I will be your mirror?



Choreographer and director Biño Sauitzvy (BR), with performers and creators Laura Spottag Fog (DK), Alba Greve (DK), Mari Pitkänen (FI), Clara Randum (DK) and Karol Matuszak (PL).

This group of performers first got together in August 2022 doing a five week research workshop led by Biño Sauitzvy at the Norwegian Theatre Academy. In the process we created a work process which unfolded in the triangle of artistic research, daily practice and composition of production. The workshop ended with an outcome of work-in-process sharing with a new batch of NTA students.

Our artistic work begins with a daily practice routine, which is a space to meet the body as it is in a sphere of meditation and self-care. From that foundation the practice can be built to challenge the body as a shape of human and other-than-human, diving into the realm of dreams and the body’s possibility of transformation and multitude. Daily movement routine is followed by theoretical and artistic research, which are thoroughly intertwined in the process. Theoretical deepening to philosophies of f. e. Gilles Deleuze (Repetition and difference, 1968) and Donna Haraway (Staying with the trouble, 2016) and inspiration from artists such as La Ribot, Cindy Sherman, David Lynch and Samuel Beckett position our work with in the continuity of the world-making of these authors’ and artists’ work. The production and the composition happens through the daily practice and research as well as the meeting of personal desires, material research and collaboration.

Deleuze speaks of the question of desire as being one of the main conditions for something to take place, for something to be done. So, according to himself, how can this desire be nurtured in a society that wants us to orient bodies toward individual achieving and consumption? This desire includes the joy of being together, of creating communities, collaborations, ephemeral or not, new ways of being and doing together. Meeting and collaboration, through our complementary differences, are therefore conditions for this desire to become transformative action.

Speaking of performing arts, an art of the ephemeral, this desire must be nurtured through actions in a space-time, even if in a virtual and quantum era. These actions of desire and joy are nurturing energies, like nurturing "responsibility" to the companion species that Donna Haraway speaks of. These companion species can coexist together for a short space of time, but they retain responsibility for this coexistence even at a distance. They send signals to each other, which perhaps are not perceptible to those who are not of these hybrid "sym" species, formed by different beings and which together create their specificity. They take care of themselves as individuals, and thus, of a collective.

In our self-organizing approach, each individual is taken in his own specificity, singularity, and it is the sum of these different potentialities that makes the richness of this encounter and artistic collaboration, of this creative self-organization. In addition to the question of "sym" species, we develop the concepts of recycling and compost. We share our ideas, our perceptions, our materials, our lives, our autobiographies and self-fiction, materials from elsewhere, our predecessors, our contemporaries, from the perspective of a permaculture. Everything is land and organic matter for transformation, for life, for creation. We do not separate life from creation, everything is material for a new fiction, if we consider that the real is one fiction among others.

We also think that, as individuals, we are contaminated, formatted, created by a system, by a collectivity, a society. So we try to take that same responsibility to "warp" ourselves, to go beyond preconceptions, while trying to undo certain hierarchies that advocate power over each other, species over species. By transforming ourselves as individuals and as a community, we thus transform everything around us, under a quantum perspective, where all action has a reaction, if only in the field of the invisible. Thus, for us, it is a question of the coexistence of parallel realities, each not erasing the other, but mutually influencing each other.

We start from the notion of training, as a psychosomatic exercise that prepares body and mind for creation. We are close to what we call an active meditation, in which the binarities and separations of complementary opposites are undone. The exercise of speech is a constituent part of our approach. Like bell hooks, our biographies and our realities interest us, because we are in perpetual transformation, and, once again, taken from a "holism", a whole, a larger and global cosmos. For, to paraphrase Foucault, the "me" contains the world and the world contains us.

Our creation is considered under these aspects, with a porosity where the borders are either undone or carried within ourselves. This is how for us everything is material, everything is likely to become creation, transformation, metamorphosis, through new connections and arrangements.

Création and first performance at Østfold University College/Norwegian Theatre Academy in Fredrikstad. Høgskolen i Østfold / Akademi for scenekunst / Fredrikstad, 2022.

Pictures : Aksel Pépin.