Unarchiving: Amnesia & Innocence
"Amnesia & Innocence"
I’m a freelance dancer-choreographer in Berlin since 2012. I graduated MA Solo/Dance/Authorship from HZT in Feb 2020 & received DisTanzSolo in 2021 for developing a daily writing practice & research on Self/Relationality. My income is in mostly dancing for others, but my greater yearning & source material comes from my own choreographic work. Over 20 years I’ve amassed an overwhelming, chaotic archive of unused ideas, inspirations & references on scraps of paper, notebooks &hard drives that I’d have liked to implement towards a performance work but have piled up instead. The theme Amnesia & Innocence comes from the title of a list found written on one such sticky note. The note references the movie “WALL-E”, Albrecht Dürer’s “Melencolia I”, images of theatrical stagings, emotions like remorse & freedom, & prompts to inspire movement. Ultimately it communicates an ambivalent stance: a heavy legacy of unmanifested potential & a feeling of freedom of possibility & inspiration. Thus it represents the emotional aspects of my having such an archive & my desire to finally organize & activate the contents. I’d like to creatively process the archive in a way that helps me develop a new practice & approach to making; confronts a perceived ongoing issue in my art work; & reveals patterns & insights of my long-term artistic concerns & evolution.
As mostly a maker of solos, the issue in my work to be addressed is that it’s too tied to my subjectivity & lacks space for spectators to form their own associations & meanings. I want to install & practice more objective distance to the material that I compose. I seek more freedom for my art to not need to serve a didactic & preset theme as I’ve often done, but rather let it follow a dynamic, unpremeditated flow of association that proposes new readabilities & vitalities for an audience & for myself as the maker/performer. I propose to do this through a process of using amnesia & innocence as strategies to confront a single, randomly chosen item in the archive for each working day. I’ll respond to the selected item through movement study, writing & research as if I have uncovered an artifact from an unknown world. In this way I hope to see how, if at all, I resonate with it presently. I’d catalogue the findings in an online blog that shares what gets produced from that day like dance videos, written & visual reflections, etc. I’d do this 2x/week, & I’d invite colleagues to join me in the studio 1x/week to also respond to the daily item. I’ll pay them a fair wage we agree on.
Rather than trying to piece together or physically manifest a buried world of past ideas, I’d like to see how these artifacts can serve as living prompts for me to explore current interests & methods. What’s relevant to me now? What knowledge can be translated & made usable by updating my archive? This will reveal & clarify values in my art to deepen & reveal new paths that I can pursue for future works & choreographic approaches.
Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR, aid programm DIS-TANZEN by the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland