On Thursday, 5 July (8 pm), the Art Stations Foundation and Nowy Teatr will host the inaugural lecture in the new series Ćwiczenia w patrzeniu [Exercises in Seeing], which will be held as part of the choreographic programme Expanding the field, co-organized by the two institutions. Tuding a series of meetings accompanying subsequent premieres in the programme, curator Joanna Leśnierowska will invite participants to engage in exercises in dance perception. Also as part of the programme, on 12 July (7 pm) Agata Siniarska will premiere her piece You Are Safe.Siniarska?s is a choreography of movement relations between human bodies, aliens, thoughts, trillions of bacteria, viruses, global warming, the political imaginary, and theory.
Agata Siniarska, You Are Safe ? premiere
The piece takes up the problems of movement and motion in the contemporary world … It also moves itself in it, and does not know which way to go … We cannot escape the problems of our planet, there is no return to the beginning, to purity. It is impossible to erase the repercussions that humanity has already caused and which it continues to cause. So how to situate myself in and towards the world in which I move, non-move, mobilize, try, situate, cause, irradiate, touch, toxify, live, purchase, consume, throw, trash, bottle, ecosystemize, insulate, globalize, anthropocenize, transform, ignore, harm, weedify, plantify, vegetate, soil, compost, sediment, act, intertwine, extract, condition, pollute, emissionize, airify, hurricanize, floodify, filter, leak, materialize, think, consider, pay attention ? do I pay attention? Do I notice? How much do I notice?
Idea: Agata Siniarska
Choreography: Agata Siniarska, Ania Nowak, Katarzyna Wolińska
Dramaturgy: Mateusz Szymanówka
Consultation: Jeanine Durning, Julia Rodriguez, Karolina Grzywnowicz
Lighting : Joanna Leśnierowska
Agata Siniarska practices choreography situated between body and space, though and imagination, fact and fiction. She is interested in knowledge rooted in various orders of thought, one that prefers to engage rather than explicate. She is the co-founder of female trouble, a collective whose actions revolve around identity, body, feminism, pleasure, affirmation and love. She is also the co-author of Pinpoint TV, an artistic research project in the form of an online TV show. She is currently exploring dance as a silent act of killing.
Joanna Leśnierowska?s lecture
During the inaugural meeting, participants will learn how dance became more than just running and walking, but also a range of all conceivable gestures, or even thoughts thereof. They will get to know about the origins of contemporary choreography, the transition of mind into a trainable muscle, and the expansion of the choreographic field from the human body in motion (or in stasis) onto objects, words, images, and thoughts. As well as the range of strategies applied by contemporary artists in making choreography visible.
Next sessions: 31 October 2018, 3 January 2019
During the meetings, participants will watch excerpts from recordings of cult performances and discuss the practical applications of visual activism in choregraphy.
Each premiere presented as part of the programme will also be accompanied by practical exercises. Participants will be invited to attend dress rehearsals of each premiere, sensitized to the issues at hand and equipped with critical lens that will enable them to perceive choreographies from a range of perspective and contexts; they will also practice watching and understanding each choreographic piece together, and thus expand their individual fields of its perception.
Poszerzanie pola [Expanding the field]
Since the mit-20th century, choreography has been premeditated in situating itself in the fissure between visual arts and [traditionally defined] dance; in the Polish context also theatre. This fissure has consistently expanded and unveiled its operational field: a territory of artistic practices consciously and amply borrowing from other disciplines, structuring their own stage language and discourse, and calling for a map of their own.
To delineate this map, the organizers of Expanding the Field have extended their invitation to three Polish artists whose practice has made choreo-graphy (i.e. the art of scripting movement, and the movement embedded in the act of writing) ever more noticeable (and visible) while also seamlessly meshing with a leading current in contemporary choreography. In the words of the pope of visual culture Nicholas Mirzoeff, one could refer to this current a choreographic form of visual activism, organized around the problematic of dance perception ? discerning and perceiving the moving body and the surrounding reality that is embedded within this notion.
Because to see something means to understand, to perceive it in its complexity. Such visualization tactics (which does not stop at merely re-defining the medium) constitutes a most intriguing field of choreographic research. It is a strategy which reveals the seams and discloses the structure of composition. And yet, it is also a strategy which operates with casual movement, separated from its natural context and subjected to special organization that renders it a building block in physical and visual metaphors, and effectively diagnoses individual and social and political conditions. It involves an artistic and critical transformation of the surrounding multidimensional reality, in order to visualize (i.e. render perceivable and understandable) its governing mechanisms. At the same time, it entails a practice of counter-visualization, i.e. creating new ways of seeing, a practice of ?un-seeing? the modes of perception (of the world and of the body) imposed from without and naturalized, and supplanting them with new representations.
The programme poses a transfer of choreography from literal and metaphorical peripheries to the very centre, along with a celebration of ?in-betweenness? as its natural habitat.
Thus, the field of choreography will expand. The field of its perception, its operation and influence, and ? last but not least ? the field of struggle for its autonomy.
The motto behind all of Nowy Teatr actions, ?Go. See. Think,? hence provides an interesting starting point for choreographic scores.
Dance is hard to see, said Yvonne Rainer in 1966, at the highpoint of the dance revolution which is now officially recognized as the outset of contemporary choreography, of which Rainer was a pioneer. (Making her statement, Rainer consciously used the ambiguity of the English verb to see, which means both discerning something and understanding it). This revolution was accompanied by the now-familiar demand to democratize dance, expressed most directly through a radical expansion of dance vocabulary to include everyday actions, such as running and walking, which enabled choreographers to create an egalitarian space for the community of the performing and the perceiving. In fact, it was all about something more: learning a new way of seeing and discerning dance and its organization, i.e. choreography which, as an ephemeral art, escapes our perception. I want my dance to be a superstar!, added Rainer, thus opening grounds for a split within the traditional narrative, which deprived dance of its cause-and-effect binder, and rendered the body the main protagonist of the art: the subject and object of choreography. Through a programmatic disclosure of choreographic seams, concentration on simple tasks, and exposure of the governing principles of movement, a framework has been created that ennobles the moving body and elevates it to the rank of an object worth perceiving as any other work of art. Most importantly, the audience?s attention has been redirected to the previously inconspicuous, yet omnipresent, choreography of everyday life, thus transforming the surrounding reality (including its social and political aspects) into a vital frame of reference shared by performers and audiences alike.
Link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1959714407673411/