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The Attentive Creator of Contemporary Rituals

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In her book Conversations with Meredith Monk, Bonnie Marranca publishes four conversations that occurred between 2008 and 2013, that is, in Monk’s mature period of creation, hence affording the artist occasion to reflect on her past work. Among other things, she affirms that her relationship to her work is informed by her practice of Buddhism. She refers to directorial method of “weaving” together the different media she uses when constructing her stage works, allowing her to connect the different worlds contained within different media and in so doing experience herself as an integrated being. She describes the creation of a work as the search for something fundamental, understanding each work as its own world, which she listens to and whose laws she searches for in an uninterrupted dialogue with the work as the subject. For her, the stage is a holy space, a space for ritual between performers and audience, in which an important role is played by shared time, unrepeatable and transient. The conversations with Monk reveal how her creative process heeds the internal desires of the creation and simultaneously ignores the instructions of established aesthetic guidelines.
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Keywords: Buddhism; Weaving; attentiveness and listening; contemporary rituals; integrated creative approaches; intermedia events

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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