Always becoming, never arriving is an ongoing research project investigating the relationship between improvisation based on somatic practices and power, autonomy, bodily agency and the queer body.
It has been presented at DOCH in Stockholm as a part of their choreography course and their open house, at Djinadon Festival in Uddebo in November 2017, at Brooklyn Studios for Dance in New York in April 2018 and as my evening-length MFA research presentation at HSM in March 2020. The last evening-length iteration included material from my research Matter Matters.
Sound score from short solo version:
Today I am going to be simple.
saying things you have already heard.
Beginning of a continuation that might arrive at something.
(SONG – Le Tigre Deceptacon – 10 sec.)
For a moment, take all the space you have.
When you’re ready, you may read the note you got when entering the space (- How would you like to be intimate?)
Today, I am not going to dance —
You may witness, you may move.
We won’t really come to anything. Probably, nothing might happen.
I am not going to please you, and I am not asking you to please me.
Perhaps, this is a practice, in not satisfying desire.
You might want to experiment with saying yes, or saying no.
Like, for a brief moment, I encourage you to notice where your body is touching the surface of the ground.
For something to happen.
Giving in to your weight.
Lets play with the thought, that at this moment I breathe in, what you breathe out. You breathe in, what I breathe out.
First mouth in my navel. Second mouth in my mouth. Third mouth in my ass.
Heart and lungs on top of diaphragm. Moving up and down with the breath.
All of the cells. Breathing.
Practicing, thought being inside the body.
I’m looking for a moment where the body has an intrinsic value. Where the body has a value in-itself.
Experiencing the body in-itself.
Not as a means to an end.
Not as a tool for something else to happen.
Movement for movements sake.
To me this is extremely political.
I know, somewhere in there, I already contradicted myself.
Eye balls falling into it’s deep coned sockets. Softening. Seeing from the back of my skull. The outer falling into my vision, without naming, instead of trying to grasp for what I want with my vision; for that which is already familiar.
Falling into. Softening.
Bone. Marrow. Alive. Porous.
I can connect to the idea of my body, the image, form, concept, definition, projection, fiction, fantasy, artifact.
Or I can connect to the material that makes up my body, the object, inside, content, undefined, experience, matter, factual, physical
by noticing, sensing, experiencing.
Perception creating movement.
To listen to the inner volitions, the desires of the physical self, might make one say “no, I have to stop, I can’t keep going”. When feeling pain, or discomfort. As a dancer, as a person. Perhaps, lets play with the thought that dance training and performance conditions the dancer to submit to a higher power, with their body. Choreographer telling someone to raise their leg and they raise it, without thinking twice about whether they feel like having that sensation in their body today. A “no” often leads to punishment. To me, this sounds very similar to other kinds of power relations. Movement becomes a metaphor for other kinds of behaviors in relation to power.
Encouraging you to experiment with me.
Let’s for a moment, think of your hand.
What do you see in your minds eye?
Let us now, instead, notice our hand. Sensing it.
The prostitute obeys the pimp
The dancer obeys the choreographer
The domestic housewife obeys the husband
The labourer obeys the boss
The girlfriend obeys the boyfriend sexually
The student obeys the teacher
The physicallity obeys the idea
The person obeys societal ideals
The body obeys the mind
Perhaps, a gross generalization…
Stepping away from the preconceived definition of the body, it desexualizes the relationship to the body, and creates autonomy.
the pubic symphosis
I also wonder what is beneath the “doing”. What will unfold when I undo. When I don’t do anything. Inhibition. Inhibiting reflexes of end-gaining. “Doing” is often related to an expectation for a specific result, form or feeling. To undo, is to move without the intention to satify a specific desire, without the expectation of being a fantasy.
Always becoming, never arriving.
Perceiving without naming.
Naming myself, limits my ability to become.
Practicing, thought being inside and outside, as a bridge between the inner and the outer.
Removing myself from what I know that I see.
When I exist in the sensation of content, by not being aware of the form, I might also feel as existing in a void, in nothingness, in the unknown. To exist in the unknown one has to trust the structure of the physical self as it is falling out of control. In the transition from nothingness to meaning we might have intimacy.
Perception creating movement.
Perception creating intimacy.
Let’s then propose that non-linearity is a form of anarchism.
A practice in listening to inner volition without obeying to the rules of an authority.
Autonomous, but as a response to listening to ones physical reality, inside and outside.
Having a beginning and an end, a completion through normative narrative, creates a familiar form.
Before I reach the end, redirect into new impulse.
Only moving when I want to move.
Through self-narration and language I become commodity, an object, a product.
In that language, there is no room for otherness, or what you may call queerness.
What happens if I am inconsumable?
If what I display is intangible, in constant fluctuation?
I am not a woman.
The mere recognition of this body means something different than what I am.
The sensation of the body is different than the image it produces.
Perhaps, attempting, to erase what you see. Perhaps, to practice some sort of activism?
Listening to what is there, in itself, not what I think or wish was there.