Our material memory practice, initiated in September 2019, comprises regular studio exercise, an ongoing conversation on the frames and conditions under which (and with which) we work, and experimental performances in different media such as environment, sound and video.
We are a collective of dancer-creators curios about the materiality of body-to-body interaction and its relation with patriarchal disciplining. Can we understand embodied memory not as symbolically stored information but as mere material? Can we dance and improvise together while affirming this difference? And to what performative interventions will this approach enable us?
Our current focus is to construct a channel with which to share this specific mode of physically relating. If the institutions of patriarchy are disciplining bodies through narratives and images (creating gender, race and shame), then we can encounter these institutions in their materiality, from ours.
We are working over the internet, and we're striving to make our research publicly accessible. Our archive contains visual traces, oral accounts, and conceptual essays from past sessions, and our bodies store the experience of improvising together. How can we use the online media -- audiovisual and textual -- to share these as a tangible living archive?
With warm-up exercises and rituals of mutual care, we tune our bodies into perceiving each other as material. Then, in free improvisation, we explore the edges and boundaries of the practice. Finally, we reflect on our experience and document the feedback for our "living archive" -- to tackle the media of site-specific performance, audio, text, image and video.
First public performance: On Friday night 31st January + on Saturday 1st January 12-18h, at Petersburt Art Space, Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 101, Moabit. With Sofia Sarmento, Flupsi Upsi, Michal Agasi, Lima Vafadar, and Sabrina Huth.
Movement research can be a lonely endeavour. So we join each other. Not under an idea or a discipline but to find how we match, to establish safe spaces of exploration and reflection, to let our bodies resonnate. Our curiousity -- both in each other and in revisiting our bodies -- brings us together for childish play and an earnest conversation.
Looking for more places to dance in! Are you curating an exhibition, a festival, a workshop? If you would like to hire us to perform, teach, or speak about our practice:
Can embodied memory speak?
On September 27, 2019, Michal, Flupsi, Lima and Sabrina met to develop a new movement practice, based on the notion that each body is a memory, and that these memories can communicate among each other. Sofia joined soon after. We used pigments to locate information in our body parts, we used counterpoint singing to acknowlege each other, and then we improvised to share our memory. Some of the spontaneous encounters among us had a special quality, like a landscape or a space one can enter and enjoy. Textures emerged and resonnated in our childish play. And we felt that through mere co-existing, our bodies were communicating fluently in a language that we’d never be able to explicate: a language without symbols.
Our current research (updated May 2, 2020)
Throughout seven months of ongoing practice, a clear focus has emerged: We want to bring our way of being-with-each-other into hostile spaces, into frames that were built to discipline bodies. Currently, we are exploring our nakedness in relation to the monument: what exactly is taboo? Where does it come from? What biopolitical role did and does it play? Why are gods and animals allowed to be naked? How does the allegorical personification that define the canon of humanism function, and how does it relate to the current body-images? How can we approach nakedness not through the images but through its own materiality? And, since it's Corona-time: Can we do this work through the audiovideo stream online?
Movement research can be a lonely endeavour. So we join each other. Not under an idea or a discipline but to find how we match, to establish safe spaces of exploration and reflection, to let our bodies resonnate. Our curiousity -- both in each other and in revisiting our bodies -- brings us together for childish play and an earnest conversation. Material memory is the unspeakable mess we therein produce.
Following my Ballet training at the RA London (1995-03), I studied theatre at baleteatro in Porto and Dance at ESD and Forum Dança in Lisbon. In 2014, I co-founded multidisciplinary art collective Enfarte. Since 2017, I am creating Solos and experimental choreographies in Lisbon, Barcelona and Berlin. In pieces such as my HEROpe, Ex–Posição, Future Fetish or Étude 1, I collaborated with plastic artists and musicians. Through the confrontation with identity, gender and power relations, I explore the raw physicality of movement.
Studying at UdK and HZT Berlin (2013-18), I initiated group projects on mutual space-giving. 2017’s future witchcraft congress created rituals that resist biopolitics and framings of the female body. Posthumanist theory guided 2018’s cyborgism and 2019’s cuerpo de barro, research projects towards coinhabiting liminal spaces. Material memory sprang from the wish to approach these struggles from a corporeal practice that would eschew symbolic language.
After dancing at Bat Sheva Dance Company and studying art and movement at SVT Jerusalem, I became a freelance dancer and choreographer. My solo work includes Ease (2012). In Tel Aviv, I created the solo Somna and the ensemble piece Occuring Island before moving to Berlin where I joined the material memory project in September 2019.
Exploring the space in between stillness and movement, deep listening and articulating presence, being sculptural and an embodied carrier of information drew me to the material memory practice. It follows up on my artistic research at AHK Amsterdam and HZT Berlin on how to encounter a body that is (not) here.
Born in Tehran, I graduated in Iranian Folklore Painting and Print Design at UAST and later studied Photography at Mah-e-Mehr Art Institute. Moving to Germany in 2011, I graduated in Fine Arts at UdK Berlin in 2018 with a work on water, using the material to defamiliarize images of pregnancy. My freelance work combines art with healing techniques.
Through the material memory practice, I find a capacity that is welcoming everything that wants to come, a capacity that accepts us in it.
Teta Lirica and Pauline Payen joined our open studios and gave invaluable feedback. Ramona Zickzack gave dramaturgical support and philosophical impulses. Many others improvised with us since last September.