Points of Contact (2019)
A durational performance and video work exploring the nature of mattering and Being.
"The moment when the forest and my skin collide is the moment we bring each other into the world."
Points of Contact documents a performance where the artist clears a pathway through dense scrub on the hillsides outside of Sellasia, Greece using only his body. Over the duration of the piece, Lesick repeatedly throws his body through the density of vegetation, breaking branches, trampling leaves, snapping twigs. The exchange is not one-sided--for all the marks made on the landscape, his body is likewise cut and scarred by the force and agency of the landscape. Throughout the project, the artist is also exhausted by the slope of the hillside and the sheer inertia brought on by the wall of wild growth.
There is an inherent conflict to existence. We at once seek to define a determinate identity that can only exist in relation to others who both affirm and deny us. We desperately want to exist in our own right and we desperately want to disappear into otherness. The question of mattering is thus one of simultaneous creation and dissolution. For Nietzsche it is the balance between the Apollonian and Dionysian, the construction of the determinate and its fragmentation into the indeterminate. When we stray off this fine line of self/other too far into the self the indeterminate reasserts itself in violence.
Points of Contact thinks through issues of entanglement, co-constitution, mattering, and identity, and the implications of quantum physics on philosophy, as part of Lesick's research into fundamental ontology and theories of Being. Here theory moves into the physical world as a form of praxis exploring, synthesising, and building on the ideas of the likes of Jean Luc Nancy, Karen Barad, Catherine Malabou, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The project also opens a dialogue on the intersections of nature and culture, human being and environment, self and other.
The piece openly considers the processes through which things come to matter, marks are made, meanings are necessitated and deployed, and the encounters that define both us and others become archived in physical, mental, and emotional forms and landscapes. Shot by Michael Higgins, Points of Contact combines slow-motion video with intervals of silence and spoken word offering an open exploration of the dialogical processes through which things come to be in the world.