope is not a strategy
hope is a belief
water was already here
immanent not transcendent
the crucible of non-living & living worlds
feel flow
feel flow
feed flow
feed flow
On the menu du jour: life’s origin
serving primordial soup
on original sea bed
paired with
water to restore the
intimate relationship with life
feel flow
feel flow
Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
we grow & flow
& flow & grow

Travaux/Actions Karstique 2021 at Galerie Simoncini

Travaux/Actions Karstique 2021 at Galerie Simoncini

KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS: DOCUMENTATION

From June 4th — July 15, 2021 Galerie Simoncini —Luxembourg, presented the second extensive installment of Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris’ Domopoetics creations. The couple, who has shared life for three decades, moved in with their most recent KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS —paintings, texts, videos — & occupied the three levels of the gallery.
— On the ground floor, the Karstic Refuge where their domestic & political processes interconnect & transform.  
— In the basement, the Sanctuary, neither holy nor secret, but table/altar for their intimate domopoetic works.
— On the second floor, the Canopy, where the diversity & resilience of multi-species relations can be experienced.
For the opening & the finissage live Karstic-Action performances were presented. Below are the two videos:

OPENING:  Friday, June 4th at 6:00PM with an improvisation of Pascal Delalée on violin

 

FINISSAGE:  July 15 2021 with Colin Toniello on keyboard

VIDEOS on displayed at the gallery:
ResistPersistAssist -2020: https://vimeo.com/477008625
Nicole Peyrafitte -VOTE!-2020: https://vimeo.com/473998922
Pierre Joris -VOTE Manifesto-2020: https://youtu.be/o2cL2mj7bu8
Dé-Suffire/De-Suffice -2020: https://vimeo.com/443524314
Manifesto -2020: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/492536015 
Altars of Light -2006: https://vimeo.com/43001870
KINGSTON Karstic-Action 2020: https://vimeo.com/389405431

PRESS RELEASES:
English
French

POSTER:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INVITATION:

Featured in TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC

Featured in TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC

Thank you! Poet Curator Mbizo CHIRASHA for featuring my work in such details on the  TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC.

“Time of the Legend with Acclaimed Performance Poet Nicole Peyrafitte.

“Performance Poet Nicole Peyrafitte your dub verse is mind raving and lyrical gymnastics scintillates lowspirited readers to resurrect themselves to activity. Your poetry heaves with heart throbbing rhythm, that of a dense canopy of papaya tree dancing on the passing wind and as well dangling with ripe yellow ready to be give us Vitamin C. Your art is mature and provokes  the world to rise  and see dots of darkness in the sun  as such to realize patches of  dirty  on the  undergarments  of the moon .Your philosophy concocted imagery raves and cracks our mental boxes, like how stray tendrils of marijuana smoke spirals into the nostrils of a saint, a nonsmoker and wrecks his brains to speak to himself or herself. Mind boggling. Thus, the power of your voice is extraordinary”….more

Recent & online

Recent & online

Recap of works recently published.
Immense gratitude to all the publishers
Care    Persist    Resist!

FAIM! French Online Poetry Festival 

Indefatigable performer/ curator Pauline Cathrinot curated & mc’d a great Online Festival! 
“Impérieuse. Elle grossit, gronde, épaissit. Une extraordinaire FAIM, faimgalle, fringale. Elle se lève, nous dresse. Oui, on a FAIM! de corps proférants, de cous tendus en dynamiques de cordes, de larynx émus et d’amygdales vibrantes, de ce qui lève monte s’accroît quand la chair est parole, et qu’elle se jette sur nous. Qu’on l’attrape, la saisit la gobe. De langue à langue, et par dévorations.” … more from Pauline here

our contributions:

KARSTIC-Action : Je me dé-suffis / I de-suffice myself from Tawil Productions on Vimeo.

Le Chant de la Sirène Journal  

“Chant de la Sirène began as a weblog in 2007 by Laura Hinton, on the topic of the hybrid literary arts. First focusing on the radical New York poetry & multi-media arts scene through which Hinton had been floating adrift, the original blog came to offer a wider array of poetry book reviews, artist-poet interviews, poet tributes, conference travelogues, memoirs, and guest essays… (more here)

5 Pages & a text from my Daily Carnets in here

 

The A-Line  Journal

the A-Line

Convergence 5: Apocalypse Now and Then    

By  on July 1, 2020
“The announcement of this issue was circulated some months ago, but these past weeks have reassured the editors of the necessity of an enterprise seeking to draw together the best of contemporary progressive thought in order to provide the intellectual and emotional sustenance we need to survive this enormous contraction, and continue the work of overhauling our society. Although the A-Line was founded two years ago as a response to felt crisis, I believe we’d all agree that our current political order—home and beyond—has reached a not-to-be-doubted inflection point beyond which we can neither see, nor even guess. “Apocalypse Now and Then”—in its varied figurative and referential valence—lends its name to this timely issue that includes  essays, poems, and images taking up the many dimensions  of this national and global emergency— from the COVID-19 pandemic, to climate change, economic disaster, as well as the spectacle of violence and lawlessness at the highest levels of governance that currently defines US society. (more here)

Nicole : A text & 3 paintings in the  The A-Line  Journal

RED RAT

Pierre Joris:

from: DIARY NOTES MARCH-MAY 2020

11 Women of Spirit at Salon Zürcher & Karstic-Action

11 Women of Spirit at Salon Zürcher & Karstic-Action
1- Kingston, NY. Cardinal (2020) 29.5 x 38.5 
2-Kingston, NY. Jaune d’Oeuf (2020) 29.5 x 38.5

I am very much looking forward to 11 Women of Spirit, a mini-art fair at Zürcher Gallery, 11 female artists representing themselves in the space. I will be showing recent Karstic-Action paintings.
Opening Reception: Monday, March 2, 6 – 8 PM
Closing Reception: Sunday, March 8, 5-7 PM
Open to the Public:
 Tuesday, March 3- Saturday, March 7: 12-8pm
Sunday, March 8: 12 – 7pm 
Galeriezurcher.com
33 Bleecker Street, New-York, NY.

 

 

Below, the video documentation & above, two paintings of our latest Karstic-Action at The Lace Mill in Kingston N.Y. Together with Michael Bisio (bass), Patrick Higgings (guitar & electronics), Pierre Joris (poetry), we wove, carved, painted, played, occupied, sung, worded , danced a 50-minute improvised action. 

Voilà! I am looking forward to see you in March and together let’s Persist Resist & Care and keep our spirits up !

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