Damp Footnotes

A project by Dafna Maimon with Victoria Camblin, Jessica Gadani, Leah Katz and Rosalind Masson

Through Silvia Federici’s essay “On the Meaning of Gossip,” we now know that the word gossip originally stood for a close friend, not base idle talk. Based on Federici’s definition Damp Footnotes evolved out of the idea that one can remember, or at least picture, a good friend’s toes.

Toes are intriguing; they are equal in seductiveness, abjectness, and silliness, but they also connect us to the ground and distribute our weight. Toes rub against shoes, they sweat inside of cheap socks, sometimes they grow bunions from being squeezed into pointy high heels. They wear down from dancing, walking, standing. Life styles and life stories are embodied and embedded within feet. Furthermore, toes are highly communicative tentacular limbs that have been subject to much-constructed symbolism and control throughout history, especially when thinking about women’s feet – and how they have been treated – toes can tell larger cultural and personal stories.

Bataille’s essay “The Big Toe” from 1929 meditates on this body part as one that is most human, due to it setting us apart from our closest primate relatives (Chimps, Bonobos, Orangutans, etc.) whose equivalent “big toes” resemble thumbs and support their tree-dwelling lives. Bataille recounts a typical binary in his essay: Our feet rummaging in the dirt and mud of the earth represent the low, base, subterranean, hell-like dimensions, while our heads reach toward the light, celestial skies, and heavens, and form the desired direction of evolution toward “man’s” reason as the highest order.

Damp Footnotes resets this direction, and like footnotes within a text, rather swirls out in a rhizomatic, non-linear meditation on toes and friends, where knowledge processed and created through friendship is weaved into an intimate foot-oriented experience.

At Kunstbrücke am Wildenbruch small groups will be led through 22-minute long performances –the length of a Friends episode–, exploring how friends infect, affect, and shape one another through the porous intimacy of friendship.
This work is an ode to the way friends can bring us back to earth and ground us in the moment, allowing for at least short episodes of non-quantifiable coexistence and fluid streams of consciousness, free from the incessant ramblings of our “rational” minds.

Damp Footnotes materializes through and with friends; writer Victoria Camblin creates a text for the space, while Jessica Gadani, Leah Katz, and Rosalind Masson embody and create the work through performance.

November 26. and 27, 4-8.30pm

Limited number of participants. Please register here: pssst@gossipgossipgossip.org for one of the following performance-times:
4/ 4:40/ 5:10 / 7:10 / 7:50pm

The audience will be led through the performance in small groups appr. every 20 minutes. If not fully booked, it is also possible to attend spontaneously. Please dress warmly for the weather in order to feel comfortable when waiting.

Image for Damp Footnotes
© Dafna Maimon

Participating artists