One of the most profound and intimate experiences is to be wounded and unable to forgive. The inability to forgive may not be something that is simply chosen. Something very powerful continues to say ‘no’, even if one would like to say ‘yes’, to forgive the other, believing that it will make things easier, lighter and better from now on. In certain cases even after one has said ‘yes’ and meant ‘yes’, the ‘no’ insists.
To be refused forgiveness is also profound. Something in the other remains inaccessible, unattainable. And the past that one shares with the other—or with the other in oneself—is unclosed, like an incurable wound.
I have been thinking and reading about these aporias for the last few years, particularly with relation to the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. However, one can appreciate what I am talking about, without necessarily referring to the legacy of these crimes.
The impossibility to forgive—or to be forgiven—may be an elementary dimension of all our relations with others, and in particular, with the people who are most important to us. It is something that I encounter forcefully in my relationships with those I love the most.
This performance is structured around a notion of listening. There will a desk, a chair and a tape machine. I will respond physically and playfully to my own voice. There will be guest appearances as well as the opportunity to take part.
Can there be a dance of the unforgivable? A dance of forgiveness?