Thursday, February 26, 2009

Willing Participants

Knife Throwing at MacDowell

I threw knives last night. Plain knives like you would find in a kitchen. I wasn’t alone. I was the last. There were about sixteen that went before me. When I held the blade I thought it would be impossible not to cut myself. You have to hold it from the tip with the blade turned toward the left, if you are a righty.
I spent a long time looking at the four knives lined up. You have to hold it delicately and think of it as being something light like a paper plane or a dart. You must forget that it is a heavy metal object that is used sometimes for killing. At first I did not realize this and I threw it a the target and it hit the target and fell with a thud and a clatter. But then I thought of it as a gentle object and it slid into the black silouette backed by foamboard. I thought I should not separate myself from the knife. I would stand holding a knife as if I knew what to do with it. But I was curious if I would have a sense for what to do with it when I held it. I felt that I would have a sense. That it would somehow be natural. It was so satisfying when it went in and stayed lodged there. When the second went in, it was more satisfying. When another did not go in it was very unsatisfying. And I had to do it over and over until another went in. We all agreed that it was the danger that made this experience more satisfying than most. Knife throwing provided by artist Joel Kyack.

Film about Joel Kyack to come...

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