Production Details / Press Releases
Aughterlony and Rosenblit navigate current forms of feminist politics beyond manifestos. Unpacking the phenomenology of utopias solicits the fear that all things will not fit in the imagined path. A free-standing wall sits in the middle of the room offering possibilities to adjust, fix and reattach materials. Crushed nutmeg and pine needles entice the senses. Rhythmic sorcery drives the effort to organize the ingredients, despite their un-governability. Is this a cooking show or a construction site? The room offers an expanded horizon, encouraging disruptive practices by way of leaks and cracks inside architectures for gathering.
“In its most simplified gesture, the room is a microcosm of the world. Certain architectures allocate ways in which bodies situate and define themselves in relation to their objects. The room is, after all, an architecture for organizing and reaffirming structures that tend to mandate world building, from the nuclear family to the education system. As a result of these normative structures we lose access to the dysfunctional and non-linear practices devalued under the rule of progress. There is an incessant absurdity in space that is unused or ignored. In this practice we become interested when previously disregarded elements are rendered functional, enhancing a contradiction as a form itself. Within this culture of adjusting, an attention toward a perfect order or rightness exists, a kind of subjective irrationality that begs for other forms of order than disorder. This fixing comes with care taking, danger, and amnesia. From the room chants the endless code of the new wild where leaks and cracks in the architecture find their own path. Each thing functions as scaffolding to connect and reach other things. The ladder is not just a ladder. By thinking in the absence of predetermined outcomes there is an understated magic around alternative positioning. The fixtures hold no opinion for who or what clings to them. Everything doesn’t fit but the effort to manage all elements is the very thing that sustains us. Commitment without hope.
We have found intersections and curiosities in each others artistic processes that lead to a desire to continue working together after already having collaborated on the recent performance work, “Uni * Form” in 2015. We found a mutual affinity towards particular methodologies: trusting the precarity of working inside the unknown or on the edge of liminal spaces, an appreciation of the ways in which information lingers, gathers and is finally housed within choreographic thought and embracing the emergence of contradiction as it manifests content. At the centre of a phenomenological approach that we share is an emergent logic that asks what it is to be in place of meaning. In practice, this demands a careful inquiry and attention to the qualities that exercise being, becoming and decaying.”
(Simone Aughterlony & Jen Rosenblit)
Simone Aughterlony is an independent artist based and supported in Zurich and Berlin, working predominantly in dance and performance contexts. Over more than decade, Aughterlony has been devising and producing choreographic works in collaboration with friends, visual artists, musicians, academics and dance artists. She has collaborated with makers such as Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods, Forced Entertainment and Jorge León, Phil Hayes amongst others. The artist has most recently been thinking about and engaging with alternative forms of kinship. Inside her process new constellations of family emerge as possibilities for reconfiguring a culture of togetherness that foster both familiar and unknown quantities. Finding affinity with temporalities that facilitate a sensitive and sensual rapport with the materiality of all bodies gives access to forms of intimacy we may not yet recognize. Her works playfully compose with representation and its saturation, seeping into and embracing the phenomenology of mis-recognition and the absurd. Aughterlony approaches the performance genre as a world building practice where she navigates the contradiction between the domination of desire alongside the agency of all elements. Next to numerous other productions, she developed a trilogy that, co-produced by HAU, included her pieces Show & Tell” (2013), “After Life” (2013), and “Supernatural” (2015). In 2015, Aughterlony was awarded the Swiss Dance Prize (Schweizer Tanzpreis) for outstanding performer. Most recently, HAU Hebbel am Ufer presented her co-production “Uni * Form” (together with Jorge Léon).
Jen Rosenblit makes performance between Berlin and New York City engaging bodies, architectures and ideas surrounding the discontents of desire and autonomy. Recent works including “Clap Hands” (2016, The Invisible Dog/New York Live Arts), and “a Natural dance” (2014, The Kitchen) focus on an improvisational approach to choreographic thought, locating ways of being together amidst seemingly impossible spaces. Rosenblit is a 2016 MAP FUND recipient, a 2015–16 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence, received a 2014 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Emerging Choreographer for “a Natural dance” and was awarded the 2012 Grant to Artists from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She was included in MoMA PS1’s Greater New York exhibition in 2015, and has collaborated and performed with artists including Simone Aughterlony, Young Jean Lee, Ryan McNamara, Yvonne Meier, Saša Asenticć ́, Anne Imhof, Miguel Gutierrez and A.K. Burns. Rosenblit’s upcoming work, “Swivel Spot”, in collaboration with Geo Wyeth, premieres at The Kitchen in 2017 in New York City. She has performed at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in “Untitled Feminist Show” by Young Jean Lee and in “Uni * Form” by Simone Aughterlony and Jorge León.
Cast & Credits
The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):
University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)