by Sindy Butz
“… a culture prefers enclosed, stable forms when it is sure of its own identity, whereas when faced with a jumbled accumulation of ill-defined phenomena, it starts making lists.” Umberto Eco, The Infinity of Lists
After February, a full month of worries, fears, anxiety, and intuition about the significant upcoming shifts in the world, I found myself in a state of acceptance and surrender to the lockdown of New York in late March, due to the Coronavirus COVID19.
Umberto Eco’s book of lists kept coming to my mind. Therefore my first gentle approach to continue my art practice from my home studio was making lists and creating some controlled environment of order for mental comfort and safety. I suddenly felt inspired to work on the different archives that I have developed over the years and even came up with new ones. I continued my archive of performance documentation and my performance personas, my costumes, and vintage dresses, my video works, my organ of essential oils for my olfactory practice, and reorganized my research library, my polaroid collection. I started a list of body movement protocols, even a list of my favorite words, phrases and idioms, and anything else I somehow felt the urge to (re-)structure. Creating these records is a part of my art practice that I always wanted to put more time into but usually fell short of time doing. This process became a symbolic quest of what I want to leave behind in this world. And I am still not finished.
I began enjoying my time by taking out the pressure of producing artwork, that pressure of being an artist in fast pace New York and started experiencing the benefits of slowing down. After sensing a feeling of safety, order, and positive energy in my little world, I started a daily practice of creative writing, drawing, and movement of Katsugen Undo, Noguchi Taiso/Seitai, Butoh, and Chi Kung in the morning. During the day, I now dive deeply into my research of somatic movement education, through Zoom Intensives and Somatic Coaching and Consulting by the Dynamic Embodiment™️ Program that I joined in 2017. It is a program that supports me in developing a somatic method that I am designing for the visual and performance artist and other professionals in the art industry.
I am also lucky to have been able to bring my professional job home and work from home to have an even more structured day to stay sane. Over the last week, I have started a drawing project with my life long collaborator and experimental filmmaker Sandra Powers from Los Angeles. It will be possible to follow us and the project on Instagram in May. I am excited to see how it will evolve and maybe inspire others to try new ways of creative output.
I am now finally in my last state of birthing my project Sheddartha. A conceptual performance-based project inspired by the novel Siddartha by Hermann Hesse with a more feminine and playful approach. Siddharta means “one who has accomplished a goal,” siddha meaning “accomplished” and artha meaning “goal.” Siddhartha Gautama was the real name of Buddha. Sheddartha is a new, transformed version.
I am planning to offer 100 free personalized one-on-one sessions, on zoom, and in real-life after COVID19. The meetings that I base on enlightenment through body wisdom, body language, bodywork, somatic movement explorations, art-making, and conversation will benefit the participant in many ways. Sheddartha is a possible way for me to generously share my knowledge and artistic research around the performing body, and I am looking forward to connecting with people on a deeper sincere level.
Sindy Butz is an Interdisciplinary Visual Artist and Butoh DancerResearcher and Educator in Butoh, Somatic Movement, Dynamic Embodiment™️ and BodyMind Dancing™️Studio Manager of visual artist Ghada.AmerWebsite www.sindybutz.com
Marina Abramovic Institute https://mai.art/hearth