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On Friday, 17 January (7 pm) the Old Brewery in Poznań will present its first premiere of this year. The piece…(Rooms by the sea) from the series Exercises in Looking, conceived by Joanna Leśnierowska, features Aleksandra Borys, Márta Ladjánszki and Janusz Orlik, and is set to music by Ladjánszki’s regular collaborator, Zsolt Varga.

The beginning of this work lays in the image.

Many images.

To see them is to inhabit them, they say.

Yet the few people who appear in them seem to be employed rather as prototypes of humans than individuals – figures frozen in positions, gazing mildly into unknown, waiting, withdrawn unto themselves, isolated, often lost as if being thrown into existence without any choice – suspended – detached from space and time. Reminiscent of full of suspense stills, the images are asking for imagination and emotional engagement of the beholder inviting to think further into the story which is only suggested by the image…

And here is where we enter the stage…

The work departed from the research and exercise of re-staging and putting on move still-like images. This certain “image archeology” and imagination game led us to scenic laboratory and created a space in which abstract and real constantly blurs unfolding sudden moments of reality’s poetic beauty. By removing figures from their original context, and concentrating on their appearance alone, we built a piece that conflates scratches of situations and images revealing their links to both individual and common reservoir of memories and emotions. Choreography emerged from pregnant pauses – moments of suspension, awaiting or contemplation, leading into investigations of essential everyday gestures and physical representations of emotional states. Persevering penetration of what visible in order to reveal invisible – atmosphere and feelings – effects in use of external reality as a stage-like space for expression of the inner world.

But the piece is first of all on the practice of looking at images.

And seeing with them and rediscovering their traces in the flood of images and reality that surrounds us. As to see them is to inhabit them.

It examines the possibility of conflating the mode of perception and experiencing the visual arts (offering especially a possibility of long time exposition) and that of performing arts (in particular the most commonplace ones, namely relatively distanced voyeuristic observation of sequences of moving images constantly developing in time) in the belief that the stage window of theatre (in parallel to the “open window” that an image is) has the power of inviting viewers to see things with totally new eyes and offers them a pure vision abstracted of the necessity ever present in a daily life.

‘Cause only what exists for no other purpose than to be seen, we really look at, they also say. Art cannot change the world, but what it is hopefully able to change is the onlooker, and his/her relation to the world. Butto see the world, one need first to make it or see it and memorize its image. And that is And here is where we enter the stage..

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choreography, dramaturgy, lights:Joanna Leśnierowska
performed byAleksandry Borys, Márta Ladjánszki, Janusza Orlika
music:Zsolt Varga
exercised byAleksandra Borys, Márta Ladjánszki, Joanna Leśnierowska, Janusz Orlik, Zsolt Varga and Halina Chmielarz
graphic design: Michał Łuczak
concept and shooting:Leś&Łuczak
production manager and technical realization: Łukasz Kędzierski
produced byArt Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
with residency support ofDeVIR/CAPa, Faro; El Graner, Barcelona

Our thanks go to Ana Rodrigues & José Laginha, Mara Maso & Elena Carmona, to Peter Pleyer for his support during kick off residency in March 2013 and always for the Team of ASF’s performative program.

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