Agata Jastrząbek Filarowska
My research And the Word became Flesh stems from the desire to transition from logos (rational thought/written word/semantics) to egeneto (flesh/essence/all senses of perception/act/sound of a word).
"Logos sarks egeneto", a phrase from the original Greek text of the Bible (gospel of John, 1:14), can be translated in various ways: “the mind became the flesh” and “the sense/essence has materialized itself”. Logos is a word, a mind, a measure and a sense. The research is hearing, seeing and touching the sense of life – because the sense of life has manifested itself. It is experiencing logos: what we can see, hear, smell and touch with our hands.
And the Word became Flesh is both the subject of my research as well as its methodology.
The intention is to transition from secondary written sources to primary sources: action, experience, practice, sensation and perception. To practice this transition, I am employing various tools, which I find useful: the daily practice of music learning and Alexander Technique, which includes my own empirical experience in breathing, standing, walking, moving the bow when playing the instrument, interacting with another person who is playing along.
It is because of the transcendence of the material experience that the spiritual occurs.
I wish to place ‘inhibition’ and ‘end-gaining’ in the center of my empirical research: to be able to pause, say ‘stop’, release the tension, and to ‘refresh’ the action at its different stage without aiming for any pre-fixed result. ‘Inhibition’ and ‘end-gaining’ are terms borrowed from the Alexander Technique. ‘Inhibition’ is a momentary thought that precedes the action itself, in order for the movement to occur with less muscular interference in the body. Inhibition is a pause to allow for a change in the approach to an action. ‘End-gaining’ is a universal habit and a tendency to keep our mind and actions focused on an end result whilst losing sight of, and frequently at the expense of, the means-whereby the result is achieved.
I am learning to play on the kamancheh (Iranian spike fiddle) and the cello. Kamancheh is one of the oldest bow instruments, the grandmother of cello and violin. It comes from Persia and its sound is ‘less tuned’ than the sound of western classical cello. Kamancheh is more sensitive to the environment (humidity) and more mobile than a cello. The cello is much bigger and heavier and it vibrates against my body. Both are held between legs and are often described as instruments that resemble the human voice. On the kamancheh, I am learning Radif, old melodic figures preserved by oral tradition in Persia, which opened a new way of playing and hearing music.
I am interested in exploring the dialectic of tension between the spiritual/mundus imaginalis and material/physical/erotic and to bring these seemingly incongruent elements into play with one another.
Mundus imaginalis (Malakut), the Imaginal Forms, the Imaginal World (alam mithali), the world of the Soul and souls; it is defined by their median and mediating situation between the intellectual and sensible worlds. It is a cognitive power in its own right. - paraphrased from the introduction to the book Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth. From Mazdean Iran to Shiite Iran (1960) by Henry Corbin.
Voice, as a vocal expression of breath, is another element of focus in my mind and body learning praxis.
In What Sense The Body Of The Faithful Believer Is The Earth Of His Paradise is the title of a presentation of my research in collaboration with Juliette Lacroix, a cellist and a body.
Agata Jastrząbek Filarowska was born in Stargard Szczeciński in Poland. She graduated with a BA in European Studies and an MA in Arts and Heritage Management, Education and Policy from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.
Agata is predominantly interested in the poetics of life, the condition of vulnerability, the learning and unlearning resonant body. Through her embodied research she explores the vital tension between the physical and the spiritual. Music learning practice and the Alexander Technique are one of her essential methodology tools.
She lives in Brussels.