performance at LAPSody, Helsinki May 2015
photo by Antti Ahonen
I Love To You:
This performance explores ideas of communication and the exchange of love between equal subjects, beyond gender constructs and social conventions. The body of the artist is held in a tension between the space and a large sculpture of a parachute sea-anchor and she tests the limit of pressure, tenderness, security, risk, belonging and excitment available in the relationship. In this work Áine Phillips uses physical expression and behavioral language to make an act of attraction, communication, struggle and love.
My current performance “I love to you” is about an emergence and expression of love between two (or possibly more) beings who inhabit autonomous identities, who want to love but not to merge themselves together, they need to stay separate. “I Love to you” wrote French philosopher Luce Irigaray in 1996, exploring the encounter between women and men. She presented this encounter as the ground for a possible inter-subjectivity between the sexes where both are faithful to their sexed nature and by the need for rights to incarnate their nature(s) with respect; by the need for recognition of another who will never be mine; by the importance of an absolute silence in order to hear this other; by the quest for new words which will make this alliance possible without reducing the other to an item of property; by turning the negative, that is the limit of one gender in relation to another, into a possibility of love and creation.
Irigaray proposes this statement ”love to you” as opposed to “I love you” as a way to speak love to another without possession or seeking to control the other. It is declaring an act of love and connection between two individuals who are equal. This is an emergency because love in our world (especially between women and men, but can be relevant between same gender lovers also) is often expressed as an act of possession. I want love to be freely given and freely enjoyed by equal subjects. It is also an emergency because Love is central to how we are going to solve the conflicts and suffering of human beings and the world. We need to find good ways of working with love as a tool to make the world a better place.