The Art of Hazavuzu
Lyon Biennial Catologue (September-November 2009)
Performative gestures are closely related to the work of ha za vu zu, artist collective formed by five members. The artists craft their mode of expression through constructing situations with individuals and groups of individuals with whom they forge convivial relations – much in same way as situational aesthetics. The interdisciplinary nature of their practice is not only revealed in their oscillation between performance, music, and video; it also extends to these collaborative situations, which necessarily demand they constantly switch roles between the creator, director, and performer thereby constantly negotiating power relationships.
In performances such as Our teeth will be snow white, 2007, they interact with a collage of images taken from the media by projecting fragmented sentences/words onto them. The sentences/words are deconstructed so that either they become a pure sound by liquidating the discursive element of language, or an element of absurdity. The most ordinary word acquires a meaning which annihilates the habitual. Orchestrated by ha za vu zu, the performances are highly rehearsed, leaving no room for improvisation. There is thus an incongruity between the cacophonic, quasi-connotative, accessible sounds and exclamations, and the amount of preparation involved in the performances.
The idea of ‘not knowing’ as a shared space on which to base the dialogue is also crucial for ha za vu zu. DISKOFIYASCO, 2009, a music performance in which they collaborate with various people, is an example where they take the advantage of ‘not knowing’. Rather than focusing purely on the end-result, their aim is to integrate the potential energies that come during the process and give importance to the outcome of this process. Even if they have some predetermined and favored ideas, and/or theme or medium for the performances, the ideas of the temporary collaborators are always influential.
ha za vu zu creates small-scale situations and anti-spectacular events with a focus on the ephemeral. Their process oriented practice does not necessarily signal a rejection of art objects; rather it suggests that objects they create should be understood as vehicles for transmitting ideas. In their collaboration with groups of individuals, they utilize a medium such as drawing, sound or the camera in order to prioritize the basic act of communication. For the Lyon Biennial, ha za vu zu will exhibit What a Loop, a re-enactment of a play situation on cinema, which they have been working on in different venues with differing outcomes; it was presented as a video work in Basel and as a performance piece in Seoul. The play situation is composed of various references to the clichés of ‘classic’ cinema scenes such as vampire attacks, kissing and Hitchcockian shots of, for example, characters throwing themselves to the ground out of terror at an aircraft flying overhead. These clichés are simplified to the point of absurdity, a common dominator in all the work of ha za vu zu.