On Saturday, 27 June 2015 Art Stations Foundation will mark the finale of this year’s Old Brewery New Dance at Malta showcase with Shirtology, the legendary performance by Jérôme Bel that is part of the exhibition Let’s Dance (5 pm, Studio Słodownia + 2) and the piece Collective Jumps by Isabelle Schad to be performed by 22 Polish dancers (7 pm, Studio Słodownia +3).
About the performances:
A given language is a social institution, which does not depend on individuals ; it is a normative reserve out of which individuals draw their speech, in other words, it is ? a virtual system which only actualises itself within and through speech ?. Speech is an individual act, ? the actualised expression of the function of language ?, THE LANGUAGE being a generic term which encompasses given languages and speech. It appears most useful to distinguish between two analogical realities within the notion of clothing : the first one is an essentially social and institutional reality, not depending on individuals and operating like a systematic, normative reserve, out of which the individuals draw their own outfits ; we suggest calling this reality THE COSTUME, which in Saussure corresponds to a given language ; and a second individual reality, which is a real act of ? clothing ? by which individuals, in endorsing it, actualise the general institution of the costume ; we suggest calling this second reality CLOTHES, which in Saussure corresponds to speech. Costume and clothes form a generic whole, which we suggest calling from now on CLOTHING.?
Roland Barthes in Annales, Histoire et sociologie du v?tement, July-September 1957
?Trained as a choreographer, Jérôme Bel forgets most of dance, as if, in the forgetting, something else might be possible. Working in a language of movement and image that could be described as a kind of delicate, humane minimalism, his interests are located just at the slippery, evocative meeting point between the physical and the philosophical – the body itself and the processes by which live presence is constructed, the processes of language and the relationship of language to objects (animate and inanimate), the process by which narrative (or meaning) is constructed, through the deployment of objects (animate and inanimate) in time and space. (?) The T-shirts second hand – replete with the workaday slogans, logos, icons and pictures of international capitalist culture, much of it outdated ; slogans for products or ideas you don?t remember so well, numbers and dates (festivals, occasions), statistics, jokes, faces, admonishments, warnings, demands. As playful as it is minimalist, Shirtology is ? simply ? a matter of deploying the people and the T-shirts in combination and arrangement ? structures through time, pictures in space. The work of the piece is that of dressing and appearing ? changing clothes, presenting oneself, in T-shirts ? the body clothed, always in language, mainly in silence ? the fragmented conversation of written slogans on neighbouring T-shirts.?
Tim Etchells in Certain fragments, Routledge Ed.
concept: Jérôme Bel
with: Frederic Seguette
production: Centro Cultural de Belem (Lizbona), Victoria (Gent) , R.B. Jerome Bel (Paris)
artistic advice and company development: Rebecca Lee
production manager: Sandro Grando
the solo in 3 parties
total duration: 25 min.
Jérôme Bel lives in Paris, he works worldwide. His first piece, a choreography of objects, is entitled nom donné par l’auteur (1994). The second one, Jerome Bel (1995), is based on the identity and the total nudity of the four performers. The third one, Shirtology (1997) presents an actor wearing many shop-bought T-shirts. The last performance (1998), which in quoting several times a solo by the German choreographer Susanne Linke, and also Hamlet or André Agassi, tries to define an ontology of the performance. The piece Xavier Le Roy (2000) was claimed by Jérôme Bel as his own, but was actually made by the choreographer Xavier Le Roy. The show must go on (2001) brings toghether a cast of twenty performers, nineteen pop songs and one DJ. In 2004, he was invited to produce a piece for the Paris Opera ballet: Veronique Doisneau (2004), a theatrical documentary on the work of the dancer Véronique Doisneau, from the ballet corps of that company. Isabel Torres (2005) for the ballet of the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro is the Brazilian version of the production for the Paris Opera. Pichet Klunchun and myself (2005) is created in Bangkok with the Thai traditional dancer Pichet Klunchun. In 2009, he produces Cédric Andrieux (2009), dancer in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and then at the Lyon Opera Ballet. In 2010, he creates with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker 3Abschied (2010), a performance based on The song of the Earth by Gustav Malher. In 2012, he produces Disabled Theater (2012), a piece with a Zurich-based company, Theater Hora, consisting of professional actors with learning disabilities. In Cour d’honneur (2013) he stages fourteen spectators at the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes within the Avignon Festival.
The films of his shows are presented in contemporary art biennials and in many museums. Jérôme Bel received a Bessie Award for the performances of The show must go on in New York in 2005. In 2008 Jerome Bel and Pichet Klunchun received the Routes Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Diversity (European Cultural Foundation) for Pichet Klunchun and myself (2005). In 2013, Disabled Theater (2012) was selected for the Theatertreffen in Berlin and won the Swiss Dance Awards – Current Dance Works.
In collaboration with:
The piece by Berlin-based choreographer Isabelle Schad addresses community building in dance. Forms and practices of folk and group dances of different cultures are scrutinised and examined in the context of contemporary work policy and the dancing body. The piece sees dance as a political act, and the body as a “site of resistance”. Associations with the Occupy movement and protest dances (such as Turkish Halay performed in a big circle during demonstrations) are obvious. Collective Jumps is a protest dance in some respects, oscillating between protest, trance, and sensuality; and between form, dispersion, and abstraction.
?The group?s body is made out of many. We exercise practices that have the potential to unite instead of individualize. We understand these practices as a relationship to oneself and to one another, as a pathway. These practices are biological ones, cellular ones, energetic ones. We look at freedom in relation to form: to form that is made of and found by an inner process and its rhythms. Rhythm creates the form. Therefore, there is multitude, multiplicity, subjectivity, and variation : variation within repetition. We look at freedom as the essence of happiness. We experience happiness when the flow of movement can be done together and be maintained. We look at freedom that is guaranteed once everyone within a group can find form in a subjective way. Therefore, there is a specific relation to the term equality: Everyone can be equal, once subjectivity in one?s own respective rhythm is guaranteed within the form.
We look for equality in movement and for the end of hierarchy between body parts. Relations between body parts are like relations between people within the group. We play and distort in any kind of way. We differentiate synchronicity from synchronization. We understand synchronicity as the moment when things fall together in time, a phenomenon of energy. We borrow floor, formation, and holding patterns from other communally practiced forms, such as folk dance or Eastern body practices. We relate resistance to questions of rhythm. We relate protest to questions of organization and exercise. We look at the esthetics of representation and the kind we are trying to resist. We look at the esthetics of representation as a political practice. Could the creation of an infinite, unified, monstrous body possibly become a site of resistance? Could the body itself become a site of resistance, the body of a dancer??
(Isabelle Schad upon reading Hannah Arendt: On Revolution)
?I’ve been dealing with the relations of form and content for a long time, asking where different forms come from, looking for their roots and beginnings. Because of their structure and the way they are rooted in culture, traditional folk and group dances seem perfect to investigate in relation to my own experience of the body in Body-Mind-Centering ? and embryology. Just like a microscope, choreography enables a group to look into internal processes, spaces, and organs. The group becomes an organ in itself, while complex links between organic and cultural processes reveal themselves, become distinctive, take a concrete form. Importantly, the big group format stands in opposition to a small group format (solo, duet, trio?), so popular these days and forced by the financial situation of today’s choreography. In this context, a group work becomes both an utopia and a protest, taking both actors and the audience on an intensely energetic journey.?
? Isabelle Schad*
?Through the flood of data and developments in technology, contemporaneity gives rise to new forms of community. Contemporary choreographers tackle them, asking about the essence of co-existence. The relationship between the individual and the society has always influenced art. Presently, the discourse is taken up in from a special angle: an autonomous subject is turned into a collective being by communications networks and abundance of files in the globalised world. Means of communication give rise to brand new forms of permanent ? and yet temporary ? community. Being singular has become an extraordinary state, while joining different communities ? be it Twitter or Facebook, whilst on an underground train or a plane ? is the rule. Choreography, as an arrangement of bodies in time and space, seems especially well suited to deal with the current questions of the form and ability of community.?
?? Esther Boldt*
[*translated from Polish by IMIT ]
concept and choreography: Isabelle Schad in collaboration with Laurent Goldring
artistic assistance: Lea Moro
dance / performance: Aniela Kokosza, Barbara Bujakowska, Dorota Michalak, Ewa Hubar, Halina Chmielarz, Irena Lipińska, Iza Szostak, Jakub Margosiak, Janusz Orlik, Krystyna Szydłowska, Magda Bartczak, Magdalena Jędra, Marta Romaszkan, Natalia Wilk, Paulina Grochowska, Paweł Sakowicz, Przemek Kamiński, Tomasz Foltyn, Ula Zerek
sound / composition: Patryk Lichota
light: Łukasz Kędzierski
production: Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
co-production: Goethe-Institut in Warsaw
duration: 60 min.
Dancer and Choreographer Isabelle Schad studied classical dance in Stuttgart and worked with many choreographers until she started developing her own projects from 1999 on. Her research focuses on the body and its materiality, the body as process, place and space, the relationship between body, choreography, (re)presentation, form and experience, body practice as site for learning processes, community and political involvement. Her projects work at the interface of dance, performance and visual arts being featured internationally (world wide collaborations with local Goethe Institutes, international festivals, German Dance Platforms etc). She co-founded several projects/open collectives (Good Work, Praticable), that search for ways of linking different practices and researches whilst questioning the modes of production. She teaches all over the world and in different formats. She is co-organizer of the working space ?Wiesenburg-Halle? in Berlin and since this year also Zen Shiatsu Practitioner.
Financed with the funds of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Tickets: 15 PLN
More information about the performances and events: