Michal Samama: “What am I paying you for?”

It’s a special bond when you meet during an experience that alters–
like witnessing a performance.

Some kind of understanding,
a natural comraderie when a conversation unfolds in front of you without speaking–

We participated in actions contained in electrodes
You started speaking to me as if we’ve known each other for years- this might just be Chi hospitality.

I begin to answer your questions when someone asks to “borrow me”

In Dfb I meet Michal
I had already made a connection to her- she knew Vela
We talk about her negotiation of the space- the sterile white surfaces.
She tells me this is her 3rd iteration.

“What am I paying you for?”

I think of the fact that this is the third time–
Mass Production
We make plans to talk about this later,
There is blood to be spilled on the floors now.

The space is altered


Michal approaches the space, nonchalant & integrated with the viewers- bag in hand.

Layers are slowly shed.
she approaches the wall
she plays with the 4th wall.

Her body as a tool
Pushing & Pulling to build Icons
break symbols
A Sphinx- powerful
Her movements are poignant,
framed with the bitter edge of objectivity
I think of this question someone once posed
“Was the artist making or finding the object or was the object making the artist?”

Poses are sharp
actions are sexualized
Humorous, clear, aware, burdened

the cycle ends as the layers slowly come on
she approaches the audience again

Round of applause
there is conversation of the contrast from performing this on stage, a spectacle,
to this being idyllic- more intimate– the white,
organizing bodies, encouraging interaction
I couldn’t help but think of how compelling her

Pushing and rubbing and molding
of space was
minutes after being cleansed of the blood

You came up to me- invited me to a different kind of performance — then left.
Like a pilgrimage I board the train after all the celebrations- in your direction

I find Michal on the blue line.
She is holding her object.

We have a real conversation
Trading information
an exchange
I leave her in California
She takes her performance home.

Michal Samana photo by Nabeela Vega

RP14 performance photos by Nabeela Vega.
Nabeela Vega is an artist & writer originally from Dhaka Bangladesh. Vega migrated to Virginia four days before September 11th 2001 at the age of eleven. Experiences following this event are what fuel their interest in the orientalist/anti- orientalist lens and notions of the other. Their work has been exhibited nationally and featured in publications such as the Washington Post & The Aerogram.

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One thought on “Michal Samama: “What am I paying you for?””

  1. Ted Ramsey

    Impressive, and I am impressed.