If Only (2021)
Meg Stuart's book “Are we here yet” (2010) has been a strong reference throughout the last year of the masters research project. I’ve been inspired by examples of tasks and exercises that are openly accessible in the book. Several of these tasks challenge physical states of presence and question performativity. I’ve tested several of them in my own process when I’ve struggled to move forwards with my research, these included; impossible tasks, change, garbage talking, moving nonsense (2010, pg.156-165). The exciting thing about trying the tasks was to see how it changed the performers presence, intentions and added a new understanding of range in their physical approach. This gave me new tools to incorporate into my work of performativity and listening practices.
photo by: dev dhunsi
Meg Stuart & Tim Etchells´ performance “Shown and Told” (2016) bears some relations to my work. What resonates with my work is the playfulness and listening practice between Stuart and Etchells. The performance is constructed in the encounters between set material, studio improvisations and the options for free-play. I have a strong affinity to their use of fragmentation; working with pieces of text or movement from other contexts. I believe that the text and movement materials that they bring from other contexts are familiar, but in the performance situation they discover new understandings of their materials. They appear to exhaust the potentials in linguistics and movement to challenge themselves: working in unfamiliar grounds. From reading the program text and watching a short excerpt of the work I see that they are not presenting a single or coherent narrative. Their practice of listening and working with the potentials in the materials is an aspect that I resonate strongly with. In their work meaning is constructed in the interaction between Stuart and Etchells playful symbiotic approach.
I’ve been experimenting and attempting to develop methods that accentuate listening, attention, presence in a nurturing way. Attempting to facilitate a creative space that accepts and welcomes failure in improvisation settings.