Reboot: Presence, Relationality, Desire
DAS Theatre Autumn Research Labs 2021
20 September - 15 October
Reboot: Presence, Relationality, Desire explore the situation of the present moment: after a year and a half of social distancing and digital contact, it becomes possible to gather and work together. During the 2021 Autumn Research Lab, DAS Theatre participants are invited to plunge into live practice with guest artists and observe and explore their desires towards live performance. The Lab is a four-week-long collective programme consisting of artistic input and in-depth encounters with guest artists. Although the Lab does not have strict thematic framing, there is a focus on artistic practices that deal with relationality and notions of collectivity both in physical, sensual, social and aesthetic terms.
The guest artists have been invited to share their artistic practices, bring current concerns, working questions, and methods, and explore them with the DAS Theatre participants in a hands-on, experimental artistic laboratory setting. The invited guests for this year's Lab are Jelili Atiku, Daniela Bershan a.k.a. Baba Electronica, nora chipaumire, Myriam van Imschoot, Ant Hampton, Ivana Müller, and Amanda Piña.
Reboot: Presence, Relationality, Desire has been curated and prepared by tutor Edit Kaldor in close collaboration with the DAS Theatre Team.
DAS THEATRE RESEARCH LABS
The Autumn Research Lab is a four-week-long practice oriented, collective curricular element consisting of artistic input and in-depth encounters with invited guest artists.
The Research Lab is the most intensive and longest collective study element and it requires full-time dedication. Unlike the rest of the curriculum, where personal interests and goals of the participants are guiding the learning process, during the Research Lab the participants are invited to open up to engaging with artistic practices that at first sight may not directly relate to their own research interests or artistic values. They are guided to process the input received in the Lab through practice, to share and reflect it together with the peers, the guest artists, the Lab tutor and the DAS Theatre mentor.
The aim of the Autumn Lab is to expand the spectrum of artistic approaches that the participants engage with and to create a collective artistic research environment through exchange between the practices of the guests and those of the participants. This exchange is intensified by working parallel in two smaller groups, comprising a mix of first and second-year DAS Theatre participants. The division of the groups, made by the Educational Platform, is communicated to the participants during the first week of the term. Throughout the Research Lab there is regular interaction and shared reflection between the two groups.
In the weeks before the Lab the participants can become acquainted with the artistic works, sources of inspiration and reflections of the guests and will have a preliminary (online) meeting with the different artists. The guests familiarize themselves with the group they will be working with by watching the introduction videos of the participants prior to arriving to DAS Theatre.
DAS THEATRE RESEARCH LABS
A Lab open-door moment is planned for each workshop, where participants of the other group, the DAS Theatre Educational Platform, the DAS Graduate School peers are invited to get a glimpse of the work that has been going on in the workshops. These open-door moments can also take the form of (semi-)public presentations, aiming to share the process and/or outcomes with an interested audience. Additional performance visits and discursive events and encounters will also be organised during the Lab.
The Research Lab will be concluded by a collective debriefing session, to discuss and reflect on the most essential insights derived from the 4-week programme and to prepare for the period to come.
The participants joining the Labs are Wojciech Grudziński (PL), Isadora Tomasi (IT), Oneka von Schrader (AT), Rebekka Bangerter (CH), Piotr Urbaniec (PL), Fariborz Karimi (IR) Carolina Bianchi (BR), Ebana Garin (CL), Luis Guenel (CL), Ainhoa Hernández Escudero (ES), Venuri Perera (LK), Claudio Ritfeld (NL) and Agat Sharma (IN)
The Autumn Research Lab: Reboot: Presence, Relationality, Desire has been curated and prepared by tutor Edit Kaldor in close collaboration with the DAS Theatre Team and Educational Platform. Together with the mentor of DAS Theatre Juul Beeren she also accompanies the four weeks programme and facilitates weekly reflection sessions with each group.
Autumn Research Labs from 20 September to 15 October 2021
Group A: Amanda Piña (20-22 September)
nora chipaumire (23-24 September)
Myriam van Imschoot (27 September-1 October)
Daniela Bershan a.k.a. Baba Electronica (4-8 and 11-15 October)
Group B: Ivana Müller (20-23 September)
Myriam van Imschoot (27 September-1 October)
Jelili Atiku (4-8 October)
Ant Hampton (11-15 October
Workshop with Amanda Pina
20-22 September, Group 1
Climatic Dances is the name of the fifth volume of the Endangered Human Movements* , a long-term research carried out by choreographer Amanda Piña on the current loss of planetary cultural and biological diversity.
Climatic Dances explores the way the notions of earth have transformed through time and through different historical genealogies and ontologies. In this piece the biographical landscape of the artist, a particular mountain in the central Andes in Chile, which is today being destroyed by Neo-extractive forces, becomes a place from where to share grief and fury, to mourn and stand up. Climatic Dances is an embodied visual effort to practice new ancestral ways of relating with the living world.
* Endangered Human Movements is the title of a long-term project, started in the year 2014, focusing on human movement practices which have been cultivated for centuries all over the world. Inside this frame a series of performances, workshops, installations, publications and a comprehensive online archive are developed which reconstruct, re-contextualise and re signify human movement practices in danger of disappearing, aiming at unleashing their future potential.
In this workshop we will share practices relevant to the creation and research of the piece Climatic Dances, Endangered Human Movements Vol.5
The work proposes the application of eco-somatic practices that facilitate the transformation of the body in movement towards forms of knowing that happen through embodiment. The laboratory proposes an understanding and experience of the body as an earth place, relational on multiple scales, from the micro to the macro. A body that is part of other bodies: city, sea, mountain, glacier, lake, river, estuary, continental, planetary and cosmic body. A body made up of other bodies: anatomical structures, bodies that make up the micro-biota (bacteria, viruses and microbes), cellular, atomic, subatomic, subtle and immaterial bodies.
The laboratory, framed in a post-pandemic context, proposes an exercise of mourning, sensing and resistance to of large-scale global mining extractivism in relation to the participation of the mountain in the creative cycle of water, particularly in the central Andes of Chile, in a context of climate change and global crisis.
"There cannot be a discourse of decolonisation, nor a theory of decolonisation, without a decolonising practice" Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui.
Mexican-Chilean-Austrian artist and cultural worker living between Vienna and Mexico City. Her work is concerned with the decolonisation of art, focusing on the political and social power of movement. Her works are contemporary rituals for temporarily dismantling the ideological separations between modern and traditional, the human, the animal and the vegetal, nature and culture. Amanda Piña is interested in making art beyond the idea of a product and in developing new frameworks for the creation of meaningful experiences.
Workshop with nora chipaumire
23, 24 September, Group 1
We are dead already - why do art? A thinking lab to provoke ways of knowledge exchange that exceed the colonial values of their grandparents.
nora chipaumire was born in 1965 in what was then known as Umtali, Rhodesia (now Mutare, Zimbabwe). She is a product of colonial education for black native Africans - known as group B schooling - and has pursued other studies at the University of Zimbabwe (law) and at Mills College in Oakland, CA (dance).
Lately, chipaumire has been touring "#PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA" (verbalized as “Hashtag Punk, One Hundred Percent Pop and Star NIGGA”), a three-part live performance album which had its world premiere at The Kitchen in NYC in October 2018. Her other recent live works include "portrait of myself as my father " (2016), "RITE RIOT" (2012) and "Miriam" (2012). She has been featured in several dance films and made her directorial debut with the short film "Afro Promo #1 King Lady" (2016). Her long-term research project "nhaka," a technology-based practice and process to her artistic work, instigates and investigates the nature of black bodies and the products of their imaginations. “nhaka bhuku 1” has been published in 2020 at the courtesy of Matadero Publishing House (Spain).
nora chipaumire is a four time Bessie Award winner and was a proud recipient of the 2016 Trisha Mckenzie Memorial Award for her impact on the dance community in Zimbabwe. She was also nominated for a NAMA award as one of those exiled Zimbabweans making an impact on the arts at home and abroad in 2020. chipaumire is honored to include the acknowledgements of the arts communities in awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2016), a Doris Duke Artist Award (2015) and a Princeton Hodder Fellowship (2014). She is currently a Fellow at Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University (2020) and an Artist in Residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural
Council, LMCC (2019-2021)
Workshop with Ivana Müller
20-23 September, Group 1
Performing art, like life, is sustainably ephemeral. The continuous appearance and disappearance of movements, gestures, breaths, looks... contributes to the "immaterial" quality of this art form, deeply rooted in the sensory and in the physical presence. The experience of a performance is always unique and cannot be repeated. It is there and then it is gone and those who witnessed it can eventually tell stories about it.
This is, at the same time, its fragility and its great strength.
With a particular interest in the processes in which a thought, a gesture, a person, an object disappears and how this experience works on collective and personal memory, history and imagination, this session is imagined as a practical laboratory in which by constructing a physical and imaginary landscape, an ecosystem, we will reflect on the idea of disappearance as a transformative force in both art and life, in its poetic and socio-political context.
Through her choreographic and theatrical work as well as her performances, installations, texts and videos, Ivana Müller explores poetics of language, rethinks the body, movement, voices and their forms of representations, revisits the place of imagination and the imaginary, and questions the notion of 'participation. In this, she works to inscribe the collective and the collaboration in the artistic practice, explores the idea of social choreography.
Her work is often experimental, radical and formally innovative. The idea of living forms, in perpetual movement, cultivated in the manner of a permaculture garden, remains central to her artistic interest. Although she creates in a variety of media, theater remains the primary context in which she develops and presents her work. Her pieces have been produced and presented in festivals and theaters in Europe, United States, Brazil and Asia over the past 20 years.
Her work is also shown in the context of visual arts, including the Venice Biennale in 2015 (official exhibition, Central Pavilion), the Garage Museum Of Contemporary Art Moscow, Hayward Gallery/Southbank Center London, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, National Museum of Singapore, Zachęta - National Gallery, Warsaw, Centro Cultural Kirchner Buenos Aires, Lafayette Anticipations Paris etc.
As part of her artistic practice, Ivana Müller organizes artistic and discursive encounters as well as collaborative practices. She also teaches frequently, notably at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, the University of Paris 8, the University of Hamburg, the University of the Arts in Zürich, SODA- HZT - University of the Arts Berlin, P.A.R.T.S. Brussels, Exerce, ICI-CCN in Montpellier etc.
Ivana Müller was born in Zagreb and grew up in Croatia and Amsterdam. She lives in Paris and works in France and abroad.
Workshop with Myriam van Imschoot
27 September to 1 October, Groups 1 and 2 together
This workshop engages voice as physical, sonic and energetic medium that enables us to build relations with each other and the spaces we cohabitate. We draw from resources like deep listening, various extended vocal techniques , therapy and resonance practices to gain awareness of available sounds and their potentials. With he help of scores and improvisations we gradually move towards the composition of sound and movement as ephemeral sculptures that change the place and our perception of it.
Myriam Van Imschoot is a Brussels-based artist who works in different media with the voice, like installations, films, performance and concert. Her approach to voice proposes an alternative to classical voice training, deeply rooted in the body and in a perpetual wonder about everyday miracles, great and small. Her work was awarded and tours in music festivals, art contexts and theaters in an international orbit (MaerzMusik, Hau, deSingel, Centre Pompidou, From Breath to Matter, etc) with tentacles in alternative scenes or self-generated contexts. With Marcus Bergner she forms a sound poetry duo, MM.
Workshop with Daniela Bershan a.k.a. Baba Electronica
Radically Reproducing Together
4-8 and 11-15 October, Group 1
The eco-fem-anti-racist and socialist movements around the world are revealing the states of permanent violence and injustice, permanent destruction of the resources of the planet, permanent evaluations of our lives and seemingly permanent - division from each other. The organization of the relation between reproduction and production is a key to understand and make visible how these divisions work and operate.
Whatever the future is that we are building, the basic needs of human survival -- nourishment, intimacy, excrement, rest and shelter, movement, social bonds/love, creativity -- are going to remain. This is the starting point of this workshop. We begin with the premise that the re-productive sphere is the un-negotiable basis and connection to the web of life and seek to investigate its urgently needed radical re-organization and re-contextualization in relation to the agency of artistic, political and affective practices.
Whenever we do something, the way of HOW we do it is by no means neutral. The way we have been taught and brought up to do things on a day to day basis is intrinsically connected, and a literal embodiment of systems of extraction, exploitation and destruction. So what if we put each other and our own reproduction at the very center of all our movements? Including our artistic, political and affective ones? How can we re-position ourselves and from there embody gradual change through generative, nourishing practices? Can we imagine to be of service to each other, in a more-than-human sense? What role does collaboration and community play in this? What does this mean for our daily rituals and our creative practices? What does this mean for our relationality as artists and otherwise?
"Radically Reproducing Together" is a co-created container for collaborative experimentation; we will ground in the Here & Now of where we are together. Amongst other things we will engage in somatic practices, sharing tools, reading texts, making maps, conversation, rest, imagination and integration.
Daniela Bershan a.k.a. Baba Electronica is an artist, DJ and independent researcher. Through her work – ranging from sculpture and performance to community building and sound – she proposes practices of collective intimacy and care as a way to study and honor affective and relational structures; Her current work is exploring the ecological, historical, emotional and political dimensions of reproductive labour and its re-organization through different registers. She composes and holds potentia-spaces for erotic/aesthetic practices and non-monotonic thinking.
Daniela co-founded and directed FATFORM (NL), and is co-organizing icw Valentina Desideri ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE at Performing Arts Forum (FR). Her work and collaborations have been presented at ao. 29th Sao Paulo Biennale (BR), De Appel Arts Centre (NL), MaerzMusik (DE), KunstenfestivaldesArts (BE), W139 (NL), Portikus (DE), NAS Gallery Sydney (AU), Capacete (BR), Paradiso (NL), Dansehallerne (DK), MDT (SE), Le CentQuatre (FR), Centre Pompidou Kanal (BE), CentroCentro (ES), Tempo Festival (BR) and Triennale Luxembourg (LUX).
Workshop with Jelili Atiku
Time is a Healer
(Egungun Method #2)
4-8 October, Group 2
Where water is the boss, there the land must obey
- African Proverb
Time is a Healer is a performance art workshop that is based on the philosophy and principles of the above mentioned African Proverb. It will explore the questions and contingencies of the present pandemic period. It will focus on enhancing the performance powers and personalities of the participants – where they will be guided to investigate the real meaning, history, ideals and values of space and body. It will also involve intense and rigorous engagements with objects based on the principles and ideas of the ontological and epistemological certainties.
In the first two days, the participants will be lead on the exploration of the fundamentals or
elementary (essences) of body alignment with space and understanding the hidden meanings of objects in relationship to personal and collective memories and imaginations. Here the consideration and projection of the imagination of the audience would be looked into as part of the artistic processes of creation.
The other three days would be channeled into the interrogation of daily rituals to develop and contextualize individual projects that would be performed in the last day of the workshop. The participants would be made to rely on or referencing their personal or collective experiences in producing their works.
Jelili Atiku is a Nigerian multimedia artist with political concerns for human rights and justice. Through drawing, installation sculpture, photography, video and performance (live art); he strives to help viewers understand the world and expand their understanding and experiences, so that they can activate and renew their lives and environments. For over a decade, Jelili has put his art at service of the prevailing concerns of our times; especially those that threaten our collective existence and the sustenance of our universe. The contents of these concerns ranging from psychosocial and emotional effects of the traumatic events such violence, war, poverty, corruption, climate change and others that are associated with our warring world have dominated his artistic forms.
Born on Friday 27th September 1968 in Ejigbo (Lagos), Nigeria, Jelili was trained at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and University of Lagos, Nigeria – Where he was awarded Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) and Master of Arts (Visual Arts) respectively. He is presently the artistic Director of AFiRIperFOMA – a collective of performance artists in Africa; and Chief Coordinator of Advocate for Human Rights Through Art (AHRA). Jelili has travelled widely and participated in numerous performances/exhibitions/talks in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. He is 2015 Prince Claus Laureates and was wrongly accused, arrested, detained in prison and trialed on the instance of his performance in public space in 2016; and also in 2019 for protecting the indigenous Yoruba, religion, e. He was artist in residence/ Professor at the Department of Africana Studies/Brown Arts Initiative in Brown University, Providence, USA in 2018. He is the President of Ejigbo Indigenes Forum (EIF) and Chairman of Community Development Committee, Ejigbo LCDA, Lagos, Nigeria.
Workshop with Ant Hampton
11-15 October, Group 2
To gain citizenship to a country usually means learning the language and getting to know the culture and history. I'm a British artist disgusted and saddened by Brexit, and in my quest for a German passport, I wondered how I could reflect this obligation back onto itself to create something both useful and interesting. As something of a contrast, my Argentinian friend Rita Pauls already had citizenship (due to her German Jewish great grandparents having fled Nazism in the 1930s) but no other connection to the country beyond this historical fact. Armed only with a few sentences to explain ourselves, and starting in the exact centre of the country, we hitch-hiked randomly for a week, asking our drivers the same question every time: “What, in your opinion, needs to be said?” We explained we’d record their answer in order to learn it by heart. It took us six months to absorb this plethora of voices and non-vocal sounds: excuses, rants, laments, hesitations, stammerings, mistakes, coughs. In our performance ‘Mouth Piece’, we let them back out, speaking German people’s utterances back to German people, together in sync. (The piece helped me pass the exams; and the collaboration with Rita continues.)
Rewind to 1999. Invited to make one of my first performances, I had a desire to see my non-actor friend Henri Taïb on stage. Fully aware Henri wouldn’t want the responsibility to rehearse or in any way ‘assure’ a show, I tried in my head to put this problem together with the particular quality of presence that I knew my friend naturally exuded, and which I admired: a relaxed and charmingly disinterested demeanour. In the end, for the performance ‘Bloke’, I asked Henri if he would follow some pre-recorded instructions, without rehearsal, in the understanding that it wasn’t about being perfect, and that the audience would know they were discovering everything at the same time as him (the voice played over speakers was audible by Henri and the audience together).
The latter example happens to describe how I discovered unrehearsed performance - central to my work for over two decades now - but the focus of this workshop attempts more of a zooming out to look more broadly at the role of formal devices or constraints in performance,
and the ways in which one might come to them. In my case, this will often begin with desires, predicaments, or problems for which I’ll speculate a single ‘solution’ or way out. This direct, deliberately ‘dumb’ approach produces the raw material for a device that, like a block of stone, will need to find form through a sculpting process, chisels here swapped for questions. What are the implications? What role an audience? Why do this live? What problems would such a solution create and, most importantly, what could allow those problems to in turn become useful or use-able in the work? By the end of the creative process, the aim is for an artwork to transcend the mundane role of ‘solution’ while still remaining at some level useful in the real world (a double ontology helpfully articulated by Stephen Wright in ‘Towards a Lexicon of Usership’).
This is the first time I will be opening up and questioning my practice in this way. Together with the participants, we’ll work to see what happens when applying such processes to their own concerns. What’s the problem, what’s the desire? What could be a solution, and what could be the implications of that solution?
Ant made his first show in 1998 under the name Rotozaza. - a performance-based project which ended up spanning theatre, installation, intervention and writing-based works. His work, though varied in tone and content, has consistently played with a tension between liveness and automation. Most often, this has involved guiding people through unrehearsed performance situations, and since 2007 it has included the audience themselves within structures loosely defined as Autoteatro.
Rotozaza became a partnership with Silvia Mercuriali, and ended in 2009 after their last production Etiquette, which was also the first Autoteatro work. Since then Ant has worked with Tim Etchells, Christophe Meierhans, Britt Hatzius, Gert-Jan Stam, Glen Neath, Joji Koyama and Sam Britton to create the works listed here which continue to tour internationally - over 60 different language versions exist of the various Autoteatro productions created so far.
Other solo projects include ongoing experimentation around 'live portraiture / documentary' as The Other People: structured encounters with people from non-theatrical milieu. This strand of Ant's work has occasionally merged with Autoteatro (Cue China, Someone Else...).
He was head dramaturg for 'Projected Scenarios' at Manifesta7 Biennial for Contemporary Art and often contributes to projects by others, including Ivana Müller, Anna Rispoli, Jerome Bel and Forced Entertainment.
Ant has also worked as coach / mentor for artist programmes such as MAKE (Ireland), A-PASS, Sound Image Culture (Belgium) and Dasarts (Netherlands), and has created and led workshops worldwide, including 'Fantasy Interventions - Writing for Site-Specific Performance', ‘Raising Voice in Public Space’ with Edit Kaldor, 'Mouth Piece Workshop' with Rita Pauls.and has developed an automatic workshop’ (The Thing) together with Christophe Meierhans