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In my choreographic work SAVAGE SCENES, I present scenes of my bricoleuse practice - a playful practice with found materials.
While play has been my interest for as long as I can remember it has been a major driving force in my artistic practice for years, and now for the past year during the course of my MFA studies at IAA play as a hopeful practice and survivial strategy has been the practical and theoretical focus of my artistic research.
How do we practice hope through play?
SAVAGE SCENES are my practice manifest in a series of photographs and drawings as well as a live performance. The concept of savage that I refer to in the title, holds indeed connotations to an idea of ´primitive´. However, I wish to make clear that my sympathy with the term savage is not in accordance with a cultural evolution model of savage/primitive vs. sophisticated/civilized, an (illusory) model which many theorists of humanistic and anthropologic studies have likewise rejected. My affiliation with the concept of savage is affected by the studies of anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) on savage thought as a qualitative state of mind belonging to all humans. In his work La pensée sauvage (The Savage Mind, 1962) Lévi-Strauss makes clear that the ´savage mind´ refers not to primitive or archaic humanity but rather to ´untamed´ human thought.
Simultaniously, Lévi-Strauss developed the concept of the bricoleur. If scientific thought is represented by the engineer who asks a question and tries to design an optimal or complete solution, savage thought resembles the bricoleur, who constructs things using whatever materials are at hand. In my playful practice with found objects I am willing to embrace the savage mindset of the bricoleur. Where can the savage mind take us? What does it produce? What value does the practice of bricolage hold? When it comes to working with resources at hand I see the bricoleur as an embodiment of hope - an idle creator that must count on the chances, the readiness and the insistence of play, to realise constructive and poetic potentials from given resources.
Through a playful practice with objects where I take on the responsibility of a bricoleur, I aspire to realise opportunities – sensual, practical, poetic - of haphazard encounters.
Encounter: to come upon or meet with, especially unexpectedly.
When I find myself with objects in the studio, an encounter could involve a piece of lamb skin and a disco ball. Surfaces and textures are introduced to each other. Intimacy is built, between things, momentarily. Or, a person walks into a velvet curtain randomly entangled with a metal chain hanging (intimately) from the ceiling. Surfaces and textures are introduced to each other, intimacy is built, momentarily. Those are the kind of encounters that my practice evolves around – between bodies, objects, “things”. And as every encounter holds an opportunity for things to share a hint of their depth -a portion of their truth- every encounter holds the potential for discovery.
Objects seduce me and, rather than to “meaning”, I am drawn to the depth of objects, to their “secrets”. My ambition is to realise what they may be withholding and, furthermore, to realise what impact they have, in turn, on me. How do they play me?
In my studio practice, my curiosity to engage with materials, objects, through intuitive play counts eventually for a composition of encounters. The images I present alongside my performance are traces of playful encounters. They are a poetry of opportunities offered by encounter.
A basket of concepts (and a taste for all things magical and metaphysical) guide my practice, my research, my hopeful quest and desire for discovery:
These concepts intertwine in a motivating undercurrent for my speculative artistic research and they invigorate my choreographic practice.
Practicing and presenting my playful inquiry with SAVAGE SCENES is my attempt to raise intuitive methods and hone intuition at work. Why? Because in precarious times, in times of uncertainty, I am tempted to claim that hope is to be found in intuitive practice, in play and by that I mean: in the willingness to meet the unknown through tenderness and faith.
Documentation of the work includes video of the performance event, as well as a series of photographs that were exhibited as part of the work.
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