PAUL VIRILIO

Urbanist, Essayist
Ancien President et Directeur de l'École Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris, France

Written in 1997. Published in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIVE TRANSMISSION Volume 1, exhibition catalog accompanying O’Hara’s solo exhibition in the Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy, 2002. English translation: Maria Grazia Ricanati and O'Hara.

WORDS IN THE AIR

There is silence in SOUND, while the invisible is the silence of SIGNS, of gestures which escape our notice at every instant. Words in the air, the gestures which accompany language, draw around us improvised traces which are clouds of meaning. Tree of cognitions, this vegetation of our gesticulation stirs at the breath of The Word, like foliage.

Why then are we SYMMETRICAL, if not to move on the axis of our body (?): two arms, two hands, two legs and one common trunk which equilibrates our physical expression. To capture the "to be symmetrical", and thus harmony, eludes us like the wake of a ship. To be known, recognized by one's movement, one's MOTILITY in place and not by one's MOBILITY, one's movement through space, is the motive behind the scrutinizing looks of others.

To keep an exact account of these quick gestures set adrift, of the head bobbings which are characteristic of an individual -- the discreet occurrences which signal our identity -- that is the work of an entirely new GRAPHOLOGY. Following photographed visual identity, here we now come to the trajectography of gestural identity. In the spectrum of being active, there are nothing but curves and peaks of intensity, whose infractions against pure symmetry compose our vitality of the moment.

Adept at ballistics (the science of projectiles), MORGAN O"HARA is an antenna, a department of registrations which detects and follows inexhaustibly the range of our limbs. As the aneroid barometer registers the high and low pressures of the atmosphere of a region, Morgan O'Hara inscribes on her pages nothing but the deep barometric depressions or the quick storms of our comportment.

MUSIC GRAPHOLOGY has attempted for a long time to surpass the writing down of the scales. STENOGRAPHY, improvised by our artist has gone beyond the art of the portrait. Moreover, when she observes us, we see her hands which repeat, mirrored, the emblem of our lives.

Breath, wind, word and wake of the body, the OBJECT of the drawing is here the TRAJECTORY, the prime mover of the research of discourse, the SUBJECT in search of meaning. An exhibition of the choreographic work of Morgan O'Hara is then, the perfect equivalent of the ancient "Practice Charts" which were hung in the maritime hall, showing the complex evolution of MARINERS' KNOTS, to teach seamen the art which ties and unties the thread of destiny of vessels.

Paris, France 1997