Real Performance, Grace Philips, Laurie Robins, US 2018, 25'
Real Performance stages a repetition exercise in a contemporary shared office space. The exercise is designed to teach actors to build authenticity, with the expression of spontaneous real emotion as the goal of each new performance. In the video, the exercise is pushed beyond its normal time constraints, forcing the two actors beyond the controlled limits of their training. At regular intervals, a series of lines selected from management textbooks are incorporated into the otherwise improvised exercise. In highlighting the language of emotional leadership, Real Performance visualizes the distance between two ideas of empathy: as a method of extracting value from labor and as an intense and transformative force that can produce an alternative kind of space, conjured in plain sight, spontaneously available to anyone as resistance to instrumentalization.