Questions, since 2009

 

 

 

Questions

 

Performative research project, initiated in 2009.

 

Questions is a discursive practice that was born out of the need to find new ways of addressing political and artistic discourse and give an answer to our need to constantly reformulate and think ideas, theories, concepts, in and out of language. The practice helps us approach fields of interest slowly and accumulatively going in a circular movement around definitions and inscriptions, widening the range of their usage. It is possible we are progressing towards common understanding, towards misunderstanding, towards poetics, or all at once. The basis of the technique behind the practice is a number of simple rules implemented by the participants:

 

The discussion is held only by asking questions, each participant can ask as many questions as wanted and there is no predetermined order of speakers.

Each question needs to relate to the question or questions before it

Each question has to be directed to all participants and not to a specific person

Each participant can repeat a question that was asked earlier in the discussion

Each participant can ask for a 30 seconds of silence at any point

The first question will set an initial frame for the discourse, and can be adjusted to be relevant to the current presentation.

 

By restricting the form of communication to using only questions, the practice offers the experience of communicating without making statements. The benefits of committing to such a rigid form, forces one to construct different patterns and connections of thought, which do not stand behind preset statements or ideologies. The form prevents the discussion from being in a fashion that resembles rhetorical speech, lecturing, or any sort of institutional methods, which are reliant on the possession of knowledge. The form develops wild links and relations between terms that are independent from any prejudgment. Detached from opinion related values the speaker becomes anonymous; this creates a certain separation between the speakers and what is spoken about which is truly a magical experience. The participants of Questions become a temporary group that directs the logic of the discourse together. The direction cannot be determined by the singular body or a singular question but by what happens in between them during the time of the practice. We also use Questions to exhaust the common understanding and conceptions of words that are regularly and fashionably used in the realm of art discourse; By employing these words again and again within different questions the words themselves gain a surplus of interpretations, shifting the importance of definitions away from meaning and towards the potential of meaning.

 

Questions was initiated by Corinne Skaff, Jassem Hindi, Sarah Beth Percival, Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat.