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2015-11-11

REPORT_Interview with Anna Nowicka (PL) by Emese Kovács (H)

When is the moment when I become aware that I am already dancing? 
Interview with Anna Nowicka by Emese Kovács
 

Anna Nowicka (PL) is a choreographer and performer, MA psychology graduate at the Warsaw University, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, and MA Choreography at the HfS Ernst-Busch/HZT in Berlin. In recent years, expanding on her long term interest in the work on dreams, imagination and physical actions, she started developing tools to be applied to artistic creation. Her focus lies on questions of imagination and creativity, and the potential of images to expand the body into the state of continuous becoming.
From October till the end of November 2015, Anna and two of her coworkers: Aleksandra Osowicz, Weronika Pelczyńska and Burkhard Körner stay on a VARP Performing Arts residency in Budapest, hosted by the L1 Association with further support by the Polish Institute Budapest. During this time, they will develop a project focused on dreaming, using a dream dialogue and perspective shifts as tools for sourcing movement, choreography and composition.
The research will be one of numerous steps in the bigger DREAM STATES project, comprising of workshops, and simultaneously developing a performative trio based in the dreams of the dancers. Their piece will be premiered in January 2016 in the Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk in Poznań. 

photo: Jakub Wittchen
Anna, tell me about the project now you are working on. What is your role in it exactly?
The project is called Dream States and my role is a choreographer but in a quite specific way. I do co-create the work with Weronika (Weronika Pelczyńska) and Ola (Aleksandra Osowicz) and now actually Burkhard (Burkhard Körner, he was one of Anna’s Dream States research workshop participants in Budapest) will come also. I wanted to work with an other man originally but he got a baby so he was not possible. Then Ola was suggesting us Burkhard. I cannot take anyone unless I worked with them but when he came I thought it could really work because he is funny, he has the skill of acting and he is listening good.  The project follows my interest in this way of working with dreams that you take a singular text of a dream and you open it to see a multilayered kaleidoscopic image that one can embody and can respond to. But I am interested in hearing what people say and I try as a choreographer to create the conditions for the work to go on. I probably have to make certain choices that which direction I want to lead it to. But I want to leave a lot of space for creativity for everyone. So the project is a shared work.
 

But you are performing in it as well, right?
The original plan was that I am outside completely. But when we were working (on the workshop), that was my perfect constallation for people. So that I can be most of the time outside but I can enter and perform. I have a lot of pleasure in being able to chip in but also in seeing to have a clearer picture of where we are going.
 

And there is also the topic that how the subjectivity of the performer can be mediatized, as I know.
There are different fields of interest but one of it is looking at how a very personal experience of dreaming − which is actually a shared experience because everyone dreams every night but at the same time is considered very private, the only moment when we have a mirror experience of ourselves − can be put on stage and what happens when this sphere of sensation and embodiment is being confronted with something that makes it into a still image, or even a camera image what is moving but is still captured. There is this discrepancy between a process of a continously changing body and the body that responds to everything around itself. Then the camera captures and, in a way, kills the flow by taking a detail from the flow, from the movement.
 

So you involve a cameraman as well?
Ola is a visual artist. She is also a dancer but she finished Photography and Multimedia department at Art Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław and we work together a lot on visual things. We had three years ago a little project called „Close Up”, it was about working on a close up with the camera while the body is on stage. So we will work with this skill of Ola. And we will also have a projector but everything is mobile. The whole idea is to keep working with devices that do not have cables, which are prothesis in a way for the body. They allow you to connect to internet but maybe disconnect from reality. They are with us so we can move all the time in the space as performers; we just take our machines and go to a different spot.
 

How did you meet your collaborators? On what kind of basis did you invite them?
With Weronika we know each other for a very long time, we have been together in a dance school in Salzburg, in SEAD, and we worked most of the time together. She is now working a lot in theatres and films as a choreographer and I have a lot of respect for her way of proceeding and doing things. Both of her and Ola are part of the dream classes − the classes I organised for the Polish community − and it was actually Weronika who was saying that lets work together. With Ola we met in 2012 in Portugal in the Tryangle Project. Then we started working without money for ourselves on diffrent photoraphic or film actions. It was clear for me now that I want to work on three roles: the one who does, the one who witnesses and the one who observes. I imaginated this triangulation originally that Ola will work with the camera, Weronika would be the witness. I was seeing the witness much more as the one who works with partnering also − there was a lot of inspiration with operating the body − and I saw originally the male figure who would be manipulated. I do not want to put a woman in a role that is manipulated but to put the man. And with Bulkhard, I met him also before, I saw his work in Amsterdam and now on the workshop I thought lets give it a try.
 

Where will be the premier of your project?
In Poznan, in Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk in January.
 

Tell me a little bit more about your dream classes from where the inspiration came.
There is Mala Kline whom I was working a lot. She met in New York with Catherine Shainberg who is the teacher and founder of the School of Images which is a school in New York that works on dreams, imagination, morphology and different ways of empowering people to be able to create an other reality. I joined the school, I have been there for the past five years and since September I am a practitioner, so I can start my own practice to work with people. But paralel to this I work with Bonnie Buckner, who started her own school in France. With Catherine I am working now on advanced dream opening, the procedure I will use for the project. It is the procedure of really seeing the text of the dream and how can you inmediately go to the essence of a dream. How are the images composed around a question, around the necessity to your current situation? With Bonnie we work much more now on the theme of the body but expand it towards the subject of relationships: relations to people, relations to objects and dreaming.
 

So now you start your own practice?
I realised during the workshops that for me the real interest lies in working on the awareness and in working with people in a continuous way that not necesserily leads to a production. I am really fascinated how everybody can use it for their own creativity. As you need time for these tools to work inside of you, I thought that the good way would be to implement this idea of online webinars also to physical work. We would meet every week to have a class where we have sharing of experiences and then we would meet in every two and a half months to have classes to meet for a week where we work with it physicaly in the space and then go again online. So allow to people to have their own life because it is very difficult to shift in a moment and be engaged in such a commitment but still keep the practice alive.
 

Your practice would be for performers or for all kind of people?
Since I am still interested in perfroming I think I would like to try it with perfromers and to see how does it inform, what does it change in the body, what does it change in the way one goes on stage when one is working on this level.
 

What were your consequencies from the workshop here in Budapest?
I really appreciated that in the end we were a condenced choir of four people. I found it extremely fruitful. I was quite revelatory to realise that everything what I do is information so any action I take brings a change and there is necessity to give it space to exist. The way I can engage with reality is to create and to recognise the sleeping potential of every moment to be creative. We went in the city with Weronika and Ola to do the excercise and it was very interesting.
 

You were dancing, moving in the city as well?
No, no. Actually this idea came from Mark Tompkins but I found it brilliant, it really changed my mind. Because you cannot show that you are performing, this is your task also. I know that I am performing but I am not starting to dance on a tram. I just know that I am the performer, and they know. And they know that one is a witness. It is interesting what it brings from me, what it allows.


You are also sleeping in the studios as I have heard.
We did it for two days but we decided that it is not working. For me it seemed to be so obvious to do and so stupid that I would not have done it but then I thought „okay, I have this period of research, lets allow for myself to go for the stupid and obvious”. We have found something interesting about the quality and the question of why do you do things and what is the difference between being really relaxed − also in the body − and then taking an action.  But it does not work so well, I felt misplaced in the studio. Normally I have my own rhythm, I meditate, and here I cannot. So I told the girls „let’s go to sleep at home”. But I prefer that we work even at home, to wake up in the night and move. And now we came up with this idea that lets make a run room or we put a camera in over the night and we know that in the next two days everybody has to record something when they wake up.
 

How you differentiate between the research process and the creation? Or they run together? And what is the role of the public for you?
I have always been much more on the research side and in a certain way treating choreography as a byproduct. But it has changed now. I am very interested in how can I include the outside, the people who come, how can I communicate something. And now − as we are working specificly on these three positions − it is quite clear that there is the public. I try to really include this idea that you are being watched. That we produce an experience for the people.
 

Produce but not produce…
This is interesting because in this way it relates to dreams again, that they are immaterial production. We all the time produce, even if I speak now I create. It is just if I can be aware of my own creation. That I am still in my body, I am my body, I speak, that I have a possibility to make a pose. All what I say and how I say is a creation. But how do I take this in a way outside perspective or a perspective that more allows the other to enter, to be with me in the situation. It is a dialogue.
 

When we did the workshop I felt that there are layers of it which are close to therapy. How you differentiate then between therapy and research?
I am not interested in therapy. Maybe before I was a bit because I come from psychology. It is a good question because I think the thing that I really bring the whole of me into situations this is where the dream connects with me. I try to open myself and be in a vulnerable place bringing everything in. It still means that I as a person have my own responsibility. I think the question about the audience is what makes the difference. I do not do it only for myself to think about my dreams but I can use it as a prompt, as a byproduct. I will understand something about myself from the dream but I can still take an image that is there and use it to create choreography or movement quality. I can use the information for my own life but it does not have to stay on the level that I just ’therapeutise’ myself. I cannot really explain it but it has something about I am connected all the time. Even if I go to the studio I am not becoming an abstracted female body. You are Emese and I am Anna. And there are many sides of me, also horrible sides and beautiful sides, sides I do not like and sides that I like. And they are all me in a way. And with dreams you can open all these sides because it really exhibits you on a big palette.
 

This means that when you go on stage you cannot be an abstract thing or someone else, you are always Anna?
I can. I think that this image of Anna, Anna as an outside image or ego tripping Anna is not me, is just one of many me-s. I go for multiplicity of presence; I do not believe that I am Anna. I am incoherent. When I go on stage is not about me at all any more. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Sometimes I become self-conscious and affraid like everyone. The way I want to work is not about me is about the work. The question of me − if I am good, if I am whatever − is not important. It is just „I am with this”, „I am doing this task”, „I am in this process”. Yesterday I spoke with the dramaturge of the piece, with Eleonora Zdebiak, and she was posing this question also: how much is it about a dream, or how much is it a process with the principles of dreaming. For me is much more this second then the material itself. It is more about the constant shifting of leading somewhere. Having these three positions but changing roles, emerging qualities and questions. Where am I going? What is it happening? How do I shape it? It is more about how to create facilitated dreaming then to take a material of a dream and try to stage it. For example I felt there is a lot happening when we tried in the workshop the situation when we did not know who is who. This was really like dreaming for me, the things were suddenly emerging.
 

How can you know that how long is something you are doing interesting if you work with improvisation? You have to see yourself from outside?
The question of timing is very important for me, especially for this project, as in dreams I am in spaces that are very awkward and the timig shifts. The space is not material, it can move very quickly, you can move between spaces, they become bigger and smaller. But I do not think that there is a general timing. I think that the more I am interested in what I do and keep interested, people will be also interested, or at least I give them possibility to get interested. To see it and to know the timig are two different things. It has a lot to do with my sensitivity. To know that if I have been doing the same thing for a while either I really stay in it because this is my statement or I need to change because people are out. But it is a question: do you want people to come with you or do you want provoke? The timing really depends on what you work on.
 

And what about the closing yourself, if you do not have the connection with the audience?
I think this is the difference between therapy and performance. In therapy it is valid to close yourself because you do things for yourself, you keep it in your own little bubble, it is for you to learn and then to go to the world. But in case of stage you are always visible. It is about being aware what is the game. You are there and they are there in the audience. It is really about being in the moment. If you are really in the situation you are aware that there is the audience. But it is also a practice to get used to that you are watched because in reality we think that we are not watched.
 

What do you think about the form, the shape?
I think we need forms. We live in material reality where everything has a form even it is a transforming form. We are in the form, you cannot escape it. It is always a question of balance between forming something and falling in love with the form too much, or not willing to form. I always had a big problem with it. But I think if you formalize it gives you an other possibility because then there is that how you chanel your energy and attention moving that forms with the trace that you created. For me is interesting to see how the form can be a process, a process that is constantly negotiated. I am awakening the form, it does not exist by itself, I am forming, I am constantly being informed. If you speak specificly about dance, here is the question of form and esthetics. I am much more interested in the body. For me this casual movement is dance. But when is the moment when I become aware that I am already dancing? But it is important to know that whatever you practice will create a specific body with a specific tension, specific desposition. The body becomes what you train.
 

What is your relationship with acting? Because as I saw your previous works, many of them are between theatre and dance in a way.
When I was a teenager I was doing physical theatre. I am interested in the potential of a meaningful gesture, I like when the body speaks. But I am interested in how you can make it ambigous, not close to the meaning. For example when I am laughing, how can treat it as a choreography, approach it on the level of the rhythm or scale. I am not a trained actress but I do speak. For example in the piece what I did in Budapest five years ago, I was speaking a lot.
 

In the end tell me about your future plans. Is there a bigger aim you want to reach in your work?
I am just interested in this what I do, in awareness, consciousness and creativity. It is defenately happening that if I am engaged with dreaming, it works somehow. It comes to me over and over again so I just keep on doing it. If I think on the stage work, I do want to move people. I think the aim is to keep expanding. Empower people to discover where their potential is and to use it to the maximum. Making them becoming who they are, who they want to be.
 

It sounds a bit therapeutic, isn’t it?
It is not a specialised thing that you have to cure yourself to become a good member of society. It is also a capitalistic bullshit invention that there is something wrong with us. There is nothing wrong. The only thing that can be done is to be better.

Anna gives us the chance to follow the process as there will be three open presentations organized by L1 Association (Hungary) with the kind cooperation of Workshop Foundation (Hungary).
1st presentation: 31st October 18.00 at Trafó Stúdió
2nd presentation: 14th November 18.00 at Trafó Stúdió
3rd presentation (final): 28th November 18.00 at Trafó Stúdió

more information at the FB event: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/793822324074203/

2015-09-30

echoes_Nagy Csilla: ÖBÖL (BAY) by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy

Error in continuity

Let me begin with a confession. I waited a couple of days before I started to write this blog post about Csilla Nagy’s new choreography, titled Öböl (Bay) that was released first in April and now in the end of September at L1danceFest 2015. As far as it is concerned, I waited a whole week and it was a huge mistake.


photo: Roland Szabo

Would you ask me why? I can tell. I remember how vivid my feelings and thoughts were right after the performance; now I can recall them just mistily.  But I still remember clearly the pure and delicate construction of the choreography; how it began to build up from one simple movement combination and how it started to stall and disintegrate slowly. It was a very interesting implementation of Nagy (i.e., to represent the clog of movements), since it uncovered something from the inner side of the nature of choreography. Nagy visualized and magnified the broken-silenced moment between movements, the always-already presented error in continuity. Therefore, the choreography literally became a hiccup in moving that breaks both the continuum of movements and the flow of perception. Her dance refuses (and criticises) the traditional way of being-in-moving and in lieu of that it emphasizes the void that makes possible for some quizzical and unique movement qualities to become visible. To borrow a gritty expression of Nadia Seremetakis, the performance actually becomes through hiccupping a ’still-act‘; a choreography that works as a pole, therefore it steps out of historical perception of time and space. ”Stillness is the moment when the buried, the discarded, and the forgotten escape to the social surface of awareness like life-supporting oxygen. It is the moment of exit from historical dust.“ (Seremetakis, N., The Senses Still: Perception and Memory as Material Culture in Modernity, 1994, 12.)

But stillness is just the start-up of the performance. As one of my dance critic partners (Orsolya Bálint) noted in the discussion after the performance, a feminine way of moving got started. Characteristic frivol movements, girl-power disco (or psychedelic?) dance is included, such as a strong scene with slaps on the face. The main characteristic of these images is the delicacy of movements with silky-elegant moving. Even if the dramaturgy should have been a bit tighter, Nagy’s Bay is a beautiful and unique enunciation about being-in-moving and shows us an alternative way of thinking.

Zsuzsanna Komjáthy - KÖM by L1 Association

2015-09-24

echoes_Ismaera Takeo Ishii: KI DO AI RAKU by Kristóf Farkas

Metamorphosis Undone

    The first performance of the first official day of L1danceFest 2015 was Ismaera Takeo Ishii's Ki Do Ai Raku, which means “Happy Angry Sad Relaxed”. During and after the performance I didn't feel all these feelings, only Ismaera. And you may ask which one did I miss? I can tell you that I didn't know the meaning of the title before, so I just sat there open minded. 


photo: Roland Szabo

   The venue was a courtyard in the Central-European University (CEU), called Japanese Garden, which is circular with a concrete terrace inside of it and an artificial platform in the middle, with pots of plants. Basil, tomato, paprika and other plants you can see and smell – next to me a big bush gives forth the scent of peppermint. It was really naturalistic despite of the big silver glass/metal surface of the building around and some staring construction workers, welcomed by the entering Ismaera. He wears purple shorts – just like Hulk, I thought – and a white lab coat – okay this is still ‘Hulky’, albeit he is before the transformation and he is still skinny. After his Japanese greeting, he sits down in the very middle of the space/the podium and immersed into himself. Dance as a path of slow metamorphosis begins.
    A kind of reverse enlightment unfolds from/through the movements. He is not in trance, but you can see or think that he is searching for an inner animal or the animalistic side of the human being while looking inside. After the meditation he is shaking up there, going deeper and deeper then after a while he stands up, picks off a paprika and starts to eat it. He feeds himself – it could be a dessert, which mice win in the labyrinth, if they pass the test and find the exit. Three literary impressions came into my mind during the performance. The first was from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, claiming mice in labs are examining us and not the opposite. And here he is, wearing this white lab coat. It hints that he is the one who is examining, but after being inspired by Adams, I must say he could also be the subject, which is examining the examiner at the same time.
    Suddenly he comes down from the pedestal where he was a human after all, and now he is among us humans, behaving not so humanly. He starts to walk around in a circle – and here comes my second impression. In Rainer Maria Rilke's poem, The Panther is “trapped not so much by the bars of the cage as by what the bars compel on the panther: a concentric lope that leaves the will stupefied, narcotized”1 and this is what makes the predator see nothing from the outer world. But in this case, Ismaera is indeed watching us; his cage is his body from where he is looking out. He widens the circle and goes behind us, lies down on the ground on the grass and between branches. He doesn't cut us dead, he still knows we are here while he is ‘playing’ and moves among us just as usual. He is a human being, but an outsider in an artificial garden (a laboratory?) where we watch (perhaps examine) him. Does he do the same?
    Seeing him going through the states of changing behavior, you realize that this is enforced acting, but not labored. The desire to ‘step back’ (Is it really a step – back?) and lose our human self to be not animalistic, but an animal, is desperate. Why? Because the ‘deed’ was preceded by a very conscious decision of acting. This is why the introspection is so human. This is self-analysis and self-criticism through the look of an outside eye – of an animal. The third impression refers back to the entrée, when he was speaking, demonstrating that he is a human. In Franz Kafka's A Report to an Academy, a monkey has to give a speech in front of a court to prove the same. So in Ismaera's situation, why did he speak if afterwards he tried to convince us of his inhuman being? Because of the fact that the ability of giving a speech is irreversible, meaning you already proved who you are, the aim of the statement is only to deepen the difference not between two selves in the same body, but between two possible sides of the same soul.
    After the dance he heads to the elevator, which you can enter from the garden. He pushes the button and waits for the opening door. It arrives, he steps in, pushes the button and the elevator slowly goes up above us and that is the point when he goes mad in it. You can see him jerk, shuffle and ramp – the walls are made of glass. Maybe this is an improvised part, but it puts an end to the whole, an end which reminds me of the panther hypnotized by the concentric movements. The difference is that the bars are homogeneous, continuous and transparent walls now, and because the cage is smaller, you can make no progress. These circumstances increase the feeling of being enclosed in your own body, which the inner animal can never leave – even if it exists. And if it exists, it will only scratch the surface, but will never be able to come out.

P.S. Thoughts after the discussion, when I heard what is the meaning of the title: I saw Ismaera happy, angry, sad, relaxed without trying to define or give any special order to these feelings – because I think you can't, you can't separate them from each other. I want to say if e.g. a real sad situation can happen, maybe you will experience happiness in it. Me, I was happy, sad and relaxed, but I was never angry, not even when I noticed that the transformation or metamorphosis was left incomplete, because I realized, that in the end, there can’t be no catharsis. 

Kristóf Farkas - KÖM by L1 Association
1    J. M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals – The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Delivered at Princeton University, October 15 and 16, 1997, p. 147  

2015-09-20

L1danceFest 2015 is OVER

Dear Guests!
We are happy to share with you the feedbacks, reviews and echoes of KÖM by L1 Association. Slowly we upload all the written materials which they wrote during L1danceFest 2015!
Stay tuned...
L1 Association
Márta Ladjánszki and Zsolt Varga (L1-members) photo: János Eifert

2015-07-29

On The Road_Echoes_Jamie Lee-Stanislav Dobák: DREAMS by Kristóf Farkas

Spaces in the need of being enclosed by each other

    Dreams created by Jamie Lee and Stanislav Dobák „is an ongoing installation of dance films and photography based on our dreams”, which contains a performance-like dance étude. Among the several venues of the KioSK Festival, it took place in the basement of the building Elektrárne, where you just go from room to room, one by one, and in each you can watch a dance film “based on our dreams” and hell yeah, they're these kind of material! 


photo: Elena Aya Bountouraki
   The choreographies are so simple (I mean they don't want to be more than what the action needs), each of them are in perfect harmony with the feeling and visualization of their material. I can't say that every dream is archetypal, but for me all of them are familiar. I have dreamt at least once all of them, and each time I woke up in a sheen of sweat. Besides the two multitalented creators, the music is James Brown's and Jozef Vlk's merit and for sure their melodies will echo in your bones long after. The dancers, Jamie Lee, Daisy Phillips, Victoria Perez, Anuschka Von Oppen, Janet Novas and Passerelle dancers are all great, just like the way they are acting: through their body. Most of the choreographies are about the bearing of something, in which case the action is first and the emotions come just after. The movement is the source of them, they don't portray. To watch the dancers lost in their fears, solitude, desperation, or watch them being tangled and buck against each other by some unknown force – is the feeling of the voyeur. But, this review doesn't want to give a deep analysis of the dance films and the photography, but is rather about how they can become dream-like and intangible in a construction where one by one they are touchable. I want to emphasize the necessity of the chosen space, because of this we become the performers and not the artists – they are guides of this very unique mind trip.
    In a case when the chosen subject is about dreams, the fact that we have to go under to see – it –, the act of watching is not a primal sensation, but an affirmative feat in the name of what is sensible. So if subconscious could be an exact place, the basement would be a great match. You breathe in humid air smelling like dump and feel the moistness, perspired by musty-fusty walls, entering your skin. The only light sources here are some light bulbs and the film material screened by the projector through the air, spreading on the walls – or on the floor (just like a cube, which has sides). Beside the claustrophobic and rotting feeling of the space (which is not for emphasizing the exhibited material), the origin of the emerging atmosphere are the films and photos. They have lost their own materiality by being screened and exposed, and found it again in/on the dead material of the wall. This kind of alteration turns the pictures into something physically sensible, they become (the part of) the walls – which walls are now coming alive, because they are filled with the fluidity of the film. This is the already mentioned rawness, which is so peculiar in creating the atmosphere.
    The different sensations here are not parallel, but invigorated by completion. In theatre, the role of the eye is obvious, just as of the ear, but to be 'touched' by what is seen or heard, it is the personification of what is already vivid on stage. Otherwise, the circumstances of being ‘under’, to be enclosed in a space which is full of impulses reminding us at the 'behavior' of our dreams, the situation is intensified. Through evaporation, perspiration, horripilation and other physical and psychosomatic effects caused by the influence of the motion picture – or rather motion wall – and the space, I become the part of the exhibition. So, we are touched physically by sensing ourselves and the personification trends towards us. In one word, I reassert the fact that I am personified by myself. And in 'Dreams' I'm standing on that certain stage – in the subconscious level, being watched by my conscious self. So we can say that we watch and examine ourselves in the same time too. But is it conscious?
    No, it is not, in my opinion. It takes time to get used to the circumstances and any constant stimulus. And after it happens, the realization of an altered state is not prompt. Under the conditions of the basement and by being a part of the installation, the mind doesn't sense immediately the fact of the sleepless dream. It is like falling asleep: we don't know when it happens. The next and last step in this mind trip is the dance étude. We enter a murky room wrapped in mysterious and dense fog, where a guy (Stanislav Dobák) is hanging from the ceiling, just like an alpinist. He slowly starts to descend. And from now I won't give a detailed story of what was happening on the stage, I just evoke some fragments, e.g. that he has a torch in this foggy darkness.
    Just like in a labyrinth, he is roaming the space and suddenly finds himself face to face with a creature (Jamie Lee, wearing a furry mask) and they start to dance. They use the same movements, sometimes they wrestle and orbit near each other but these actions are more about getting to grips with the other. At a point, they sit down and start to drink water. There is a bottle and a fish tank on the table. The guy always wants to drink from the latter, but he is always blocked by the creature, who after a while takes little fishes (not real) out of its(/her) mouth and puts them into the water of the tank, what the guy still wants to drink up, but the creature tries to take it away. Finally, with the tank under his arm, he goes to a little room with a big window on its side – so we can see what's happening inside. He puts the tank on the table. He watches it. He comes out and locks the door. I feel giddy. Applause.
    Briefly, the fish tank is locked into a little room in a room, where the performance takes place, which belongs to the basement. But, the act of descending is metaphorical, not just physical, i.e. this is the way from the conscious into the subconscious – from reality into the dream. So these 'enclosings' are steps to reach something much deeper. And while me, the conscious self is watching the dive into the subconscious, which submerges it, I realize that I am part of this dream – despite my own sleeplessness. All of these spaces are enclosed by each other, but everything I see, happens in me. I'm the voyeur of someone else's dream, but with the great difference that I'm enclosed in it too.
 
Kristóf  Farkas – member of KÖM by L1 Association
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015

2015-07-28

On The Road_Echoes_ Debris Company: CLEAR by Zita Sándor

Speak without tongue

During the KioSK – Festival of new Slovak theatre and dance in 2015, I was lucky to experience and see that sometimes movements and dance, the “body language” can express ideas and connections in a more understandable (and maybe more complex) way than any spoken language.



photo: Lucia Kotrhová
I have really clear and strong memories about the street performance Othello is Black performed by Divadlo koňa a motora – however I do not speak or understand at all Czech or Slovakian language. I’ve heard the names of the protagonists from the Shakespeare drama, and it was really obvious that I’ve seen a performance which treated the text pretty freely. The scenes were strongly stylized, the characters and the actors’ gestures were energetic and clean-cut, using the toolbar of commedia dell’arte. They were surely interesting and entertaining, numerous passers-by stopped to watch the performers. In the middle of the show a sudden rainstorm arrived to the Mariánska square, but this did not bother the actors: they continued their work, later on moved next to cloisters where the populous audience was watching them. I consider that their success depended a lot on their body language, on their lively presence, their energetic gestures. I stayed there in order to watch their movements, their jumps and punches; however I did not understand the story at all.
On the same day, I’ve seen something quite similar, but a different genre work in Stanica. Debris Company’s Clear was an English-friendly monodrama with three performers. René is a man, who is deeply interested in the big questions of life: What is existence? What is real and what is illusion? What is time? He tries to build a line between perception and thoughts: this line is drawn on the floor of the theatre. Since he is thinking mostly in dichotomies, his bipolar doubts and scruples – according to the text, Clear and Distinct – are represented by Clara and Distincta, two dancers. René is occupied with memories of a woman who is now in a hospital – therefore the dancers have some kind of connection to that person as well.
The genre designation of the work is existential mystery – which is really true, the whole performance-long monologue of René does not make things clear. It evokes Descartes, Shakespeare, the theme of theatre itself, but does not lead to any place or exact conclusion. Marián Prevendarčík surely worked a lot with the enormous and philosophical text, his concentration and endurance is extremely intense, it is much to be regretted that he was only declaiming, sitting and taking some steps in a dark, elegant velvet suit.
The two dancers, Stanislava Vlčeková and Nikoleta Rafaelisová are showing us a very creditable performance. Their technique is excellent, they are moving in a mirror position for a very long time with true ease. Their movements are precise and well timed, the composition and the decomposition of the structures are accomplished with breezyness. Their gestures and the construction of their movements evoke the essence of the text, or even more: the time, the infinite, the continuous restart, the memories and the questions of body, identity, soul (choreography: Stanislava Vlčeková). The glass of the “mirror” is the white line on the floor, the two sides sometimes disconnect for a while, at one point the dancers’ legs and arms gently cross the line, they whisper something to each other and later they suddenly change sides. The playfulness can be perceived in other points as well: Clara and Distincta play a coffee drinking episode, with two halved coffee cups – excellent moment, it connects among others the story of Alice in Wonderland to the show.
The duo is really eye-catching: the two women have the same height, they are wearing similar, lightly striped white clothes, they have the same long red hair. Their facial expressions are also similar, it is hard to make any distinction between them. The performance is precisely and sensibly arranged, the stage design and the lights are wisely set. The drawing on the floor, the diagonal placement and the smoke are creating a mysterious ambience, we have the impression that even the wind, the movements of air are also planned. Ján Ptačin’s and Jozef Vlk’s stage and light work become the “fourth performer” of the show, the smoke and the steady hand guided lights are acting like an invisible force which is watching, enclosing and guiding everything – bodies, thoughts and its representations – from the background. The selected music records – disco, noise and roar of machines, piano pieces, patter of rain – and the silences also contribute to the framing of the atmosphere and correspond to the scenes.
The text, the verbal part (René) and the physicality (the two dancers) are separated. The monologue of René was projected in English on the wall. I could read it, I’ve been listening to it, but the long text did not have an effect on me – however it is an important basic material of the show. Nevertheless, the physical signs and representations, the movements and the stage setting were expressive enough. Clear is an example of a physical theatre in which the physicality, bodies in movement became palpably stronger and overpowered the spoken words.
 
Zita Sándor – member of KÖM by L1 Association
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015

On The Road_Echoes_Jamie Lee-Stanislav Dobák: DREAMS by Mónika Kunstár

Dreams locked in the mind

Films are rolling in the rooms behind iron bars opening up from the narrow basement corridor. On the films we see episodes, separate worlds, just like dreams locked into rooms. As if every door would allow us to see behind closed eyes and peep into the hidden corners of the mind.
Humid air, dripping water; the sound waves coming from the rooms, mixing in the air are already causing an altered state of consciousness. The space with its gloomy, repressed energies provides a perfect atmosphere for the suggestive photos and films radiating power and tension.
On the photos we see hands, legs, bodies twisted, looks, ghostly images, as if they were mosaic pieces of dreams, ones we may still remember after waking up. The image of the forest stays in our minds, as well as the feeling left behind by the touch of wet leaves.
The motion pictures provide instant information; still they evoke an associative mood. A bit like taking us into our own nightmares, where we fall, rise, and drop on the ground again; possibly chased by someone or something, who knows. There is a naked female body enclosed into a cocoon on a tree, as if being in a larval stage, exploring the boundaries of its viscous, gooey prison walls with her movement.


photo: Elena Aya Bountouraki

 The firm borders of the mind almost seem to crush under the delusion, when the film is projected on the floor and the image moves out into the space. The female body lying on the moistly glittering floor seems to break free from the plane of her imagination, desperately striving to come to the surface. While her body is not restricted by limitations and her movement is free, there is no release from the state of being trapped in the mind.
It is a blast how the installation warms up, prepares and tunes the audience into the performance; on the other hand it is a huge challenge to maintain or even boost this depressive, intense, dream-like ambient. Accordingly, what else could come next, but confinement? We are guided into a seemingly small room, but we cannot really feel its walls and limits due to the dense fog. The audience’s crowded bodies locked into a hardly perceptible space are similar to thoughts in the mind. When the lights are turned off, we get lost in the foggy haze of our imagination, and left alone in the dark for a long moment.
The man, hanging from a ‘climbing’ rope, leads his view with the light of his torch, directing the attention to the inside. The strobe light, the images, the sight of the scary, witch-masked girl leads us to an imaginary space, where tension is as thick and impermeable as the fog in the room. They are moving without harsh interactions, playing with the association of images inside the closed space of their imagination, moving in the fog just like the fishes swimming in the bowl.
Closed rooms, living spaces are put into each other like a smaller box into a bigger one, then into a bigger one, and so on. The first closed space is the fish bowl with the fishes; the second is the adjacent room with its display window, where the fish bowl is put in front of us; the third is the illuminated space, which the dancers use; the fourth space is the room, where we, audience members are standing in a crowd, watching the performance. The spaces and imaginary landscapes are overlapping and infiltrating each other, since every spectator’s mind is another closed space, where everything he or she sees, hears, feels and imagines is regenerated again.
The actions and the bodies – in themselves or in an interaction with the other body – flow into each other just like that as well; forming something solid, something whole, but still palpable: dreams or images locked in our minds, the limits of which we cannot perceive, just as the boundaries of the haze-filled room remained hidden for our senses.
 

Mónika Kunstár – member of KÖM by L1 Association
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015
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Elmékbe zárt álmok
Stano Dobák, Jamie Lee: Dreams


Az alagsor szűk folyosójáról nyíló vasajtós helyiségekben pörög a film. Fotókon és mozgóképeken epizódok, külön világok, mint a szobákba zárt álmok. Mintha minden egyes ajtónyitás betekintést engedne a csukott szemek mögé, hogy bekukucskálhassunk, mi zajlik az elme rejtett szegleteiben.
Nyirkos levegő, csorgó víz; a helyiségekből kiszabaduló, egymással elkeveredő hanghullámok érzékeinkre hatva már önmagában is egyfajta módosult tudatállapotot idéznek elő. A helyszín a nyomasztó és visszafojtott energiákkal tökéletes atmoszférát teremt a szuggesztív, erőt és feszültséget sugárzó képeknek és mozgóképeknek.
Fotókon kezek, lábak, ívbe csavarodó testek, tekintetek, szellemképek, mintha az álmok egy-egy kiragadott mozaik darabkái lennének, amelyre ébredés után talán még emlékezni fogunk. Az erdő képe még ott marad képzeletünkben, és az érzet is, amit a nyirkos avar tapintása hagyott lenyomatul.
A mozgóképek készen tálalt információk ugyan, de mégis asszociatív hangulatot idéznek elő. Kicsit mintha a saját rémálmaidba vinnének, amelyben esel, kelsz, a földön találod magad; üldöznek vagy sem, ki tudja. A fán egy meztelen test gubóba zárva, mint egy lárvaállapotban leledzve, mozgásával keresi képlékeny, nyúlós falú börtönének határait.
Az elme szilárd falai érzéki csalódás útján szinte megdőlni látszanak, amikor a filmet a padlóra vetítik, és kilép a térbe a kép. A nyirkosan csillogó padlóburkolaton fekvő női test kitörni látszik képzelete síkjából, szenvedve törekszik felfelé. Testét nem szorítják ugyan korlátok közé, mozgása szabad, de az elmébe zárt állapot síkjából számára nincs szabadulás.
Telitalálat, ahogyan az installáció bemelegít, előkészít, ráhangol az előadásra, és egyben nagy feladat, hogy a nyomasztó, feszült álomszerűség megmaradjon, sőt fokozódjon. Ennek megfelelően mi más következhetne, mint a bezártság. Egy szűknek tűnő helyiségbe terelnek minket, amelynek a sűrű füsttől nem érzékelhetjük tisztán a méreteit, határait. A nézői testek egymás mellett, egy nehezen érzékelhető térbe zárva olyanok, mint az elmében a gondolatok. Amikor leoltják a villanyt, képzeletünk ködös homályába veszünk, és egy hosszú pillanatra magunkra maradunk a sötétben.
Egy férfi egy „hegymászó” kötélen lógva, elemlámpája fényével vezeti a tekintetet, a figyelmet befelé irányítja. A stroboszkóp fénye, a képi világ, az ijesztő álarcos, boszorkány maszkos lány látványa egy olyan képzeleti síkra terel, amelyben harapni lehet a feszültséget, akárcsak itt a füstöt. Túlságosan heves interakcióktól mentesen, képi asszociációkkal játszva mozognak képzeletük zárt világában, a füstben, ahogyan a halak úszkálnak az akváriumban.
Zárt terek, életterek rakódnak egymásba, mint egy kisebb doboz egy nagyobba, majd az egy még nagyobba, és így tovább. Első zárt tér az akvárium, benne a halakkal; második zárt tér a szomszéd kirakat ablakú helyiség, ahova átteszik elénk, nézők elé az akváriumot; harmadik zárt tér a bevilágított, táncosok által használt területe a szobának; negyedik zárt tér a helyiség, ahol mi nézők, bezsúfolódva figyeljük az eseményeket. Így folynak egymásba az életterek és a képzeleti síkok, hiszen minden egyes néző elméje egy újabb zárt tér, ahol újrateremtődik minden, amit lát, hall, érez és elképzel.
Ugyanígy folynak egymásba, és válnak valami képlékeny egésszé a történések, testek önmagukban vagy a másik testtel interakcióban. Álmok vagy képzetek az elménkbe zárva, amelynek határait éppúgy nem ismerhetjük, mint ahogyan a füsttel teli szoba határvonalai is rejtve maradtak érzékeink számára.

 Kunstár Mónika – KÖM by L1 Egyesület
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015

2015-07-27

On The Road_Echoes_Pominutel’né divadlo: 10 000. GOSPEL FOR ROSES by Orsolya Bálint

Death as self-expression

I watched the heavily text-based performance 10 000. Gospel for Roses at KioSk Festival, in Stanica, Žilina without understanding a word in Slovak. Still I don’t want to use that as an excuse, because by not being focused on the text, I could concentrate more on the four outstanding actresses: Mária Danadová, Dominika Doniga, Lenka Luptáková and Jana Oľhová.
I directed my senses on their presence, mimics, tones and costumes, and since the performance was sparse in action, even their tiniest moves gained significance. However, I was still longing for a better understanding, which followed when I re-read the English transcript of the performance and during the open discussion with dramaturge/director/costume designer Maroš Rovňák and two of the actresses. There was one word I’ve indeed learned by hearing it many times, as a constructive (creative?) motif: smrt, meaning death.
It was an impressive entree, when Jana Oľhová appeared on stage in a white gown embellished with strong red symbols (a huge drop of blood over her lap and a red cross over her chest, like a bull’s eye), a headband of red roses and black peacock feathers, slightly resembling the eccentric Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. She had the imposing aura of a monarch, but deeply withheld sadness seeped from her. Impersonating Elizabeth I of England, whose mother, Anne Boleyn was executed two years after giving birth to her, she told a childhood memory of envisioning herself being in the safety of the womb of her deceased mother out of fear from death, because her life was under constant threat. A beautiful and ambivalent metaphor: it condenses the childlike idea of death, the longing for the lost mother and for the safeness she never experienced; the urge growing even stronger than her own fear from dying.
Speaking into one of the microphones on stage, the amplification of her voice became an emphasis of the act of self-expression, like she was speaking out – if she could not tell this to anyone, she will tell it to everyone. We may be compassionate with the child she was, and see her as a brave survivor, and later as a victorious ruler and a generous patron of arts, who contributed to the flourishing of English drama, but Elizabeth I was also responsible for the execution of many, among others her rival, Mary, Queen of Scots.
After her exit, Lenka Luptáková entered the stage, playing an art historian (in black dress and gloves, with red warpaint on her forehead, as if marked by a mysterious force or entity) giving a lecture on Manet’s series of paintings The Execution of Emperor Maximilian.
There is a sophisticated shift each time the protagonist changes; this time from one tragedy-stricken house of monarchs (the Tudors) to another (the Habsburgs), and from a personal metaphorical approach of death to the metaphorical approach of death by art. Death already appears here in the political context as well, since the death of a monarch is never solely personal matter.


photo: Jan Chmelnik

 Previously, the art historian mentioned Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia, two paintings which caused outrage for their naturalism, or frivolity, in the public eye. This became meaningful information later, when we focused more on the inexplicable, or rather double standards of society towards what is deemed scandalous and what remains blissfully ignored – or what is considered private and what is a political/public issue.
The Execution series depicts the very moment, in which the shots were fired by the hit squad, whilst the emperor and his generals are still standing straight, seemingly impassively awaiting their inevitable death. Just like in Elizabeth’s vision of the womb, death only appears here in a metaphorical space created in the spectator’s minds. Since time is frozen by the static nature of the painting, we can linger in this in-between of dimensions of being and not-being, the great mystery of death – the transition into finiteness, or another quality of existence; we don’t know for sure until we experience it for ourselves.
In spite of its surreal, incomprehensible nature, death is in fact an ever-present reality in our minds, but most of the time it is repressed into the unconscious, since “it would be impossible to live in constant conscious awareness of death” (Becker, 1973). But in moments like when we are watching the painting, we become aware of the fact of death, and we begin to wonder about the nature of death. Quite immediately we think about our own death, or the death of our loved ones, since these are the most sensitizing prospects of death, and the subject shifts from general (and trivial) to personal again.
This is the delicate thread leading us to the next scene (besides that the virtual space of the plot is still in Mexico, the story being continued in Ciudad Juárez, the city named after Benito Juárez, who was reinstated as president after Maximilian’s death). Maja Danadová played a Mexican mother (also in black and with red paint on her forehead, which seemed rather like a curse, not like blood over her head), who’s daughter was abducted and murdered. I wished I understood her detailed reminiscence of her daughter’s disappearance – on the other hand, being a mother, I was grateful that I didn’t have to face the horrific details, as I could tell from the intense attention and almost paralyzed-by-dread postures of other audience members. Amplifying her voice with the microphone symbolised in her case not solely her desire to be heard, but it was also a warning to us that she should be listened to.
After her exit, the art historian appeared again to talk about the next Execution painting, which was a sobering change, like a Brechtian V-Effekt, and we shifted from the personal and factual experience of death back to theoretical and abstract again. Not entirely though, because she showed us the historical photograph of the execution, where the abstraction is reality itself – a mind-spinning thought.
The fourth woman, an American journalist investigating the femicides (sexually motivated murders of women and young girls) in Ciudad Juárez, played by Jana Oľhová, told us about the disappearance of her colleague – hauntingly resembling the story of the missing daughter – and the inexplicable ignorance of the murders by authorities and the police.
Almost directly reflecting on this “collective repression of the awareness of death”, the art historian came back again, to tell us, how badly it was received by the public, that Manet painted the “raw truth” of the execution, not some artistic illusion – that would have been comfortable enough for the audiences.
As if Manet had already foreseen this, as a conscious irony, in one of the paintings he also painted an audience, entertained by watching the execution. This is not the first reference to the entertaining “qualities” of death; it recurs in the femicides as well as in the paintings of bullfights (both are pleasure-motivated murders) by Goya, an inspirational master of Manet. But we can also recall many similar occurrences, from the ancient gladiator fights to recent horror flicks and reality shows about dying people. Why are we entertained by death? Is this our safe place to look at death, or is this indeed the fear from it, repressed by a hypocritical ignorance and cynicism? 
This is the attitude the mother of the murdered daughter is also confronted with, when she comes back to continue her story. Odd as it is, even though we all have to face death once, we have a huge deficit of empathy – not to mention Schadenfreude – when it goes to death or the loss of others. We may be affected or even shaken by it if it is a personal matter, but the more political it becomes, the guilt is disseminated and responsibility evaporates.
The art historian also lost her father and later her mother, and while she shares this intimately personal information about herself (returning again to the personal sphere), we may grasp the universal presence of loss in our lives. The loss of parents, children, hundreds of young women missed by their families – as the returning journalist continues with her story –, who didn’t even have the chance to start to live.
The three women appear together in the closing scene, joined by a fourth woman – a dead bride, a ghost, or a memento mori played by Dominika Doniga. In Victorian times, post-mortem photographs were not regarded as gruesome. There is beauty, intimacy and a loving quality in these photographs which may seem shocking to us now, because of our conflicted relationship to death: repression grows ever stronger, we don’t want to talk about death, we don’t even want to be around it, so we exiled the dying into hospitals and hospice homes. On the other hand, we sensationalize and minimize death in the news, in movies, TV shows or video games.
Until this point, death has been only present in the performance on the metaphorical level, in the form of visions and absence, but with a dead person being actually present, there is an intriguing turn into metonymical. The dead bride starts to sing, but her beautiful voice turns into woes and screams, resulting in a discomforting cacophony. What if all the dead could raise their voices and haunt us with their tragedies?
While she sings, the three women recite a text, like a Rosary. This form of Catholic prayer (accompanied by counting the rosary beads) is often prescribed by priests as a penance after confession, to encourage contemplation about our sins. However, the text they are reciting (with sticks in their hands instead of a rosary) is not religious: “We flew through space like dual persons. But you said – you are the one who is not and I am the one who is. I give you your death, this is my expression of myself.”
If we take this as a literal reference to the act of killing – whether it is motivated by politics, money or pure pleasure –, murder is an essential part of human nature, but whoever takes the freedom to kill, places him/herself over the other human (the dual spirit), to decide over their right for life. But as the text puts it, this is not simply the wish to act like a god (like a creator), but ultimately a way of self-expression – like creating art.


Orsolya Bálint - KÖM by L1 Association On The Road
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015

On The Road_Echoes_Milan Tomášik: HUNTING SEASON by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy

Transparent movements

Simply put, Milan Tomášik’s performance, the Hunting Season, performed on Friday at KIOSK Festival in Žilina, Slovakia, is clever. Or more detailed: it is a clever, well-matured and complex choreography, which has the rare and valuable quality to feed every layer of the spectator’s curiosity. From chunky jokes to delicate historical and technical dance references, it invokes several relations simultaneously through the movements, while in the cross-fire of registers and references it is able to remain absolutely ‘meaningless’ and facile.
So as I said, HS is a clever choreography. But how did they pull it off? Let’s start with understanding the anatomy of the performance a bit more deeply! The key concept that we can adapt to sketch the skeleton of HS is transparency. Regardless of what aspect we choose to examine the choreography from, in the very core of it we will find transparency. And what do we know for sure about transparency? I mean, what is the main characteristic of anything that is transparent? That it allows something that is behind to become visible. But in the moment we would recognize anything, it (the medium) deflects our gaze from it, and reflects it back to us. The whole process indicates that we cannot define the meanings anymore (that are probably hidden behind it), and cannot identify the place of deflection (the certain point on the surface) either. The long and the short of it, we cannot penetrate transparency, since it is always-already penetrated. Our sight is lost in the medium as in a second reality that is unseen-but-visible and that is dispersed by a mysterious force. Transparency works as a snake that bites into and eats its own body; in other words, transparency allows the kind of intensity that can never be recovered to become visible. It concentrates and traps all the movements, the angles, the meanings and the structures.
photo: Natália Zajačiková
Let us think about it for a while, and examine it further! We can use the expression of transparency for instance to cover the ‘vaudevillish’ structure of the performance, that is on one hand the source of its humour. On the other hand, it is a tool to make the construction of the performance visible, or reflect the happenings in it – what else would be the function of the compčres, or the significance of the appearing heads and the returning clownish moves of the dancers? Or just think about the structure of the choreography for a second. It obviously consists of two parts, but each of them is so transparent and so nimble, we cannot distinguish and separate them anymore. They are embedded into each other. What about the inhale-exhale (or from another point of view, the contraction and release) dynamics of the choreography? The function of this intensity is on one hand to uncover the natural forces of the body, to reveal the elements of the movements and to disperse the elements of the movements at the same time (and through them, to control the whole performance). But on the other hand, its function is also to make fun of some typical dance genres, and some typical emotions and tones that are common both in the classical and modern dances. The parody (or as it is often defined, the second reality) traces us back to the source of the humour, and makes the representation of HS cyclical and infinite. Clever, isn’t it?
But the question of transparency is still not that simple. Because the dynamics of the inhale-exhale game makes something else visible, what is related to the deep core of every possible movement: time. However, in the moment we recognize this, our gaze is deflected, and we perceive the internal side of time: the movement again. Interesting, mirrored point of view, huh? Movements recover movements through the intensity of rhythm and time in the horizon of reflexivity, which, as a second reality, can never be recovered. HS can never be recovered. 
Zsuzsanna Komjáthy – KÖM by L1 Association On The Road
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015

2015-03-31

Echoes_Eszter Herold/Zsuzsi Palman – CONVEX PROJECT – Icons of Waiting and Wasting (exhibition) by Mónika Kunstár

a magyar fordítás alább
The art (of) giving birth

1 subject, 2 artists, 9 icons and the CONVEX PROJECT was born.


The walls of Alfred ve dvoře theatre were adorned by the works of Hungarian visual artist Zsuzsi Palman during the Performing V4 – Biennial of VARP-PA Residents in Prague. The exhibition CONVEX PROJECT – Icons of Waiting and Wasting was born from a fruitful creative co-operation with dancer and choreographer Eszter Herold, approaching a central subject by the means of two art forms at the same time. The naturalness of expectancy and iconic representation equally saturates the exhibition and the whole project.
9 icons, 9 months, the state of mind/body and their changing, the waiting, which precedes a woman becoming a mother. Eszter Herold tried to find ways of expressing the phases of childbearing, from the moment of realizing the desire to have a child. So were the dance icons WHITE, MÁTKA (Bride) and VISITATION created. Dance speaks to us through the movements of the living body, animating rolls of images in front of our eyes, creating the desired effect in a certain dynamic process, whilst a fine art work enclosed in one picture is taking us away – beyond capturing the moment – through the symbol systems hidden in it.
The unbound movement of creative freedom could have led the hands of Zsuzsi Palman. On her pictures and graphics, we can feel that her focus is on the process, rather than capturing the moment. The contrasts of black, white, brown and red colors of the pictures are beautifully enhanced by the pureness of the classic white frames. Not just words, but complete sentences are calling us on a distinct voice from the pictures. Body, face, hands, lines and lines of force, cropped and inserted photo details are equal parts of the contemporary fine art works. Just like the added text details written by Eszter Herold. Through the connection of pictures and text, postcards have been created, giving the impression as if the texts were accidentally typed on their backside with a typewriter. At times the text is incorporated in the pictures as well, simply oozing and streaming through them.
The text is a row of consensual signs (letters) bearing a meaning when they appear next to each other. The colors and shapes gain a new meaning in the moment of creation; they create the feelings, emotions and thoughts together with and from each other. This way, in the framework of CONVEX PROJECT, something was born, while somebody was born…
P.S.: „I carry you, deliver you, send you to life, miracle and death”
Mónika Kunstár – KÖM by L1 Association
photo: www.rolandszabo.cz

Herold Eszter/Palman Zsuzsi: Domború Projekt (kiállítás)
„Megálmodlak, megteremtlek”
1 téma, 2 művész, 9 ikon és megszületett a Domború Projekt.
Palman Zsuzsi magyar képzőművész alkotásai díszítették az Alfred ve dvore Theatre falait Prágában, a Performing V4 – VARP-PA Rezidensek biennáléja alatt. Herold Eszter táncos-koreográfussal való alkotói együttműködése gyümölcseként (részben a VARP-PA program rezidenciája alatt) született meg a Domború Projekt kiállítás, amely egy központi témát két művészeti ág irányából jár körbe. Az áldott állapot természetessége és az ikonikus ábrázolás egyszerre hatja át a kiállítást és a projekt egészét egyaránt. 
9 ikon, 9 hónap, állapot és annak változásai, a várakozás, ami után a nő anyává válik. Herold Eszter a kortárs tánc segítségével próbált kifejezést találni gyermekvárásának fázisaira a tervezés időszakától kezdve. Így született például a Fehér, a Mátka és a Vizitáció című színpadi előadás. A tánc az élő test mozdulataival beszél hozzánk, képek sorát eleveníti meg a szemünk előtt, dinamikusan fest, egyfajta folyamatjelleggel éri el a kívánt hatást. Egy képzőművészeti alkotás pedig egyetlen képbe zárva, a pillanat ábrázolásán túl, a benne rejlő szimbólumrendszerekkel repít messzire minket.
Az alkotói szabadság szárnyaló lendülete vezethette Palman Zsuzsi kezét. A rajzokon, képeken érezhető, hogy a pillanat ábrázolása helyett a folyamat a lényeg.  A képek színhasználatát (fekete, fehér, barna és vörös kontrasztjait) jól kiemeli a klasszikus, fehér keretek tisztasága. A képekről nemhogy szavak, konkrét mondatok kiabálnak határozottan felénk. Test, arc, kéz, vonalak és erővonalak, kivágott és beillesztett fotórészletek egyaránt részei a kortárs képzőművészeti alkotásoknak. Ahogy a kapcsolódó szövegrészletek is, melyeket Herold Eszter írt. A képek és a szöveg összekapcsolódásával képeslapok is születtek, melyek hátuljára mintha egy írógéppel véletlenszerűen gépeltek volna oda. Néhol a szöveg a képekbe is beépül, egyszerűen átfolyik, átgyűrűzik rajtuk.
A szöveg egyezményes betűk sora, melyek jelentést hordoznak, amikor egymás mellett jelennek meg. A színek és a formák az alkotás pillanatában nyernek új jelentést, és egymással, egymásból hozzák létre az érzetet, az érzést, a gondolatot. A Domború Projekt keretében így született meg valami, miközben megszületett valaki…
P.S.: „visellek megszüllek életre csodára halálra eresztlek”
Kunstár Mónika – KÖM, L1 Egyesület