Kairos is an ancient Greek word for non-linear time. It refers to a kind of ripening of time, a moment that is filled with significance in which everything happens. The term is used by Roland Barthes to describe the opportune moment captured in a Robert Mapplethorpe self-portrait.
This piece was a durational performance based around a series of fragmentary performance ‘moments’ derived from Barthes’ 1980 book Camera Lucida. The fragments, in alphabetical order, were:
absence; air; desire; ecstasy; fragment; grain; haiku; intractable; kairos; mother; pose; unspeakable
These 12 fragments were performed 4 times to reflect the 48 sections of Barthes’ book. Each of these times the fragments were performed in a new random sequence.
The piece lasted 4 hours and the audience were welcome to join the work at any time and leave it at any time.
Kairos was performed at Buzzcut Festival and Outskirts Festival in April 2016 and at Live Art Bistro in June 2016.
The performance was part of my practice-research PhD at the University of Glasgow: Affective Intentionalities: Practising Performance with Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida.
Photo credit: Julia-Kristina Bauer