EDIE&EDIE is a show presented as a joint creation of Amanda Apetrea and Emma Tolander (choreography and performance), Chrisander Brun (set design) and Anna Sóley Tryggvadóttir (sound design). In a ‘prepared studio’ at Stockholm’s MDT, EDIE&EDIE is performed by two dancing women.
“…it’s about their struggle, love, friendship and community. They are ugly, sassy, sexy, angry, happy, funny, loud, clumsy and rowdy. They stumble around, fumble, embrace, catch each other, support each other, scratch, hump, rock, hope and yearn. They fight to be who they want to be deep within. They want to dance for everyone who ever felt someone else’s skin against theirs, who ever felt that they are searching for something, who ever felt that they maybe don’t fit in, who maybe thinks that something should change in this world.” (1)
The environment in which EDIE&EDIE takes place is visually extremely rich (also: full); to the extent that provokes, almost irritates, in me the question of identification immediately upon entering the studio. This visually extremely rich environment consists of neon colours, military camouflage patterns, heavy make-up and glitter, acrylic fabrics and various prints, incl. animal, the combination of which, in my eyes, leans towards the aesthetics of the 80s.
As for the question of why create such an aesthetic environment, I presume but two answers. One is evoking affinity towards queer aesthetics. This I see as elaborate but basic, in terms of provided visual landmarks that can be seen as referential. The other – I would dare call “an embodiment of imagined emancipation”. Masks are presented to be divorcing Amanda and Emma with societally normal, expected, prescribed and marrying them with an image of themselves created by themselves. These, EDIE and EDIE, are absolutely fabulous and loving little monsters, created to signify and carry the idea of possible potential.
The idea is proposed, however, without ever becoming, due to the consistency inherent to the undeniably precise craftsmanship that built this space; historically-proven and successful craftsmanship that is inherent to all mediums by which this space is created. EDIE&EDIE ends up being read as a very conventional work, especially when thinking of its use of visuals-to-promise, while maintaining a safe physical distance to actual risk taking.
And as for the problem of identification?
When an aesthetic logic becomes dominant to a creative environment, when it takes over and becomes visible in multiple sources (artist’s work) at the same time (also: place) – the public gets used to it and is much more likely to habitually “like”. Such behaviour supports, if not creates, a “like” based identification process that is comfortably uncritical, and we are back to fashion, acceptance, fame, aesthetics and capital.
Not to say that my worry is about what the practice of dominant aesthetics over time does to the public. My worry is about what it, eventually, does to then homogenised and “normativised” art practices.
1 quote taken from MDT’s website : link