YOU HEAR ME HERE YOU Written by Olakiitan Adeola

Tāite 22 Hepetema

Thursday 22 September


Everything is about the passing of time. Everything swims in time.

We everly yield to it. Laughing or crying, dancing 

alone, dining together, zooming.


Presence yields to time, as time flushes into space. It appears impossible to separate the two.

So then it can be said,

     for a durational performance that happens online, time is the space as much as space is time—

as much as the space we share is time. Dulce Lamarca’s Can you here me? is an endurance performance that happens after Idle Hands, a group exhibition with works exemplifying downtime, waiting, anticipation, rest, and play. These themes are some of the varied preoccupations of her practice, this same pronounced dwelling, moulding, mangling, pulling at the strings of time. Titled with a word play that is characteristic of Dulce’s occasional bent, here, an adverb, becomes a verb, a doing word, a plea as though to say presence me, can you make me present? And lowkey, as a participant, I came in not particularly enthused to hear or watch a performance encoding something for the audience to unravel, as I came tired with all that is going on in the world, in my own life.


The presence-ing Can you here me? centres is reminiscent of a different but also similar sentiment

         Don’t we touch each other just to prove we’re still here?1

We are not touching each other with hands, but our benevolent gift to be here, here one another. Afterall, what is being together if not a series of connections and affirmations?



The performance started with a preview of a film in progress. It is gorgeous; it is without sound. Her father is present in several scenes. There are close-ups of motion: a bucket fetching water... the ocean, a dog walking. Motion being an inseparable element of time—whether we choose to describe our direction as linear, vertical, or a free fall—is a repeating motif in Dulce’s other works. In witnessing this performance, I was viscerally aware of the layers of a/synchronicity happening: 


           an a/synchronous convergence of different time zones; the performance itself is asynchronous, mediating different rhythms of perception attempting to follow the visual spread on the shared zoom screen, a virtual palette on which we watched a film in a small open tab, looked at the notes app flitting with instructions and thoughts. Communication happened on whatsapp, in the chat section of zoom, privately and publicly. Sometimes, the communication was not textual but through the emotive language of memes and gifs. As a lover of memes, and other forms of evocative language, my presence in those moments deepened.


I was unsure about the limits of participation, whether or not this performance was about the host (performer) alone, or if I could simply disturb the artist’s flow. I was allowed to, of course, because despite being defined as a performance, Can you here me? merged the distinction between life and performance—which is what makes an enjoyable performance. There was even a point where I kept poking the screen to move the browser block to peek at something underneath. Distinctions diluted so much I forgot my laptop screen is not touch responsive. I was plunged into aqua viva



It is no longer contentious to talk about spacetime in a digital age as an accelerated one. With an everyday pace too fast and fractured to keep up with, Dulce’s performance shows what respite and joy the minute can offer. Instead of trying to timestamp every hour with receipts of productivity, we are bleeding hours into each other. At a time so deficient of friendly and vital hours, Dulce’s Can You Here me? gracefully opens an opportunity to dilate our bodies within a parallel time: excused from labour by laughter, buoyed by earnestness, sharing moments, slowed down. As Legacy Russell writes in ‘On Waiting for the Host to Join’:


Slowness is a (re)negotiation of spatial desire, a wrestling and (re)definition of time. It is a love-making, not a fucking. Slowness searches for the parts that are closed, tight, sealed off, and makes them cavernous. [...] There is redemption in slowness, as there is in prayer.2


And slowly, at about the third hour, things became even slower. Dulce moved to the hammock on her balcony. In my room, I floated from the screen to [redacted], then fell into a nap.


In time today where time isn’t so much the problem3

         but the demands we place on time, Can You Here me? veers us from the typical performance, condenses and stretches performance as communion

  centring play—in watching puzzle pieces come together on the screen, participants occasionally writing the narrative.

In Dulce’s performance, I shed.

    In this hollow, we were depth-full in conviviality:

Answering, I hear you here me, you hear me here you, we hear you




In asynchronous dalliance.






 1. Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (London: Penguin, 2019).

 2. Legacy Russell, ‘On Waiting for the Host to Join’, Danspace Project (18 May 2020): https://danspaceproject.org/2020/05/18/legacy-russell/.

3.  Time is a friend.


Olakiitan Adeola

Born of  Olúfẹ́mi & Olúyẹ́misí, Ọlákìítán Adéolá  is a trans*themme poet, experiential artist and curator living and working in tides, spirals & reversals.