In the Inside There is Sleeping is essentially a performative practice presented in a theatrical context.
Structurally, the work refers to and confirms a lineage well established within the realm of contemporary choreography and concept based dance theatre; a lineage of interest in a particular methodological approach that exposes a desired sample (for example: a sound or a movement) to a repetitive or a loop-like structure over a long-enough period of time.
Such a system is then, in its length, presented to the spectator, who, by witnessing the change actualises or actually materialises artist’s claim to practice’s performativite value. I understand this process of materialisation by witnessing as the most impressive value made available by this particular methodology.
Witnessing is, at times, followed by a process of identification with the recognised sample. Spectator’s emotional, intellectual or spiritual relationships to any recognised elements that are materialised through performance are the methodology’s by-products. These by-products can (later on, often conceptually or choreographically) be categorised and presented in different ways, depending on their imagined purpose.
Understanding the process of materialisation through witnessing as a process that takes place prior to the process of individual’s identification to recognised trigger or sample is crucial! Calling effects of identification (that manifest through emotional, intellectual or spiritual reactions and relationships) by-products is also crucial.
By-products, separate from the otherwise homogenous environment that is the work of art, can be used as choreographic tools and as such could be used on purpose exactly because they are not being seen as a fundamental, inseparable part of the work of art’s landscape. By-products could, under such circumstances, also not be used; which, as an option, does not exist in case of homogenous environment that is the work of art.
(Whether not using by-products is possible or not is another topic.)
LeaMartini&KirstenBurger > photo©KarijnKakebeeke
Seeing the work of Lea Martini made me extremely conscious of lineage. Being so extremely conscious of it made a double impression on me. I asked myself: what does lineage mean to an artist’s sense of creative autonomy? And why is autonomy suddenly so present in my understanding of artist’s integrity?
My previous understanding of lineage was primarily focused on the sense of belonging it provided for. To know someone else is trying to crack a similar coconut makes one easily feel less alone AKA mad. That is a very positive understanding of lineage. With Lea Martini I became aware of a negative understanding of lineage.
Recognising similar interests Martini’s work shares with my own, seeing she came up with similar understandings of what’s at stake and how to choreographically make it readable made a very positive impression on me. I immediately identified and cared for the work. When she then started to make choices that went against my own understanding of how best to deal with the responsibility given to the choreographer by the material he discovered (which is how I usually work with materials – as a choreographer I am as much in control of as i am in service of) made me almost mad, instantly dismissive and unsatisfied with what I was witnessing. At that point, I judged her choreographic solutions as – wrong.
I was provoked and to that provocation, or shall I say self-provocation, I reacted in an extremely conservative way. For a moment I claimed the right to call the difference between good choreography and bad choreography. When provoked, I failed to engage with the work and engaged with private ideologies instead – which is not how a reviewer should interact with a work of art.
How else are we to see new if we don’t work hard to let go of the old?