Artistic part#1: to take place 25.4.– 29.4.2016
The process of the first artistic part focused on the starting point of my practice, which is that the human body is always somewhere. I took the concept and phrase ‘to take place’ as a core around and through which I processed various works where the examination of the relations between place, human body, and movement come together as a choreographic work.
I experiment with the verb ‘to take place’ in the first artistic part from two main perspectives: 1) as an experiential spatio-temporal process in which the human body exists and makes gestures somewhere as the materialization of particular motional conditions and 2) as literal comprehension how the words ‘to take’ and ‘place’ produce the process of being located and situated somewhere. In the first artistic part, I have critically examined this understanding but in a playful way.
There are other verbs proposed to describe the relations between experience, place, and human body, such as ‘to embody’, ‘to experience’, or ‘to receive’ a place (e.g., Hunter 2015, p. 95). I have chosen to keep the verb ‘to take place’, because it keeps the process of embodiment open in terms of giving me the chance to explore how taking place happens and operates as one kind of an embodiment instead of taking the embodiment as given. This also includes leaving space for disembodiment, by which I refer to failures caused by following certain assumptions that have directed my life. The decision of choosing these certain words thus gives me conceptual space to move about. It is obvious that I cannot escape my body, but this possible playful distance from the process of embodiment as a starting point provides potential to the choreographic practice, which I am interested in. It also puts me in the position where I have to choose which direction to take and must take a closer critical look at the position that enables the choices in the first place. With the title of ‘taking place’, the process playfully offers the possibility to think – that it is not me who takes place, but instead it is the surrounding circumstance that are taking me into it. This shift in understanding in directions of taking place has been the starting point for the works in the first artistic part when it comes to exploring the emerging choreography between the human body, place, and movement.
This process can also be seen questioning the power-relations between the environment, practice, and the human body. I am not only taking place as a creator, I am also taken into the place, and the movements created are not superimposed by my human body but reciprocally generated with the surrounding material and its forces and affects. As a critical stance, I suggest that various kinds of place-responsive practices can approach place as a concept, which is not out there to serve artists or to be used as a source of instrumental inspiration.
In the works of the first artistic part, I am playing with these environmental power-relations and showing how a place appears through action and reaction and how it operates as an active agent simultaneously and reciprocally in my practice and in the process of building understanding about the choreography as a reading practice.