Dimly, dimly at first: A Letter to Kristel Faye Baldoz
by Jai Arun Ravine
On stage you bring Trinh T. Minh-ha’s book When the Moon Waxes Red as a pivot point during your improvisation. I ask Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee to open to a page that could respond to you, and this is what she says:
Dimly, dimly at first
then increase just a little more
volume then a little more
take it take it no further, shut it
off. To the limit before too late before too soon
to be taken away. (130)
What are you humming? Nice mood light. I wonder how you will start. Each time you begin dimly, dimly at first. I went to a restaurant last night called Mood. This is a moody new moon, am I right? The way you chose to light the space may suggest one or more of the following:
- a) You do not want to be seen all the way.
- b) You only want to be seen by certain people.
- c) It is difficult to be in the space; dimly makes it bearable.
Everything echoes intensely, the body echoing. I see the echoes in the dark. I sense the horror and pressure of being seen, of being seen as what? I’m writing to support you here on the edge. Light change, then increase just a little more. More light now, less moving. More seeing, less seeing. More writing. You’re wearing all gray and you talk about the color gray as possibility, what reminds me of third space or nonbinary space. You drape your gray shirt across a white chair and put your arm around it. Is this a companion or a jacket? You say that this assemblage approaches the feeling of another body on stage with you. You seem alone, isolated, singular, hair over your face as a fabric. Yet in shadow there are four of you like backup dancers against the wall. You attempt to frame yourself within the moving frame of the folded white chair. But what can really interrupt the imperialist gaze, the hegemonic frame, the audience’s visualization?