A WAY FOR THE AMBIVALENCE
Written and Performed by Jia-Ling Hsu
Venue: Sala Ricson, Hangar: Barcelona.Spain.
Part I Talk about the Walking
Walk toward the light kit and turn on the light.
Open the little red notebook.
This summer, I’ve gone through a surgery. Before I left the hospital, the doctor gave me two notes. First, take rest as much as you can; Second, walk as much as you can, in order to improve my stomach function.
Here comes the dilemma:
How do I take a rest as much as I can WHILE keep walking as much as I can?
After a while, this September, I came here.
In the past few weeks, I walked across the parc del poblenou to take the Tram;
I walked in the streets and alleys in the old town;
I walked in the museums and walked around the sculptures;
I walked around and around the chimneys on the roof of Casa Mila;
Walked from the tower to the ground floor of La Sagrada Familia;
I walked around piles of secondhand clothes, blankets and bed covers in the flea market, wondering whom they used to belong to, and under what circumstances they were abandoned.
I walked among the vendors, waiting for the moment to say,
Señor, Cuánto? (Imagine the vendor replies in Spanish)
Inglés? (Imagine the vendor says no)
No? (Show the blank page to the audience. Write number “20” on the page, cross
it off and write number “10,” cross it off again and write number “15.” )
I enjoy the process that we both tried to understand each other while kept our bottom line.
And even more, under the help of a stranger, I’ve got the receipt for my costume.
(Show the notebook to the audience with vendor’s handwriting on the page.)
I walked to the beach, along the beach and walked into the chilliness of the wave.
I walked in the crowd of parade that roared, (Hold the notebook over my head)
Thinking about there is no such crowd crying for independence on the street in my country maybe because it is already independent.
I walked in the sunlight
I walked under unexpected shower of rain.
I walked and got lost
and walked to find the way to start again.
Gradually, my feet created their rhythm of walking which triggered my mind.
“Yes! What I’ve been doing here is walking and resting at the same time!”
I take a rest in the walk.
I see the conflicted sides merged into one path.
And I want to find more of them.
More paths that constructed with elements that seem against each other, and figure out how they form the way out together.
A way for the ambivalence.
Part II Act in Silence
Take off the outfit piece by piece: shoes, skirt, black dress, and hat. Underneath the dress is the white nightdress.
Hold up a garden pot from the floor. In the pot is a pile of salt.
Raise the pot above the head and pour it upon the head as slow as possible until the pot is empty.
Take the candle and lighter on the floor.
Walk toward the audience, and stop at the center of front stage, 30cm away from the first row.
Lit the candle.
Take the candle in front of the chest, as close as to create scorch marks on the white nightdress, while keep it as far as not to set on fire.
Move the candle downward along the centerline of the body, as close as to create scorch marks on the white nightdress, while as far as not to set on fire.
Move the body slightly to adjust the contact surface between the fabric and the light of the candle.
Once the candle is close to the hem of the skirt, pause, until the fabric is burned.
Grab and hold the fabric tight in order to put out the fire, which has burned a hole on the dress.
Tear the hole wide open.
Take off the dress.
Hold the dress in the arms.
Bring back the eye contact to the audience.