Sara Kraft: HyperREAL

Sara Kraft: HyperREAL

So I came away from this stimulated and grateful, to have an experience in performance art where I was thinking afterwards and where i could sense the amount of thought and energy the artist had put into it.  It was accessible but not expected…. and my neurons were firing connections so i thought i’d start a thread to keep the post show discussion goooooing.

as i am thinking to write my response to sara kraft’s hyperreal, i sneak onto facebook really quickly to see if this person on facebook has responded to the youtube video that i sent them.  and i am connected back to what i was thinking on my way home about the connection between the efforts of the two people in hyperreal so far which deals with my own conception of reality being connected to validity.  this person happens to have complimented me for my “realness”, which I find funny and awkward, and yet i was checking up to see if they related to me on my new favorite youtube video.  if someone or something is recognized as REAL (I won’t try to get into whether or not they ARE, ACTUALLY, real), they are by some default, moral or otherwise, deserving attention, consideration, desirability, connection.  In HyperREAL, what I experienced when Sara addressed the audience directly, and Ryan addressed a pseudo or hyperreal or indeterminate audience of the internet, was an attempt to claim validity.  On a surface level my first perception was Sara’s narrative as based more in authenticity, she addressed us as if we had already met her, had already agreed on her validity (which I guess isn’t an assumption as most of us had basically contracted this agreement by consciously buying a ticket and showing up to see HER).  The contrast to this was Ryan’s glaring attempt to gain validity, which for all its surface phoniness or (pause) Fake-ness, had what came off to me as an underlying earnestness, what he said was contrived, but the way he said it, the desperation in his laughter, the moments between revisions, were naked requests to be real, to be validated.  My response was a simultaneous desire to reject his desperate, phony behavior, and an awareness of how i disguise my own desire for authenticity (fancy way to avoid the word reality) and validation.  Where Sara’s role comes into this, I’m still sorting out.  I originally describe her narrative as more real, or more comfortable, at least, in its realness, and here, i need to try to fit the humor in this work in–  with Ryan’s character, we were laughing at him, and with Sara we laughed along.  When she got into the profundity of her experience, or the realness or fakeness of something, her voice turned breathy or she paused before a word, which seemed to emphasize the absurdity of the notion of reality, and for me the absurdity of asking for validity.  that last part may be projection, but it is one of the ways i related to the piece and to what Sara was doing, while simultaneously trying to connect with her audience, to the reality of experience and feelings, she was poking fun at it, dismissing it as a possibility.  The effect of the contrast between Ryan and Sara’s approaches was one where Ryan actually seemed very exposed and vulnerable, whereas Sara had a level of protection in having already called the other side of the coin.  And yet at the close, both characters are overwhelmed and deluged with media and sound and layering of themselvesand technology with that final, i am…… (real? part of something? doing? being?) or just that, i am, the shortest complete sentence in the english language.

I noticed that my response didn’t have a huge resonance with the relationship of technology, which makes me feel a bit like i missed some of the point.  i guess the main role i saw in it was that it complicated the conception of existence, whats real… the title of the work makes me think, amplified and simultaneously fractured it off into countless tiny pieces.

ack… i wish i had more critique.  if the piece is going to be longer, the format needs to vary more.  by the last third I was uncomfortably conscious of the shift between sara addressing the audience, ryan talking to photo booth, and sara behind the scrim with the water and her face projected.  that being said, the final part broke that up in time, that it didn’t lose its effectiveness and intrigue.

ugh… lets see if anybody makes it through this mental wandering.

One Comment

  • CaraRose

    how do we discuss the realness of our experience
    inside the theater,
    in front of a screen,
    in front of another person,
    or through the lens of time…
    Sarah Kraft posed just such nagging questions in her first iteration of HyperREAL. The subject at hand is partially… subjectivity! Just as your actual vantage point determined what was seen of scrim and shadows, your perspective on the piece changed correspondingly. Never forcing a narrative, she allowed plenty ( too much?) space for us to carve out characters, cleverly forcing us to decide who was performing a character, and who was ‘real’, or perhaps, who was performing themselves.(ouch) The piece felt both vacuous and planar, not yet diving far enough to convey the profundity of the problem.
    The moments that clicked for me:
    -the trance of ‘you become what you meditate on…'(still stuck in my head thank you…)
    -the acknowledgment of the fact that there are no ‘real’ dancers ( again, ouch)
    -ryan’s revelation that he’s ‘always home’
    -the (purposeful?) incessant insertion of the words ‘really’ and ‘actually’
    -the mention of the police scanner connecting the unseen electricity in the air, and the unknown electricity of the ocean
    i truly cannot wait to see where the next fin emerges.

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