Manifesto is a 9 hours performance, starting at 10am and finishing at 7pm with one hour lunch break at 2pm and coffee breaks, like office hours.
The space, symbolic representation of the performer's mental space ; entirely in shades of white and illuminated with neon lighting, mimics an office space to its bare minimum: two walls, a B&W multifunction printer on a table, A4 paper, a digital wall clock, a typewriter, a desk and an office chair.
Dressed like Michael Douglas in Falling Down when he arrives, the performer puts on his pyjamas when he enters the space and writes page by page, automatically, an idea leading to another, with the same non-communicative attitude all the way, his Manifesto, inspired by rage and frustration but also the books and sounds present in the space that can be related to his memories (see list in the Documents field). His "memories" change from one performance to the next.
The performer spits out his repugnance for this world and the anger it engenders. He tries to define what is art or what it should be in his completely subjective opinion. After all, the performer is "in his own head". The amplified, jerky and uninterrupted sound of the typewriter fills the space.
The entire performance is filmed, live broadcast on YouTube and comments posted are projected in the white cube of the performance. The performer can directly reply to them in his Manifesto and therefore allows unpredictable emotions and reactions in his writing flow. From the next day the video of the performance is projected in the same space, left as it is when the performer leaves.
Time is saved at the end of the performance to make copies and staple them in order to make A5 notebooks that will be available for free to the audience from the day after the performance at 10am.
At the very end of the performance, this original Manifesto is manually bound with a needle and thread and the performer shaves his head frenetically and collects his hair in a transparent jar.
Both, the Manifesto and his hair, are kept as sacred relics by the performer as he leaves the space and they are presented in a showcase from the next day, according to a voluntarily exaggerated scenography.
The performance refers directly to “The Castle” by Kafka, which is often understood to be about alienation, unresponsive bureaucracy, the frustration of trying to conduct business against non-transparent, seemingly arbitrary controlling systems, and the futile pursuit of an unreachable goal.
Like Absalon’s “Cells” (1991), this rigorously economical space of solitude is an infallible and voluntarily consented prison but unlike his cells, “a mean of resistance to a society that keeps him from becoming what he must become”, this performance is a surgical projection, an allegorical transposition of the outside world and its continuous stream of “nonsenseness” that never lets us in peace, violating our very personal mental space at every moment.
This performance is a ritual of detoxification as well as an intimate and voyeuristic journey through the creative process of the performer where spontaneous thoughts and memories are combined with the references he chose, like a puzzle. One can see it also like a diary and this why this work can not be defined by a single performance. Only its repetition defines slowly the Manifesto. Each iteration of the performance, each notebook, renews/clarifies its position through time.
Like in the project The Chicken Or The Egg, Manifesto is “an artistic research work. Research shapes the work, which is itself a process of research.”