ʻSilent daysʻ, performance documentation, 2018, Groningen, The Netherlands

The diary-like Silent Days is a thought and interaction (or lack thereof) experiment. It is a stark chronicling of three days in the life of the artist that are marked by the refusal to verbally communicate with anyone else. Of diving into the minimalist language of the inner self by cutting off the stimulus of shared, exterior, interactive language with others.

It records an act of rebellion against that ultimate of social constructs — language — by focusing language as a tool of observation on the self. It forces inner speech to take total precedence over external communication. The exploration is an examination of Jacques Lacan’s theories of the “real” and “symbolic” orders while in a sense trying to reach the ʻrealʻ and get rid of ʻsymbolicʻ layer. Also being inspired by Vipassana (“Insight”) meditation, a Buddhist approach that emphasises slowly developing a greater awareness of the intricacies of reality so as to ultimately achieve liberation.

Text written by Peter Letzelter-Smith