Is this my project?

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Kasia Wolińska points at the horizon, expanding it, transgressing it. She is involving others, waiting for others. When waiting for inclusion, for a collective, she actualizes the possibility within listening. How to listen to yourself as if you were another? How to make the waiting, wishing an actual inclusion; that is practiced within the listening.

Wolińska insist in waiting, as a non-passive, non-productive action. She lets the someone of significance be the one who is not yet there – and who may not come, either. The one who was suposed to come.


She is never standing up.

She lies (down).

Let’s regard eating as a collective way of becoming – where the sharing of food serves as a sharing of what is yet to come. A struggle within the process – a try to remain within it.

How to suspend the suficicanty of still not doing, Wolińska asks. The project horizon is sharp.

But, is there a necessity of becoming? To come together.

– We shall overcome, said Birgit Friggebo, head of the Swedish culture departement 1992, during a debate on rasism in the Stockholm suburb Rinkeby. She proposed the assembly to sing.

She didn’t lie.

It simply wasn’t her project.


History at work?

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Reflection #2

The working subject counted as a part of the work produced by this certain subject may sound inevitable, but, being distanced from your own work is normal, as I am to this text. You may notice my presence – at least in the writing of the “I”, but at the same time you don’t get to know mutch about the circumstances under which I am writing, exept that the text must have passed through an electronic device in the end. Anyhow, I am right here, and I will tell you how it is.

I am sitting in a large space, actually it is a black box. A film is being screened, but since I know the language spoken, I manage to follow the dialogue through listening, while writing. Sometimes I lift my eyes to have a quick look at the screen. Most often I do so when writing one of those words that I am so used to write that I don’t really have to look at the keyboard when pressing the keys down.

If the text will be affected by this half-time regarding a cinematic archive research on Félix Guattari and the animist subject, is up to you to decide. But, if you ask me; of course the text is affected by the writing circumstances. The text is its circumstances. But, how to make these circumstances visible without making them part of the work that is being produced? How to use the surroundings without including them; to work from inside the work, making your conditions visible only on the outside – perhaps in a Q&A, in an interview or when speaking to a friend, a mother, a partner. The subject and the artist subject, the research and the artistic research; some people prefer a distinction, others don’t.

Zanele Muholi_2

For me this question is important when discussing who is actually part of a piece. Am I a part, or is only the part of me that contributes with a sort of product, presentation; representation of my activation, that is? Who am I, then, the body and the subject contributing to the realisation of all this? I take a step back, the piece is presented, perhaps celebrated. Me, as an artist, may be saluted, but as a human being, I stay at home, with the five minutes of Florian Feigl, the 3 square meters of Mamela Nyamza and the exhaustion of my body. In the middle of this complex relation between being and beings, Kieth Henessy brings up the notion of the male genious – the only one whos image is as important as the images that he presents. The genious, who manage to do both. Is it because he is a piece of art himself, or because everything he touches become art? Whatever answer you prefer, you may agree with me when I write that most often, history is written by this genious – a certain deciding part; the winner. Trying to visualise this, Kieth Henessy draws a model of the history of art and philosophy. He calls it a Salute to Joseph Beus, repeating the artists most famous statement; everyone is an artist.

photo by Yi-Chun Wu

So, who am I to write this? A male genious discussing, even criticising the notion of a male genious saying everyone is a male genious. Florian Feidl approaches the problem differently. In the performance Pushing dirt, he is pushing dirt. Golden dirt, and just dirt. The piece was developed during the five minutes of freedom per day, that he promised himself when having small kids. Time was – and is – elastic, but still very short.

Leena Kela

– It is what I do, he sais, and sighs, representing the artist not really succeeding in incorporating his private life in his artistery.
Mamela Nyamzas piece Vena Mamela was developed on the base of European fundings – on the base of which she chose to use the stereotype wiew of the african female body – that she inhabits herself. When explaining the scenary, she make it clear that she enjoy working at home – where her familly simultaneoulsy can serve as her dramaturgs, audience and directors.
– For me, the studio is a dead space, she sais, the voice echoing in the generous space of the Danshallarna foyer. This is why the space in which she act is narrow; 3 square meters. The rest of the blackbox; void.

Zanele Muholi_1

To sum up, I want to go back to a frequently discussed question; whether the artistic research is to be counted as a part of the academia. Without taking the long way around, discussing the history of aestethics, artes liberales and the genious within, I would instead like to point out the contrasting group of artist subjects and human subjects. As discussed by Janez Janša and Bojana Kunst during a conference on artistic research at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, the artistic research must be presented subjectivily, not within the group that actually produces the research. At the same time, the artist subject can hardly claim his/her personal rights as a human being. Economically and politically, artists are regarded as a group, a collective, a subversive mass – encouraged working and applying for fundings in amorphous, project-based groups. The question is how long it will take before the human can be accepted as an artist, while the white male genious, is neglected to only be regarded as a group. What history will be presented then – and who will represent it?

On our way home … if we ever get there

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Evening reflection #2

Who can afford speaking about work? Most often it is the one who is not … at work. Or, may it be the one who has an employment?

Tonight’s performances were clearly connected to the conditions on which they were created.

All the seats were taken.

– This is what I do to feed my son, Mamela Nyamza sais, making it clear for everyone that she is not there only to present her piece, but also to be able to continue doing it. The notion of the precariat still has to be pointed out in the black box, if it is to really be seen. But, according to Bojana Kunst, the black box isn’t even needed; it is there anyway, in the wardrobe, at the kitchen table and in the bathroom. Always at work, on stage. I write this in my bed.

Kieth Henessy is quite frank. He prefers working in the same space as he lives. I tried that once, and got mad. Henessy underlines the need of collectivism, a point on which I agree with him; we can do it together.

I attend if you do. Then we can discuss it all on our way home … if we ever get there.

Only by doing both, one can chose not to

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Reflection #1

I wonder what might be the similarities between them, and I definitely wonder why I need to find similarities between them.

These bodies.

Yesterday, Works at Work was inaugurated with the presentation of three solo works by students from Danish National School of Performing Arts, the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin and the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen

Dry Ice, no void that is not touched by it’s inside.


Javier Guerrero

Kahr Rasmussen enters and leaves.

We are there to take part of his piece, of his work. He is at work, we are not. He is about to show us his interpretation of Rodrigo Sobarzo dance piece Mining, a young, white male boy is breathing, shaking, breaking – out of itself. We are about to witness. Is that possible to do at work? To se another body doing a crash landing in itself, in it’s own situation?

Alexandre Viard

Cecile Bally is communicating, but not with us, and neither with herself. The communication that she practices semes to be like the stairs that you have to climb before coming home in the evening – if you don’t live on the ground floor. Speaking as climbing, socially, timely. It’s impossible for me, as well as for you to not count in the writing and the reading of these letters. I am also responsible for Ballys piece, and you are too. Timeline, a forthcoming to climb. Please, can you tell me what you do?

Ballay’s piece An organisational study, that’s my work presents as a model based on her understanding of data in order to extract herself from it:

I was writing on how ideas emerge. I am digesting.
To write a performance. To perform a text.
To embody my master thesis.
Se mettre à nu.
A methodology to produce absurdity.

The last sentence is the most interesting, since Ballays piece is not absurd at all, or it does represent the absurdity in the normality inside which we try to keep our bodies, out of which Kahr Rasmussen is breaking.

Bally’s frenchspeaking is a summary of all the education I have ever passed, and probably it will also serve as a possible summary for my coming education, working applications and birth-givings to children as well. It all can be found in between her two lips, that are constantly communicating with nobody.

Inside that room, the fourth wall is trembling. Who am I to sitt here not moving? The tips of my toes are scratching the floor. I take of my shirt, as Kahr Rasmussen did. Before leaving, Ballay left a pile of her cloth in the middle of the room. Who is supposed to take them on? Instead of grabbing a sock, I move my feet three centimeters to the left, give a little massage to my neck, and sit still. Next body, next show must go on.

photo from website

Joana Tischkau’s WHAT YEAH shows everything but a face. Bodies tremble, all those bodies deciding which legs and sholders, ass and breasts will be counted as body parts, and which will be counted as human. In Joana Tischkau’s cat-looking position, I become all of them. A fhere is a starting inside me, a struggle between those mediated parts pars of flesh, and those parts of subjectivity through which the mediation is being done.

Thanks to Kahr Rasmussens poured-out garbage bag, and to Ballay’s everyday frenesy, I can stand the mixture. I can continue committing bodily pressure not only to myself, but to my surrounding as well. Perhaps the only permissive body is the dead one, the quiet a non-productive piece of flesh and skin. But, the bones are still connected to each other and – of course – the dead is dressed. Is the entombment a way of preserving this bodily action? You must be representable even when you are dead, they say, cleaning the body and ptting a new skirt on.

Inhumation. Is the expropriation of space, bodily, social and earthly, a way of preserving the production of presence after which we all are supposed to adjust our beings? If so, then it is impossible to tell somebody that you will leave for a while, that you will have a rest or that you will “soon be back”. You will never be away, your digital and juridical-economical presence is to dense to not participate in your surroundings, whether you wish it or not.

The movement of inner organs, their nourishment and health maintenance, is closely connected to these rhythmic but at the same time mental powers.

In an essay on the economy of human movement, Katja Rothe writes how the education of the dancing body in the twenties, was a way of creating a free way of life, and that the rhythm of bodily movements thus also held the promise of individual self-development and of a better life. As well as the butho dance would be to the Japanese post war industrial society, the ryhm was a way to counteract the disfiguration brought by modern civilisation”, Rothe states. She means that this way of regarding dance training in early nineteenth century Germany was a new, old form of immediate communication”.

Say that to a new-born teenager. Immediate communication, what is not?

Who is not communicating today, if even the dead are spatially speaking; either if they are ashes in a pot or flesh in the ground? Floating all over the chair, writing all over the computer, screaming all over the space. I try to be quiet but I can’t. The communication of listening, practiced in each corner of this room, as well as of the black box at Dansehallerne, don’t leave us be. Kahr Rasmussen picks up his phone, Ballay is having a FM collapse and Tischkau acually directs herself to this listening. But is it, as a part of the huge human capital in constant circulation, possible to adjust what is being listened to, to chose what is heard? Most people should say no.

Rythm played a central part in the process of this discovery of the human within, writes Rothe, meaning not only human conciousness, but also a deeper understanding of modern society and its forms of labour and economy.

Body plays a decisive part in the production of meanings, writes the author Mara Lee Gerdén in her newly published doctoral thesis in fine art writing as resistance, responsibility and time. She states that body creates meaning itself, that they not only are different, but that they also make difference – even in writing, she writes, I write, you read. Did it make any difference?

According to Fritz Giese, the body might be invisible in the rhythmic movement. Perhaps this is the link to the escape present in all of the three student pieces shown last night. Meaning that the I and the we are constituting each other, mutually, Gies means that the subjective position is collective, a position from which we can escape from being seen only by shaking. Here I want to reformulate Gayathry Spivak’s question; if the subaltern can speak, to if the subaltern can chose not to listen. Who’s body in not part of what is being said in this certain space, in this text that you read or at least look at. I cannot decolonise my body, since I am part of the colonising event. I am present, I am actually feeling quite present, and I suppose you do as well. Even if I jump and shake, I am there – at least according to my previous experiences of interacting with myself or with others.

Anja Weber, score by Steffi Weismann

In the sold out performance, Antonia Baehr leaves us all in the Abecedarium Bestiarium. The group adjusts to the space, social groupings are created and new connections are being made. I cannot not listen. Time passes; Baehr enters and tells us her story. We listen – how can we not? Then everything changes. Baehr becomes through two hours. In a mixture of friendship, imperialism through existential submission and industrial consumism, she actually succeeds not to listen. In the becoming of what is no more, those creatures who were extinct by human condition – who were turned into human condition and therefore disappearing themselves – Baehr situates herself in between the speaking and the listening. When becoming it all at the same time, she underlines the silly character of my question in the beginning of this text: what are the similarities between those bodies, as well as my try to grasp the difference between speaking and listening. Only by doing both, one can chose not to.

Saying that’s me

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Evening reflection #1

Is the infinitely unfamiliar body of decision theory able to escape?

French floor, socks, shirts.

I brought it (my body) with me.

When she came to F, I was sitting on it. Instead of moving, I pointed at myself.

That’s me, I was about to say.

The smile made me move.

Was I one of those animals? Did I disappear, as the dodo and the tiger, the cat and her breasts?

French floor, socks, shirts, high heels looping.

Literature is (…) the invention of this voice, to which we cannot assign a specific origin, Roland Barthes wrote, stating that literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes. Does he mean that I, as a writing subject, am able to create one of those white spots on a foreign island, where the reading subject can break new ground, find and name new spieces? Or may it be me breaking this ground, using you, the reader, as the coloniser uses the habitants?

Cutting trees and shooting.

Pointing at our bodies, saying that’s me.



I am not here

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rencontrer  – to meet

raconter – to (re)tell

My name is Frida Sandström and I am not here, but my writings are. In connection to Works at work I will work on the situation of being and trying to become through writing. What is it to be told that haven’t yet taken place? What is taking place in the retelling and who is actually becoming?

I am an artist and a writer based in Gothenburg, Sweden. In my practice, I investigate the interaction usually called “communication” or more specifically “conversation”, and how the practice of this create a sort of common environment. Is it even possible to participate in what it is retold without remaking it, and how to mediate one’s being on the outside and the inside of the happening? Can one tear off the skin of time and collect someone else’s skin to cover oneself in, simultaneously? What is then, the soothing balm sinking into our bodies so that we can continue moving without fissure? If not the interaction is the actual fissure.

During Works at work I will be present and absent by writing, and by what is being read.



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Ask some/body, who is not about to leave, to tell

Ask this some/body to explain the leaving while staying

Ask some/body, who allready left, to summarize

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Explain where you are going and when. Do also explain how you will find it at this certain space in that certain amount of time that you intend to stay there. Finish with describing how you will leave.



Tell me how you will get there

Tell me what there is to find, that makes you go there

Tell me, then, what will be your next step

Tell me how to take this step from the first place to the second

Tell me what will be left at the first place

Tell me what you will take with you to the next one

Tell me where the next visit takes place

Tell me what it includes

Tell me who is included in it

Tell me who, if anyone does, marks the start of the visit

Tell me who ends it, if it does have an end and if the previous visit did

Tell me how to know that a visit has taken place

That it will take place

Tell me what will take place