Re-creation and Repetition in March

My attempt at re-creating “Year of the Horse” (2002) on Harakka Island in 2014, albeit once a month rather than once a week, was almost stranded before it started due to unlucky circumstances. During my first session, in the first days och February, snow covered the island and most of the sea as well. The winter was exceptionally short this year, and the ice soon turned unreliable to walk on or impossible to row through. At mid March when the sea was finally open for boats, I was away travelling. In order to continue this “calendar” I finally made it to the island at the end of March. The jump between the first two images, however, is almost two months rather than one month. Now there was no more snow in sight, if you really looked for it you could find a few remains by the rocks on the northern shore. The first sound of birds filled the air and the sun felt warm, like spring.
Speaking of re-creations, I read Kirsten Pullen’s article “If Ya liked it Then You Shoulda Made a Video Beyoncé Knowles, Youtube and the public sphere of images” (in Performance Research vol. 16:2, 2011, 145-153) made available free online to celebrate the World Theatre Day. She is discussing the many professional and amateur recreations of Beyoncés “Single Ladies” on Youtube, viewed by millions, as well as the material that inspired the piece in the first place. She suggests that performance studies scholars should not only use youtube for examples in teaching, as consumers, but to participate as producers, too. I vaguely remember reluctantly participating in her “Psingle Ladies” at PSi # 16, from the back row, though, and that is not the version that has attracted the milloins. Obviously there are re-creations and re-creations.
Beyond re-creation there is the repetition. Repetition and variation are relevant for artistic research as well, as Mark Fleishman writes in his article “The Difference of Performance as Research” (in Theatre Research International vol.37. Iss.1. March 2012, 28-37). For Fleishman performance-as-research “is a process of creative evolution. It is not progressivist, building towards a finality; nor is it mechanistic in the sense that it knows what it is searching for before it begins searching. It begins with energy … that is then channelled, durationally, through repetition, in variable and indeterminable directions … It expresses itself through a repeated, though flexible and open-ended, process of ontogenesis.” (Fleshman 2012, 34) He suggests that repetition is a way of slowing down in order to see the differences, in order to feel and live the intervals between the stable points of action. Well yes, I completely agree. My work is all about repetition. It is as if repeating things is the only way to become aware what actually takes place. But what about this kind of obsessive returning to old works, old places, old strategies for performing landscape? What actually is the difference? Is there a difference that matters? – At the moment I do not know…